University of Antwerp / Conservation Biology
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I believe the most difficult thing about being a conservationist is that I often feel isolated from other people. As a scientist, I belong to a tight community made of incredible people who fight every day to protect nature. We all share the same hopes and sadly, the same fears. But outside of work, I feel like few know and understand the alarming situation the planet and its biodiversity are in! Most people do not take seriously nature’s protection, simply because they think it does not concern or affects them.
I try to decrease my footprint every day, one choice at a time. Take the train instead of the car, the bike instead of the bus, eat vegan as often as I can, avoid plastic packaging as much as possible, cook instead of buying fast-food. I usually take my holidays where I go for my work, to avoid taking the plane more than needed. I support community-based ecotourism. I attempt to communicate my love of nature to the world, daily.
It is hard however to decrease my footprint mainly due to the lack of good options- or rather having too many bad options. It is not always possible to buy without plastic. Traveling is often more affordable by plane than by train (!). Industries waste and pollute, and I feel powerless about that. There is a lack of transparency and clarity and even I sometimes doubt about which choice is the best for the environment. I believe the society – and the politics – have the duty to protect the consumer from the worst choices, and this begins with a strict control of the industry. More money must be given to environmental-friendly goods and products, with for example subsidies to facilitate the use of public transport over air travel. I believe we must transition outside of this economic model based on growth, seek out alternatives. But everyone must be made aware and responsible of his or her choices, too. Every choice we make had an impact on the planet and ultimately on other people. A fairer world with healthy natural spaces and biodiversity is the only way we can ensure a good future to the planet and all creatures living in it – including us!
Originally posted 2018-05-06 06:13:04.