2019 has both been an exciting year and a sad year.
Exciting to see an increase in environmentally awareness and action being taken by both individuals, organisations and governments as they begin to understand that we need the natural environment more than it needs us. Our societies are evolving to be better caretakers of the planet we call home. From that side I look forward to 2020, to working with those event organisations that will make a difference, become change makers and move the norms from irresponsible behaviour to responsible. In 2019, so many more organisations have committed to going cupless and reducing waste behind the scenes. In 2020, am especially looking forward to seeing Geneva Marathon and Nice-Cannes Marathon create the first cupless mass event with 20 thousand + participants to inspire other mass events to do likewise. Although have completed 86 tyre pulling marathon/ultra marathon events, and completing 14 more would be relatively easy in 2020, will be focusing on advancing events towards a zero waste goal. Hence the completion of 100 tyre pulling marathons may have to roll over to 2021.
Am sad that lies and mis-information have been used to inform the public in the UK. Am sad about the UK abandoning their say & voice in the way the EU was shaping including its environmental concerns. As a collective, the EU is a leader in addressing environmental concerns, with higher overall environmental regulations than other countries, which has thus led to “greener” innovations and redesign of products to reduce energy & water requirements. As we gain more knowledge about our impact on this world, the EU has responded quickly with designing policies and legislation to further protect natural habitats, keep air and water clean, ensure proper waste disposal, improve knowledge about toxic chemicals and help businesses move toward a sustainable economy. At the end of 2017, I learned about the power of collaboration. Hence my sadness at the end of this year for the UK to think it is better to be a solo entity.
If the UK can improve and be environmental leaders (as once boasted), then that is awesome, but the indications with potential trade negotiations with the US are showing the UK will be at the mercy of the US environmental regulations: https://www.tjm.org.uk/trade-deals/a-uk-us-trade-deal
Original document: https://ustr.gov/sites/default/files/Summary_of_U.S.-UK_Negotiating_Objectives.pdf?fbclid=IwAR1DSNTHQ3LT1OkY–ME9vEBHhELwHpFnuAE-0oq9x4y6dSSSSNYwBdFjdA Alternatively, it would be amazing if the US would change their environmental regulations to match or even better the EU. Though this latter thought is just a fantasy with the current president’s meme “America First” and eroding the USA’s environmental regulations to ensure businesses can profit. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/climate/trump-environment-rollbacks.html This suggests the USA government does not believe there are enough creative thinkers who can think outside of the box to innovate and enhance products, processes & services to be both better for the environment and its own people. As it continues in this direction, it becomes a developed country with a third world mentality.
Thus can only hope the UK government does not cave in to the demands of the US and allow their environmental regulations to lower to the US standards. Here is a publication from the House of Lords on thoughts for the UK government. https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201617/ldselect/ldeucom/109/10913.htm
So farewell 2019. Thank you to those in the UK, France, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland and Singapore who welcomed me, allowed me to inspire change, and in response encouraged me with actions you will be taking. We have only one life to make a difference. Let us vision a world where organisations & governments take responsibility for the waste (general, electricity, water, & resources) they generate and that individuals take greater steps to move towards zero waste, where we adopt lifestyle strategies to:
- value stuff rather than think we can simply recycle (broken system) or give it away (way too much)
- look for preloved and second hand items rather than thinking new is the only way
- teach ourselves and children to repair rather than throw away and buy new
- and of course to bring our own reusables to reduce the number of disposables
May 2020 be a positive transition towards a cleaner environment to allow all life on our planet to thrive. Here’s to entering a new decade.
For 2019, special thank you to Uncle, Tess Burrows, Rey Smart, Jean Jacques, Nicky Johncock, Tania, Irene, my Trieste families, Mujalonga Sul Mar organisers, everyone who hosted me on my journey from the UK to Trieste to Geneva and back again, everyone who gave me advice especially on the UK Cycling Forum ( https://forum.cyclinguk.org/ ) , Bedfont Park Run family, Fetch family ( https://www.fetcheveryone.com/ ), Runnymede Runners, Sg Runners, Green Nudge family, of course my family and relatives, and everyone who has come up to me to tell me the green changes they have made in their life / organisations. Thank you for your support, love and joy in 2019 xxxxx