Our One Planet Living Champion this month is… Greg Ryan, Sustainability Manager for LandCorp (West Australian Government’s land and infrastructure development agency)
I first came across One Planet Living while researching green developments across Europe for my work in built environment sustainability. Its simplicity interested me – the starting point being that we must operate within the limits of our single planet. The fact that it’s science-based, but also aspirational (achieving happy, healthy lives) is also one of its key strengths.
While sustainability has been a part of my life for a long time, the One Planet Living framework has helped me think more practically about what changes I can make and the implications.
For example, when we decided to install solar PV on our family home, we fitted enough to produce more energy than we consume. Even though it was not financially attractive, we wanted to be part of moving the energy system to a renewable future.
Another change we have made in our lives is getting rid of our second car. My home town Perth is a relatively young city that grew up with the motor car. We have one of the largest amounts of road per capita in the world and it is designed around people driving. So, replacing our car with a cargo bike was a big decision.
But it’s been great – our three-year old boy loves being ridden around and we love the ease of getting to the high street without searching for a parking space. I estimate that, through conscious choices to use alternative modes of transport, we have halved our car use and are enjoying the financial and health benefits associated.
People start thinking about their impact on the planet for all sorts of reasons, at different times in their lives. Whenever it happens, it’s liberating to use the One Planet Living Principles, as they make things feel less overwhelming.
Then it’s great to know that you are joining a community of people across the world – from companies, communities, cities and individuals – which are on the same journey and are generous with what they’ve learned along the way.
Photo: Mark's partner, Lee McIntosh and his son Jude arriving at a local cafe in sustainable style.