CAN WE HELP NATURE HEAL?

7 billion people on the planet - Mother Earth has put up with a lot.

We are reaching a crisis point...

In recent weeks we have seen peaceful protests across London and other major cities around the world, the environment has risen to the top of the political agenda but the truth is beginning to be spoken. This has culminated in the UK Parliament declaring an Environment and Climate Emergency – just hours after approving a third runway at Heathrow… I mean it’s just insane! Heathrow's expansion is symbolic of everything that's been so wrong about the UK's approach to climate change. The great and the good nod their heads and say the right things; meanwhile, it's full steam ahead with adding another 260,000 flights a year to Heathrow's current 480,000 capacity. The airport is already the UK's biggest polluter, and it's set to get much worse.

The UN IPBES report on biodiversity (released on Monday) shows that our way of life is causing nature to collapse. With this devastating news comes an incredible opportunity: a chance to help nature heal. Is climate change something that worries you? Do you think about it daily?

We do… and that’s why we want to share with you what we know and how we all can help.

Some highlights of what the UN IPBES report found:

  • Three-quarters of the land-based environment and about 66% of the marine environment have been significantly altered by human actions. On average these trends have been less severe or avoided in areas held or managed by Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities.

  • More than a third of the world’s land surface and nearly 75% of freshwater resources are now devoted to crop or livestock production.

  • The value of agricultural crop production has increased by about 300% since 1970, raw timber harvest has risen by 45% and approximately 60 billion tons of renewable and nonrenewable resources are now extracted globally every year – having nearly doubled since 1980.

  • Urban areas have more than doubled since 1992.

  • Plastic pollution has increased tenfold since 1980, 300-400 million tons of heavy metals, solvents, toxic sludge and other wastes from industrial facilities are dumped annually into the world’s waters, and fertilizers entering coastal ecosystems have produced more than 400 ocean ‘dead zones’, totalling more than 245,000 km2 (591-595) – a combined area greater than that of the United Kingdom.

We are now the defacto stewards of all life in the known universe. And we are running out of time... 

There has been a colossal shift in public attitudes within the last year, it is now becoming politically realistic to rethink how we produce food, live and relate to the rest of the natural world. We should not only be seeking to protect what is left but also to restore what was lost. It's not only the fashion industry that should be taking sustainability seriously. EVERY company and industry is accountable and will all pay the price if we don't start taking positive action now.

This is something that really is in our hearts, it is behind every decision we make and a key driver to our whole existence. Our founder Kati was working in the fashion industry for many years. Fed up with what she was seeing around the world, the excess and throw away of fast fashion, the inequality and the damage this system was causing - drove her to start Kati Kaia, a brand she could stand behind and truly believe in, knowing every practice in the creation of product and bring back long forgotten slow fashion techniques such as natural vegetable dyes and other crafted techniques (to come), alongside a foundation of creativity with compassion and nature at its core. Though we are at the beginning of our story, we are carbon neutral and strive to take that forward as we develop. We are a small fish in the ocean. The wellness and yoga industry on a whole are pretty aware, awakened and educated when it comes to climate change and the new generation coming fourth demand change, demand to know what they can do to make a difference and as it’s their children that this will all affect, it’s a darn good way to be - before it’s too late.

Demand Change…

The UN’s Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) report is the most damning of its kind and reveals our consistent and extensive failures to address the accelerating loss of biodiversity. It is both shaming and shocking. Little or no progress has been made towards halting extinctions, loss of habitat or restoration of ecosystems, within safe ecological limits or sustainable production and consumption.

We must radically transform the ways in which we live with nature and to do so will require evidence-based and science-led interventions by the public, the private sector and the government.

