I think that my love and appreciation for the natural world comes from my childhood days spending so much time in nature. My father was a wholesaler for “Kiss Me Quick” hats and buckets and spades. His customers were mainly seaside kiosks from Clacton to Cardiff. Every break from school we would travel the south coast and camp in forests, on moors or at the seaside. He also taught me bushcraft and respect for the elements.
The first time I can remember being involved with an environmental campaign was at the age of 11. I watched a documentary about the Russian whaling fleet in the Pacific. They were being harassed by a bunch of peace loving hippies. My mum once recalled how I said after watching it that “I was going to do that one day!”. She did not seem to mind at the time but years later when I started harassing whalers with Greenpeace she seemed very worried indeed. Sorry mum!
During my years with Greenpeace I had to spend some time in less than luxurious police accommodations. Then I was politely asked to leave several of the nicest places in Europe and Scandinavia.
Also in the 80s I was very fortunate to work with a new style of organisation called the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA). We traveled to Norway and the Faroe Islands to film their whaling operations. The evidence was submitted to the International Whaling Commission (IWC).
After Greenpeace I worked with many other organisations. Mostly instead of chaining myself to a banner on some tall structure, I just talked to people in an effort to raise funds and awareness of the issues.
Most of my work was of a voluntary nature so on occasions I had to get real jobs to fund myself. These jobs varied from milkman, dustman, postman, washer-upper in a pub to running pubs.
For the past 20 years, however, I have been working in the NHS as a clinical support worker. I love my job but the pay is pants. For many years, the job suited my life style. I was a single parent and full-time carer for my mum. I was also trying to raise my son while competing with play station, his mates and a world gone mad.
During this time, I managed to keep working on a few environmental projects. My main focus was on the United Nations blue print for a sustainable future called Agenda 21. I acted as a consultant to Local Authorities and other stakeholders. I was extremely hopeful about the Earth summits and Agenda 21 but, unfortunately, it looks like my hopes where in vain. After many years it became a document and a process that remains unheard of by most.
In 2017 I was so extremely fortunate to meet my partner Maja. Her passion for love and life have motivated me to get back involved with environmental issues. After a lot of research, sole search and nagging, we have developed the concept of ActGreener.co. We have also started to make many changes to our own lifestyle and are giving a lot of thought into what we spend our pennies on.
Unfortunately, for health reasons I had to leave the NHS recently after 22 years of service. It’s a terrible shame, as I loved my job as a carer and especially since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic they probably could have done with the help. However, looking on the bright side I have had this project in mind for some time but as they say life is what happens when you’re making other plans. So after many months of limited mobility and then three social lockdowns I have had the time to polish it off and prepare to take its message to the community.
Re-prioritising our lifestyles is a fundamental requirement if we are to sustain our societies’ integrity and possibly even to insure our species survival as we move forward into the 21st century. The post COVID recovery must be taken as an unmissable opportunity to do just that. I truly hope that our project will help in this process in some way and if given the right support raise desperately needed funds and encourage many people to act greener.
Some photographs from back in the day…
We are looking to recruit like-minded people with passion for the environment.
As a Wikaniko distributor, you will be campaigning for the environment every time you tell someone about your business; whether it be one-to-one, giving a talk to a group of people or engaging with others on social media. Join us in the fight for the environment.