This week we had the joy of catching up with Amanda Keetley, Executive Director of the Devon Environment Fund. She offered some excellent tips on how to decrease your carbon footprint by making easy lifestyle changes.
Is there a specific area of focus in your work that you are most interested in? Why?
I love nature’s capacity to regenerate. I think nature-based solutions are the biggest sources of hope in this era of climate and nature emergencies. If we learn to share space better with nature, and recognise its true value, we will be rewarded by seeing nature recover and thrive. I’m very excited by the opportunities for landscape scale nature recovery in Devon – making the most of its two shores, two moors, and all the green space in between – there’s huge potential to enhance Devon’s woodlands, hedgerows, meadows, peatlands, wetlands, rivers, estuaries, and coastlines so that diverse wildlife can thrive.
What are some simple steps people can take to help their local environment either in Devon specifically or around the world?
The biggest step is to take regular time to reconnect with nature, to remember the things we love about our local environment, and to feel compelled to take responsibility for looking after it rather than leaving it to ‘someone else’. Doing something positive for nature makes us feel better and can also inspire others to take action too, leading to a ripple effect of positive change. Making your daily repetitive habits more eco-friendly is the best place to start. Simple actions like picking up 5 pieces of litter a day when out walking; trying to avoid using the most prolific single-use plastic items (bags, bottles, cups, straws, and cutlery); and trying to eat mainly local, seasonal, organic, plant-based wholefoods all add up. If we try to do these things most days it makes a huge difference over a year, five years, or the rest of our lives. But we shouldn’t worry when we aren’t 100% perfect, because nobody is, and it’s better to try to do something positive to help nature, than to do nothing.