Who am I and why GAIA?
I am a change agent – a professional sustainability or Green Auditor who helps homeowners, businesses, communities and schools to live and work in ways that are environmentally sustainable. I use a Green Audit tool kit to show clients the inefficiencies that translate into wasted money and wasted resources. The low hanging fruit are mostly simple changes in behaviour but are not always easy to identify by yourself. Using return on investment calculations, clients are shown how changes that require paying for new lights, water heating, rain tanks or a range of technical efficiency measures can be paid off through the savings on reduced consumption. Going Green is a strategic approach that helps to identify the risks of rising costs and because of growing awareness it is also a positive marketing tool for businesses. And it makes you feel good simply for doing the right thing. Click to Email me.
My family has started. We recycle, grow veggies, plant indigenous, catch rainwater, shower with solar heated water, use grey water, run part of our house off photo voltaics and are experimenting with a wind turbine…… It is a journey that is fun, feels good, builds independence and resilience and is Earth Cool.
I invite you to support the local green businesses on the GAIA – Green Audits Into Action website, read the articles and share your journey and green tips. There is no Planet B if we don’t live sustainably.
Gaia is the name of the ancient Greek goddess of the Earth. Thanks to James Lovelock’s Gaia Hypothesis in modern times Gaia has become synonymous with the view of Earth as an interdependent system in which all living creatures interact with their physical and chemical environment to create and maintain the conditions for life. This relationship is a complex but self regulating balancing act. Given the predictions of respected climate scientists that humans are responsible for upsetting this balancing act and for causing the resulting Climate Confusion it is time to examine the way we live and do business. Not so much for Earth’s creatures many which will survive to create a new balance – but for human civilization which is unlikely to survive to be part of the new act.
There is change in the air – not just Climate Change!
The good news is that more and more businesses are reporting on their triple bottom line. That is, doing business in a way that is good for People, the Planet and Profit. Some countries are even talking about a GNH (Gross National Happiness) index not just their GDP (Gross Domestic Product). I am sold on the concept of Wild Law developed by internationally acknowledged environmental attorney Cormac Cullinan (who is also a South African). Wild Law argues for a new set of human laws to regulate our behaviour in order to maintain the integrity and functioning of the whole Earth community in the long term, over the interests of any species (including humans) at a particular time. This may sound like putting Nature first, but an intact functioning Earth is essential to the survival of human society.
So while too many politicians, businesses, individuals and communities today are a long way from accepting Wild Law, it along with the 3 Ps of People, Planet and Profit and the National Happiness Index illustrates the positive shifts toward a value rather than profit driven economy and a sustainable future.
Who am I?
Thinking back, I realize I have always been an environmentalist. From a hiking, diving, kayaking kid with a strong connection with Nature to a graduate of the UCT Environmental & Geographical Science Masters Programme. I started working when environmental science was a new profession in South Africa. EIAs were the buzz word and promised a strategy to weigh and balance the needs of Nature against the greeds of humans. Sadly EIAs are out of sync with the development mandate of material growth, the prevailing profit first business model and short term horizons of politicians and investors. I believe that with growing awareness about the need to live and do business in balance with Nature, Green Auditing provides a direct way of measuring our demand on Nature’s Capital and offers alternatives which are environmentally responsible.
Yours in Growing to be Earth Cool.