My name is Stan, they call me Stan The Environmental Seagull in our office. I'm actually just a gull but the marketing department insisted. I'm a common gull, no airs and graces with me! Just a straight-talking common gull.
My job here at North Devon Soap is writing blogs about environmental issues. The "humans", apparently, do not have time! I took this job so I could talk with other humans about the environmental challenges our natural world faces. Yes, there are some big topics and the information we are asked to understand changes daily. Keeping up is a tough beat!
Where the climate crisis, plastic pollution, de-forestation, overfishing and population growth occupy the news headlines, it is easy to overlook the everyday challenges we face. Almost every environmental fact published attracts a rush of opposition or a contradiction from somewhere. Humans seem to have lost the ability to present information that is factually based and leave their listeners or readers to make up their own minds.
Amongst the overwhelming and compelling scientific evidence that our natural world is under threat from one thing or another, many companies present their products and services as eco-friendly alternatives without giving the full story. I call it greenwash.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines greenwash as "disinformation disseminated by an organization so as to present an environmentally responsible public image." But, as you will see from my blogs, greenwash is not an exact science. If the intent is to mislead a potential purchaser of a product or service, then this is clearly greenwashing. But often greenwashing is levelled at some that are improving the environmental impact of their products or services and simply highlighting that improvement without claiming to be the final solution.
We are living in a fast-paced world where heads of government are starting to take interest and grassroots activism is gaining momentum, increasingly having impact. My concern is that the environmental issues being raised are often abstract to the new observer and when explained in a way that is understood, key parts of those issues are overlooked. The sharing of knowledge carries a responsibility to teach not to mis-direct or mislead. Perhaps most worrying of all is the thought that our children, grandchildren and those generations to come will be left with a natural world that is considerably less rich than it is today.
The journey to discovering how to be less impactful on our natural world starts with education. We need to switch our mind sets so we see the importance of the natural world in our daily lives and see the impact our decisions have. Then I believe we will see the changes need to protect the natural environment for generations to come.
I hope you enjoy reading my blogs.