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Take care of existing resources – Paul Preston

Chairman of Stufish, co-founder of Eyes Wide Opened, living in Portugal

None of us have ever faced a situation like this. Our parents/grandparents fought for our freedom of thought, freedom of action and movement and within a few short weeks, many of these are under severe threat. 

This new reality brings out the best and the worst in people. Watch banks and football clubs! However, I’m focussed on a better, cleaner, less wasteful, more understanding world and I dream that the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals to transform our world have a better chance of getting traction and delivery. My personal contribution is on the “waste” goal.

I dream that we will all learn to use products more frugally and take real care of how we use resources. Each of us can make a difference.

I wonder what people use toilet rolls for? I’m not suggesting going back to a stick with a sponge on it, but!

People and businesses need to rethink, think the unthinkable, about how they do things. Rethinking the way we manufacture and distribute products. Smaller, flexible production  units, closer to the customer and point of need.

Relearning the art of walking, breathing and really taking in and caring for our environment and accepting that David Attenborough might have a point! Listen to birdsong, watch and hear the ants scuttle along, marvel at the wild flowers, the magnificence of trees and bushes.

I dream that recent examples of re-energising our communities, offering help and care to people who live close by, will continue. Brits are great givers of money to charity. Whilst this will hopefully continue, the value of giving time, showing more tolerance, listening intently, valuing and learning from what people say, the value of a smile, saying hello, saying thank you, will endure long after the crisis is over!

I dream that what we have learned about ourselves and our relationships will also endure.

These small actions will make a great difference. 

The next months will be super testing and we will encounter visible shifts in everyone’s mental and physical shape. 

Be tolerant and get comfortable with all this and demand of yourself that you ask “What have I done today to make this world, our world, a better place?”. It’s not difficult, try it.