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Show The Love With A Green Heart

February is ‘Show the Love’ month. People across the country are wearing and sharing green hearts to show our love for the natural world in the face of climate change. ‘Show The Love’ is run by the Climate Change coalition, a Non-Governmental Organisation dedicated to action on climate change made up of 100+ member groups with over 15 million members all over the UK. On the Climate Change Coalition website there’s an interactive map showing activities around the UK and places where green hearts are available. There are some interesting mini-stories, with links to more detailed articles on the way climate change might affect such varied topics as tea, the arctic, herons, coffee, gardening, coral reefs, bluebells, hot summers and chocolate.

As a tea-drinking, bird-watching gardener the facts behind these stories make for uncomfortable reading, but obviously there’s much more to it than that. It’s about respect, about safeguarding our planet for ourselves, our wildlife and those who will inherit our world with all its wonders and all its problems. On the Climate Coalition website you can sign up to be part of campaigns or you can follow the campaign on Facebook or Twitter. Individual member organisations also often have campaigns which you can sign up to – helping spread the word and increase pressure on politicians by writing letters and joining peaceful protests.

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Show the Love for our natural world

I’ve struggled recently, like many others, to maintain a positive attitude in the face of political and environmental news. The relationship between humankind and the natural world, and our understanding of its importance, not just to our emotional well-being but to our survival as a species, seems to be degenerating by the day. Thinking about these big issues is overwhelming, leading at times to paralysis, a state where depression can affect the ability to act. So I’ve been trying to focus on the positives, trying to stay rooted in the here and now, concentrating on actions I can undertake which make a small difference.

I think about all the people around the country volunteering in community gardens, in public spaces where people can engage with nature and focus on its importance in our lives. Our community garden helps local people develop relationships with plants and the natural world. This is just a small step towards avoiding ‘plant blindness’ – a lack of awareness of the fundamental role plants play in feeding us, helping maintain our environment and treat our diseases. I think about my kids and the primary school children I work with, about the way nature opens their eyes, connecting them with the natural world – its beauty, complexity and importance.

I’ve been focusing on just two or three organisations which I can support by donating and writing campaign letters, rather than feeling I somehow have to support every cause and fight every corner. I don’t feel that focusing on the positives is evasion or delusion – it’s a coping strategy which allows me to continue fighting whilst maintaining a degree of sanity and a better quality of life.

What are your coping strategies and how helpful have you found them? What do you think are the most important steps individuals can take towards improving the way we view and safeguard wildlife and the environment? 

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I picked ivy for my green heart as it epitomises the every day plants which surround me. They aren’t unusual but they form the basis of my love of nature…

If you’d like to follow the blog to read more about the plants which have inspired my love of the natural world, just click on the link below…

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10 thoughts on “Show The Love With A Green Heart

  1. RaisieBay says:

    I love your green heart! I do worry about our planet and although I do little things myself at home, (like excessive recycling) I do wonder if there is more I could do. I will take a closer look at the green heart campaign, thanks for introducing me to it.

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    • dogwooddays says:

      Thanks very much for your helpful comment. That was the conclusion I reached in the end, although the desire to ‘save the world’ and therefore to join every cause is strong in all of us I think ☺

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  2. Rachel says:

    I found you through your Instagram feed, which I enjoy following very much. I didn’t know about this campaign, but agree that it’s so important. I will read some more into it, thanks for sharing this information.

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    • dogwooddays says:

      Hi Steve, yes it’s not been a good 12 months for the environment 😔 That’s why I’ve been making an effort recently to keep positive and stick to small actions I can take, otherwise it’s all too easy to feel that it’s hopeless. But there is a lot of good work going on out there and I think we need to celebrate that too ☺

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  3. John Kingdon says:

    Thanks for this blog. Now I’m an avid news reader, I care (and devour news) about the environment, I read the gardening press and loads of blogs. So why haven’t I heard about “Show the Love Month” until it’s more than half over? Without you, I’d still be wallowing in ignorance. Though it doesn’t help that the server hosting the site you’ve linked to a few times in the post appears to be offline today. I’ll keep trying. Thanks again for making me (and no doubt others) aware of this.

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    • dogwooddays says:

      Hi John, thanks for leaving a comment. Yes, there have obviously been issues with the website as I had to delay a day in posting because the site went down. But it was back up when I posted – hope it comes back online soon as there’s lots of interesting info. When we went to the NT Wimpole Hall last week they were handing out green heart stickers and discussing the campaign. I think there are other organisations like the RSPB and the WI, amongst others, who are also supporting the campaign. But I agree, it’s an issue which deserves more shouting about – partly why I wrote the post, even though I mainly stick to plants and gardens ☺

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