Word games aside, RESPECT for nature should be a key aspect of outdoorsy lifestyles.
The outdoors are becoming more and more appealing. Thanks to tv series, books, movies, instagram, blogs - the outdoors are getting a revamp. It is becoming glamorous to sit alone atop of a mountains, walk in the forest, surf some big waves, run some treacherous trails instead of the smog filled city asphalts. no blames there! And it’s great that people are getting more active and there is the want to be sporty beyond gyms. People enjoying nature, as it should be.
But (you did sense a but coming, didn’t you?) are we doing it right?
nature should not only be used and abused for the benefits it provides, the beauty it offers. It should also be also respected.
By this I don't only mean respect in terms of not polluting, taking your rubbish away etc
Respect, in my opinion is a lot more.
We increasingly see accidents happen
The most recent, a few days ago in Italy, where at least 10 hikers lost their lives due to a flash flooding, and just a few weeks ago, 5 lost their life canyoning in Corsica also because of weather circumstances. Just on the website canyon collective you can find a list of accidents and near misses that should scar the bravest of us. Not to talk about winter slavines and off piste skiers and snowboarders risking their lives. I have to admit I experienced a near drown while surfing before.
And I learnt my lesson.
Despite everything - nature is unpredictable. And you should respect that. You should respect that you are only tiny in comparison, and you don’t know what nature is gonna throw at you next. Maybe a wave slightly bigger than other in the set, which will act in an anomalous way and maybe you are in the wrong spot. Maybe an unexpected gust of wind that will break that tree just above you. A patch of land that has suffered from too much dryness and will disappear under your feet. A random cloud that will downpour on you filling that small river that looked so innocent a few minutes before.
Chances are you can predict it
Chances are you cannot.
But here is what i learnt as a scout and I will take with me for the rest of my life:
You can be prepared. Estote parati sempre.
So here are my solutions to stay as safe as possible
- know your limits.
- listen to experts
-follow rules. If it says no access there might be a reason for it...
- study the territory before going in
- have the right gear
- know a few survival tips for the situation. Know what you should do should you end up in a bad situation. Have a few scenarios before hand that you can think of how to escape. Knowing it before hand should save you in a panicked situation
- be aware and alert
- don’t make it a bravery competition
- respect that you are only small in this giant universe
I would like to know if you have something to add
In the meantime...stay safe!
Hello again and happy weekend!
This weekend marks one year of me living in the Netherlands - yes already one year, hard to believe eh!
I have to say this place has been in many ways inspiring in my journey to a more sustainable life.
There is nothing more Italian than a nice jar of "passata".
Honestly, tomatoes make me happy - a taste of home, when away from home.
Bring so many memories, fresh tomatoes with mozzarella and basil in summer, simmering pot of ragu' on the stove, mixed with tuna and olives for my mum's simple pasta al tonno recipe...
Yet, this simple goodness has some harsh hidden truth that many of my international readers may struggle to grasp...
Have you ever wondered how can a can of passata only cost a few cents?
Usually cheap food comes with hidden addition of chemical ingredients, but tomato passata no. Just tomatoes and salt. Same for chopped or pelati, max some citric acid to preserve, but that is not the problem. So, one may be lead to think that it is okay to spend so little, and the pricier brands are only going to profit the brand name, so might as well reach for the cheap bottle...
HALT. STOP. ARRETE.
Yes, because reaching for that cheaper bottle is feeding the mafia.
You read right. Your so-simple tomatoes hide a mafia system.. One filled with slavery.
Oh gosh. You didn't know, did you?
Every year, this story comes out. This time it came out because something bad recently happened.
16 people have died on the road. 16 of the slaves. Treated without dignity, packed in a truck that was taking them to the fields. Ended up in a road accident. But who knows, if it wasn't for that then maybe none would speak about the "caporalato" of the tomato industry?
So. Do the right thing and question yourself when you see cheap food: how can it be so cheap?
1) Does it have chemicals instead of the real thing?
2) How can they produce it so cheaply?
3) Could people be mistreated in the production process?
4) Can animal be mistreated in the production process?
If you can afford it - go for the more expensive alternative
If you cannot afford it, treat it as a treat and buy something else for the every day...
The Plastic free and the zero waste movements are getting bigger and bigger by the minute. Thanks to social media and various plastic free challenges (of which, the #plasticfreejuly has just ended), more people are starting to (or at least willing to) limit their waste, particularly plastic.
This is great news!
More people becoming aware..as they say, better late than never, right?
But there is a catch
I am an active member of many of the social media groups related to this issue. and strikingly what I see most often is that there are many people really willing to skip the plastic but finding themselves stuck for options when doing their regular shopping. For example, most fruit and veg at supermarkets comes with ridiculous amount of plastic packaging. Bread comes wrapped in plastic. Cheese, ham, fish.. you name it! All wrapped up. Yes, maybe some places have a fresh counter which allows you to bring your own container, but trust me they are just a few. Safety regulations imposed from somewhere “up top” may impede the server behind the counter to serve you in your own containers (probably a temp, underpaid employer - poor guy/girl, do not get mad at him/her for obeying stupid rules and not risk losing the already precarious job..).
The truth is, trying to be zero waste and boycotting plastic all require an enormous amount of extra effort and extra expenditures. Finding a local farm might not be easy for all, similarly going to butchers, farmers markets, fish mongers.. it requires extra effort, extra planning, extra kilometres, extra fuel, extra time..extra everything! Of course, it is the search for convenience that drove the need for the extra packaging in a way and our busy lifestyles are sustaining the “to-go” economy.
But now we are in a vicious circle. Where is extra hard to avoid supermarkets, and because of this they will not change or disappear because a few of us are “avoiding them”. But we become dependent on them so they continue. Even if you do manage to shop plastic free at the supermarket, how many things are you depriving yourself of because are wrapped? And are we seriously fool enough to think that a few people not buying yogurt or not buying the packaged fruit will make any big difference? The packages are produced up top anyway. If the fruit doesn’t get bought, it will end jn the landfill together with the packaging. Honestly, I don’t know what’s worse. At least if i buy it i might try to recycle it…
So. What if instead of passively avoiding we did something more active?
I am not saying we should do an armed revolution. But maybe complain loudly, if we do it all together we may be heard. Plastic can be avoided from the top.What if while going plastic free we denounce on social medias, taking videos in the stores, emailing stores every day, calling customer services, being on them trying to get to the top people (again don’t get angry with the poor temp employee…) ? We might have a better chance to change things. I want to be hopeful..
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