What is Wild even about anyway?
Time for a confession: I don’t know anything about the environment. I am the last person I would consult for advice on how to live a more sustainable life. A part-time vegetarian, I’m regularly baffled by local recycling systems, and I haven’t even watched the latest Blue Planet.
Naturally, the thing to do was to launch an online magazine about sustainability for students. Not in spite of knowing nothing, but because of it. Eco-friendly lifestyles have long held the connotation of hippies in long flowing dresses hugging trees and holding hands. I was slightly afraid of my vegan friends because my questions felt too stupid to ask. Sustainable materials and not damaging the environment seemed very expensive and time-consuming. I used my own ignorance as an excuse not to try.
What changed was: back in winter of 2016, I was broke. Like super broke. Finding 20p in the street was a windfall of cash. I also happened to a big fan of finding bargains in charity shops. Shortly after reading my online bank account statement, I arbitrarily decided to stop buying clothes first-hand and switch to a secondhand lifestyle. Not only would it save me a ton of money but it also allowed me to feel slightly edgy and hipster. And if it helped reduce waste? Well, that’s nice too.
However it soon became apparent that by making the secondhand switch I had opened a gateway into a whole new lifestyle. It certainly did save me money, but it also made me rethink everything about ‘necessary’ clothes, must-haves, the quality of fast fashion items and consumerist culture. Charity shops were the gateway drug to a whole waste-free (and crucially, money-saving) life. I was perturbed: I hadn’t signed up for a change of philosophy, but it happened anyway.
Students reading this are probably also super broke. Not only super broke but super stressed: uni doesn’t lend itself to a laidback frame of mind. I met plenty of students who were interested in being more eco-friendly but didn’t know where to begin. The mentality was that the sheer number of changes you’d have to make to live a sustainable lifestyle was daunting and ultimately useless, and ethical societies can seem like members-only clubs to the intimidated outsider.
Wild aims to make sustainable lifestyles more transparent, efficient and accommodating the fact that none of us really know what we’re doing anyway (right guys?). You don’t have to be vegan, or an expert, and it’s ok to make mistakes. Yesterday I found a cardboard box and wrote GLASS RECYCLING on it at our student house because we’ve lost the actual bin. So we really, really aren’t here to tell you how to live your lives.
I’m not going to preach here about the reasons to be more sustainable or eco-friendly. If you need arguments about why we should save the planet, go watch Blue Planet or open a newspaper sometime. There’s no shortage of evidence or scientists telling us to act now to fight climate change. If they don’t convince you, then neither will I.
I want to approach this as a university student, for university students. WILD focuses on how you can save time and money and be sustainable within your student lifestyle. I started Wild with the assumption that there are other students like me that have no money, no spare time and are unwilling to commit to things that require getting out of bed.
We want to hear from students about how you live a more eco-friendly life and save money in the process. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a vegetarian, a climate change expert, you’ve never recycled in your life, or you just saw a leaf that one time and thought it was neat. We want to hear what matters to you and to talk about the local ethical businesses that you love so we can promote them (and stalk their Facebook pages, Analytica-style but less illegal).
We are launching WILD today in honour of
me doing something productive before 11am World Water Day, because I don’t know about you but water seems like a pretty good thing and we’d like to keep it clean while going wild. Let’s hear from all the students, societies, organisations and businesses about what you’re doing to save the planet and save ourselves all some time by talking about it here on WILD.
Students have the power to enact change: let’s make use of it and tell people what matters to us. Starting today, let’s show people #howtobewild.
-CROWD GOES WILD-]