My thoughts on my passion for sustainability, how to get more men involved in the fight, and my legacy
I was interviewed on the.eco.dude’s Instagram channel in February 2021, as part of his series talking to other men in the sustainability space (or “eco dudes”). This great series highlights that not enough men are active in matters of sustainability, climate change and environmental activism, and I was proud to be the first European participant.
For those who don’t want to sit through 25 minutes of me talking (and watch my accent get more westcountry as I relax into the interview), I’ve copied the main questions and my responses below (along with links to further information).
(1) What three things make you an Eco Dude?
I’m a writer and sustainability advocate, using my writing to communicate why we need to change and to help people along their journeys.
I’m the organiser for the Exeter chapter of the Circular Economy Club, which brings together government, businesses and academics in cities worldwide to enable the Circular Economy.
And finally, for the day job I work in flood risk management, as a project manager in one of the UK’s largest flood risk programmes.
Really though, it’s a mindset. I’m a man who cares for the environment and wants to do something to ensure we don’t destroy it.
(2) There are so many aspects to environmentalism. What area are you most passionate about?
First, I’m a strong believer in the importance of individual action. On their own small actions are never going to save the world, but I see it as an important step towards activism; getting people to vote the right way, and hold their elected officials accountable. We need systemic change, but governments will never enact this change unless we make our voices heard. We need governments working together, sharing resources and acting towards a common good, but if we don’t elect the right people, our governments will always put the national interest ahead of the survival of the species.
Secondly, anyone who’s read my work will be able to tell that I’m obsessed with the Circular Economy. We need to use the Earth’s materials responsibly: use things for longer, throw nothing away, and work to replenish our natural environments.
Finally, I’m passionate about biodiversity. We’re killing species and destroying habitats at an unprecedented rate, and diversity of life is fundamental to human life on earth. We need to stop thinking of nature as something we can use however we want and realise that we are nature.
(3) How did your eco journey start and was there one catalyst that ignited all this passion?
I don’t think there was a single moment. I was raised in the countryside, and the stewardship of nature was a large part of that. It’s only in the last few years that it really came together for me; understanding how it worked in my city, in business, and government. A couple of years ago I started a Masters in business leadership, and when I was thinking about what it was that called me to leadership, I realised what I wanted to do was to use those skills for good, and specifically for the good of the planet.
(4) How should we get our message out to more men who are not really thinking about this stuff?
I don’t think the answer is “sustainability is masculine”, because I think that the majority of men who associate sustainability with feminism even realise that they think that.
There isn’t a simple answer because not all men are the same. What speaks to you might not be the same as what speaks to me. We have to make it relevant to them. What that means will be different to different people, but if you can relate it to the things they care about, be that their income, their kids, their social life, you can influence them to change.
(5) What legacy do you want to leave behind?
I want to at least have helped to move things in a positive direction. It’s not enough for me to do no harm, I want to make things better than they would if I hadn’t breezed through here.
If you’re a man who cares about sustainability check out the Eco Dudes Facebook group. Brad’s always looking out for others in this space (and people to interview), so if you’re keen, visit his Instagram profile.