It will be no surprise to our Ulula friends that Ulula is firmly on the side of planet Earth!
For us, our planet is our most precious resource, and to be looked after well our soil needs to be nurtured not poisoned with chemicals – and we have been lucky enough as a family to have always understood this.
We farm biodynamically on Rush Farm where Ulula is based, and we choose brands like Holle and MOGLi because of their enduring commitment to the environment. In recently published trial results, fewer harmful greenhouse gas emmissions were discovered from biodynamic agriculture – 44% compared to 100% with the conventional system!
While it may be true to say that by our very existence we humans are hurting nature and the Earth, we can tread softly, and even where our ‘bit to help’ seems only a little bit, it is still important to strive – and to feel that in our striving we are not alone.
The third ‘State of Nature’ report, released today, is extremely upsetting reading – for us all – both adults and children.
One of the concepts mentioned is called ‘shifting baseline syndrome’ – i.e. each generation accepts the situation in which they live as normal. Once a field has been built on, we forget how it used to look as a field rather than houses. We’ve forgotten or not experienced how our countryside ‘should’ be & tend to think that what we have now is ‘normal’.
Is it time to ask ourselves as adults how our memories of the countryside differ to those of our experiences now? Where is the bird song when we walk through the park? Do you remember when journeys in the car used to be accompanied by the thuds of insects crashing into the windscreen? The age old joke always told – ”what’s the last thing that goes through a bug’s mind when it hits the windscreen?”…. Bad jokes aside, there are far fewer bugs to hit our windscreens nowadays, and as so eloquently put on the Channel4 News last night – “If you pour poison onto the land for 70 years, you’re going to kill everything!”
Our children are aware, children across the world are becoming more aware – they want to make positive changes, and we adults have to be able to hear them and help them to act not just think – by changing our views and the ways we live in our precious world.
Greta Thunberg is an inspiration to our children, and to us as grown-ups too. We used to talk about these issues between ourselves, very rarely finding others who would want to talk on these subjects with us, but thanks to Greta’s courage in the face of her very real fears, this is now an open conversation between family, friends and strangers too.
On the 20th September 2019 there was a Global Climate Strike. Greta Thunberg and the Extinction Rebellion movement coalesced on this day to lead a climate crisis protest. Millions of people marched for urgent action on climate breakdown. There have been many marches before and since – the “Fridays for Future” movement continues to ensure that there is a place and a time for children to take a stand, to not be immobilised by their fears for the future, but to collect their courage and act.
On the 20th, our children’s school agreed to go out on the march together – not just the older students who have used the “Fridays for Future” strikes to demonstrate their positions. This time all students and all teachers took direct action about something that has meaning to them – and discovered through the day a shared intent to do something.
Ulula is a family shop, run by a family, for families. But, as so often in life, we talk from the perspective of the adult, and we talk to other adults. Of course, we ‘should’ because we are adults, and as parents we make the decisions of what to buy and where from. But… maybe it is time to hear from the children:
Our School’s Global Warming Strike
On 20th September 2019, our school got together to hold a global warming strike in the nearby Mary Stephen’s Park. Other protests also happened on the global warming day. In the afternoon the whole school got together to march down clutching a placard each. When we arrived we sang to Mary Stephen’s Park. Several watchers-by filmed us! After that we scanned the area for litter. Bin bags were filled, and the park got cleaner! We approached the grounds intending to save the planet. Remember, one bottle top could take a turtle’s or any other animal’s life! Once we had spread out across the park, collecting plastic sweet wrappers, yoghurt pots, bottle lids and many other planet ruining items, we returned to the bandstand where we marched round it shouting
‘what do we want?’
‘save our planet!’
‘when do we want it?’
We chanted this back to the school hoping the whole town would hear us. My friends are also very passionate to pick up litter and help where we live make a change. Although some people may think we are only kids and won’t make a difference, I saw people videoing us. Just think, that video could get shown to a friend and then more friends. It also might make it onto facebook where lots of people would see it and also make a change.
It felt good to finally get out there and make a dent!
Theo Parsons, Aged 12