Human behaviours, including our reliance on degenerative as opposed to regenerative practices, manifest in land use change, which is the major cause of what is now a rapidly accelerating loss of biodiversity. The failures to make progress show that it is our collective duty now to reject complacent and inadequate responses and to rebel. The future of all life is at stake.
— Dr Alison Green, National Director (UK) Scientists Warning and spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion
YOGA MATS
We can’t save the world by playing by the rules, because the rules have to be changed.
— Greta Thunberg, Activist

#FridaysForFuture is a movement that began in August 2018, after 15 years old Greta Thunberg sat in front of the Swedish parliament every school day for three weeks, to protest against the lack of action on the climate crisis. She posted what she was doing on Instagram and Twitter and it soon went viral. On the 8th of September, Greta decided to continue striking every Friday until the Swedish policies provided a safe pathway well under 2-degree C, i.e. in line with the Paris agreement. The hashtags #FridaysForFuture and #Climatestrike spread and many students and adults began to protest outside of their parliaments and local city halls all over the world. This has also inspired the Belgium Thursday school strikes.

Greta Thunberg, is on the latest cover of TIME magazine, declaring that, now, she is 'speaking to the whole world'. The sixteen-year-old environmentalist, who featured on TIME's Influential People Of 2019 list for her efforts demanding political action to save the environment last month and is now the magazine's cover star. This Friday she is back encouraging global strikes for the future on May 24th 2019. At her last global protest there were at least 1.6 million strikers on all 7 continents, in more than 125 countries and in well over 2000 places.

She says: ‘School children are required to attend school. But with the worsening Climate Destruction this goal of going to school begins to be pointless. 
- Why study for a future, which may not be there?
- Why spend a lot of effort to become educated, when our governments are not listening to the educated?’ Greta requests that people strike in front of their closest town hall, every Friday. With a sign, take a picture and post it with the hashtags #Fridaysforfuture #Climatestrike.

Will you be striking this Friday? Would you let your children strike?

 
 

Another big organisation making huge strives in peaceful protest is Extinction Rebellion. This London based collective is taking on the government… HEAD ON! You would have seen them shut down vast amounts of London and all-over the world in late April - which sparked huge conversations throughout government and throughout the media.

“The natural world is collapsing because of how we live and we will go with it unless we act now. We must accept that we can’t go on as we are. Not only are we destroying nature but we’re worsening our own health and making it harder for us to feed ourselves. It’s time to rethink how we grow food, travel and look after the countryside. However, too much of the focus has been on greenhouse gases and climate change. We also face an ecological crisis – the sixth mass extinction – which is as dangerous for our planet as climate change. The report delivers a stark message that humanity is engaged in the mass annihilation of other species with whom we share our home. This collapse in biodiversity also poses a major risk to the future of humanity as the biodiversity of plants cultivated for food and the global population’s health are both under severe threat - It may mean hard choices but the rewards are enormous. Within our lifetime we could see nature restored and our children’s future secured.” Lorna Greenwood, spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion.

Extinction Rebellion’s key demands are:

  1. Government must tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency, working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change.

  2. Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.

  3. Government must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.

They are encouraging a movement of honesty and change, Extinction Rebellion is an international movement that uses non-violent civil disobedience to achieve radical change in order to minimise the risk of human extinction and ecological collapse. Did you join the protests or will you? What is the next steps?

Learn more about the movement on the UK website: https://rebellion.earth/ or International website: https://xrebellion.org/

Only a peaceful planet-wide mobilisation of the scale of World War II will give us a chance to avoid the worst case scenarios and restore a safe climate
The task before us is daunting but big changes have happened before. Let’s make a better world.

 
 

Sometimes I feel so hopeless when I watch my neighbours weekly ASOS delivery, her gas guzzling Range Rover (eye roll) and planning permission letters coming through the door, as we open up the green belt for development. It makes me want to move away and hide my head in the sand… But what can we do? Let’s start with educating others and spreading the word…

It’s time to slow down our lifestyles, take a look around our homes and look at the products we use. So do these small changes even make a difference when fracking continues and fossil fuels run the world? Well actually yes if we can educate world-wide and in our next blog post we will take a look into how we can all help…

Namaste x

You can check out the UN report here.

You can sign the petition to add more pressure to the UK government here.

To read more of the reality of what a UK climate change emergency means for us here.