Is it possible to create zero impact, to be fully sustainable? It’s one of those words that has come to mean everything and nothing. As Grand Design’s Kevin McCloud once said: “Sustainability is a dog of a word; a big, flaccid, empty bag you can stuff with whatever you like: sheep’s wool insulation, or community regeneration schemes, or just hot air.”
A decade on from Kevin’s pithy hot take, here we still are, trying to figure out how to live on the planet as if we mean to stay here. You might expect outdoors enthusiasts to be more open to the subject than, say, Formula One fans, but making changes to some of our less savoury lifestyle habits is proceeding painfully slowly. Travel may open the mind, but the way it’s packaged up for time pressed westerners is incredibly carbon intensive.
With this magazine we’ve attempted to showcase some alternate directions of travel: Slowing things down, going overland rather than by plane, the rewards of volunteering on environmental projects closer to home, and different ways of giving back to local communities instead of going for another ‘hit and run’ holiday fix.
As we reiterate throughout this issue, the greenest gear we have is the stuff we already own, and the most ethical journey we can make is in our own backyard. It may not be possible to leave no trace altogether, but together we can reduce that impact, so perhaps our kids and theirs might have an outdoors to go into.
Read, enjoy and share!