Since I was a kid, I was taught by my parents about nature and the importance of preserving our environment, although I was raised in Milan, one of the largest cities in Italy. My parents are my biggest inspiration to live sustainably, and my recent years living in the bush and working as a Ranger at LEO Africa cemented this lifestyle.
When I was a kid, I was lucky to spend my holidays in the mountain, and during the day-long hikes we made, we had our picnic while contemplating the beauties of nature and I was taught to never leave any litter behind. I even picked up litters left by other people to leave the woods clean. I remember the joy if I managed to spot a chamois, a deer, a squirrel and even just a snake or a slug (for which my mom was not so happy!).
Since 2012, I have been working as Ranger with LEO Africa, a wildlife monitoring, conservation and sustainable living volunteer project in South Africa. My awareness towards nature and the environment has been growing more and more since, at the point that I decided to do my best to educate people about the importance of living sustainably and making a difference. In the “conservation photography” section of my website, you can see some visual example about why I am so “desperate” about reaching more and more people and make them passionate about sustainability. Each action that we take has an impact on our Planet. I consider myself an extremely coherent person and I would not work in conservation unless I embrace this matter 360 degrees. I can’t be a conservationist and smoke, pollute, use single use plastic, waste food, buy new things often, buy jewelry, driving everywhere for any small “need” etc. Believe it or not, some people do. For me it is unacceptable to pretend to be willing to make a difference but then act recklessly. I am not preaching to become like San Francesco (to leave everything behind), but to be careful and considerate in our choices in life. Nature teaches us that we do not need much to survive: when I observe the animals, they eat, sleep, drink water, reproduce and that’s it! They do not waste and everything goes back to nature without polluting in a perfect circle of life. Only humans have introduced harmful chemicals in nature who can have a bad impact on it. If we love wildlife (even if you do not – I am sure you want to have a prosperous, healthy future!), we must put greed on a side and act like real Homo sapiens.
Sustainability is a lifestyle that I urge everyone to adopt: it is the passport to a prosperous future. I am not talking about going vegan (which I personally believe that is not the real long terms solution – one can be vegan but still be extremely polluting the environment in many other aspects!). I am talking about the idea of doing our utmost best to consciously reduce our impact on our planet in many ways, just by slightly adapting our lifestyle.
Here some suggestions:
- reducing as much as possible the use of plastic (and really give up all the unnecessary single use plastic who are terrible for the planet, the wildlife and us!)
- buy only what we really need (possibly second hand)
- drive less and only when we need to cover long distances and alternative transportation is not available; have you ever tried car sharing?
- quit smoking (imagine how many millions of hectares are deforested to plant tobacco plants, who pollute the soil! Did you know that cigarette butts are one of the most polluting items found in the sea and beaches?
- try to support local businesses instead of buying online or in large food chains
- remember that each item that you buy come from nature, which means it undergo a process production that requires energy, nature resources and electricity to be produced. Moreover, metal and even parts of your phones come from mines, who destroy the environment. Think twice before changing a functioning device/object/car and rather prefer to let them last for years!
- resist the attraction to consumerism that advertisement, tv and social media enforce in our brains as a necessity… However it is not! We can still live very happily without shopping compulsively! Life is not about the appearance, it is about making a difference!
Do you have more ideas or questions? I would love to hear from you! Please leave a comment below, contact me and feel free to share any valuable link that people can learn from, including myself!
“Any fool can know. The point is to understand.”
― Albert Einstein
Cover Photo: Sabrina driving an electric scooter used to carry out some wildlife monitoring, opening gates and recharged only using solar energy.
Text Photo: Spotted Hyena Cub by den with cigarettes – Kruger National Park, South Africa