Can adventure empower us to protect the wild spaces we love?
"Climate change is quite simply the result of a disconnection between humans and the natural world.”
SunGod film AWAKEN follows three groups of SunGod Ambassadors as they explore the growing impact of climate change on their home playground. In celebration of the launch of the film this week, we’re exploring how our adventures can influence the way we perceive the impact of climate change, and how adventuring in the natural world can influence our choices to become more sustainable. During this time of reflection, here are 4 lessons we learned while making AWAKEN…
1. ADVENTURE ALLOWS US TO WITNESS THE EFFECTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE FIRST-HAND
When we’re lucky enough to adventure in the same space or environment on a consistent basis, it’s inevitable that we’ll notice change to these spaces. Home to the largest glacier in France, the Mer de Glace, Chamonix is an alpinists Mecca. Mountaineers from all around the world flock to Chamonix all bound by a determination to conquer the highest peaks in the Alps. The Mer de Glace is receding though, melting at a rate of 40m a year, and those who use it as a base for their adventures are becoming distressed by the changes they’re seeing:
“We’re keenly aware of the effects of global warming on the glaciers of Mont Blanc because it’s our playground and we’re here all year. No one can say their approach to climate change is perfect but when I’m out on the glaciers, I can observe certain things we do in life are enormously damaging to these fragile spaces. It makes me realise that we need to try to do more to minimise this damage.” Jodie Duguet, SunGod Ambassador.
2. ADVENTURE SHOWS US HOW TO SIMPLIFY OUR LIVES TO LIVE MORE SUSTAINABLY
When we’re adventuring, we’re forced to bring along only the essentials, and in doing so we discover that we can live comfortably with a lot less. For those living in the more remote parts of our planet, it’s easy to escape civilisation and learn what we truly need to exist:
“Getting out on adventures like the one we took to film AWAKEN, helps bring back the idea of simplicity. We can do a lot more than we think with a lot less, and this really shows how we can simplify our daily lives. Everything takes practice, including reducing our carbon footprint, but by adventuring, our attention is drawn to the more simple things. And this simplicity brings us closer to our environment as we realise that our carbon footprint need not be so big.” JJ Vinet, SunGod Ambassador.
3. ADVENTURE TEACHES US TO CONNECT WITH THE NATURAL WORLD
When we’re living our daily lives in towns and cities, it can be hard to consider how our actions can directly impact the natural world. By heading out adventuring, we’re able to experience these wild spaces and must connect with them, in order to adventure safely and successfully. The Australian bushfire crisis in 2020 was one example of how a disconnection between the actions of humans and the impact on nature can have devastating consequences:
“As an Australian, the bushfire crisis felt like a bad premonition coming true. Economists and scientists had long predicted that climate change would increase the likelihood of bushfires with incredible accuracy. Now the future is here, the fires have ravaged our natural spaces, and still no action is being taken to prevent it. For me, going out adventuring in the outdoors instills a sense of connection to the earth. I believe that climate change is quite simply the result of a disconnection between humans and the natural world. Quite simply, going out adventuring creates a deep connection and motivation to protect our wild spaces.” Lewis Foster, SunGod Ambassador.
4. ADVENTURE INSPIRES POSITIVE ACTION
While adventure can expose the harsh realities of climate change, it can also evoke powerful positive emotion. This emotion we feel towards adventure is exactly what we need to empower us to protect our wild spaces. There is a lot we can do to combat climate change and the foundation of this can be based not only on a fear for losing these spaces but also a deep love and connection we feel for them.
“Skiing brings me something that I can’t find anywhere else in life. So much of what we do is so contrived by us, by humans. But skiing is something else entirely and the love I feel for these adventures is mediative. The biggest problem I normally have is that the snow is too deep or which line I will take, bigger problems cease to matter! It’s ironic really because one of the bigger problems is that we may lose this in the future. This love we feel must fuel or desire to live more sustainably.” Kim Vinet, SunGod Ambassador.