After launching Nottingham’s very own Green-thinkers book group this year, we reflect on what we’ve learnt over the past 3 months…

 

For the first meeting in September we read Tony Juniper’s ‘What has nature ever done for us?’ We chose this book as a great introduction to ‘thinking green’, a book with some key debates that challenge you to look at nature from a new perspective. Our discussion mainly focused on how often humans have consumed natural resources, only to realise it’s value in hindsight and spend billions on rectifying the damage. The group also considered the controversial question of whether we should put a price on nature? We agreed there should be greater consideration of the implications of our actions, realising nature’s intrinsic value and making more effort to protect it.

October’s book took a specific focus on nature, as we read ‘The Bees’ by Lalline Paul. A completely different read from the previous month, it is a fiction novel set entirely within a beehive. The book plays incredible attention to scientific detail of what goes on inside a beehive. Using the narration of Flora the bee to bring the story to life, the book covers a while multitude of topics including society, prejudice and survival.

For the last meeting of the year Green-Thinkers read ‘Feral’ by George Monbiot. The author uses his own experiences of travel and integration with nature, along with a whole host of research to put forward a case for rewinding the land. This would include bringing back species such as wolves, beavers and forests to the UK, potentially to the detriment of humans. We discussed to what level we think re-wilding should happen, and to what extent it would benefit humans and animals. Most of us were surprised to have our ideas of what is ‘natural’ completely changed. Monbiot talks of moors and hills, considered by most of us as wild countryside, but described in the book as desert land, of which once was rich with a variety of plant and animal species that have since become extinct. 

We would like to say thank you to everyone who has joined in reading the books and engaging in the conversations so far, and to The Tapastry for hosting us each month and providing delicious food and drinks!  

If you are interested, but aren't sure how green-thinkers relates to you then read on…

Engineers – working on solutions to the water, waste, energy etc. challenges we are discussing

Artists – be informed and inspired to create new ways of communicating sustainability concepts

Scientists – bounce idea of other professions

Business leaders – can your business not only survive the future, but also be part of the solution?

Policy makers – discuss sustainability issues in an informal setting with informed individuals

Financiers – these issues are all down to the money, what can you do?

Designers – think about redesigning products to make them more sustainable, dematerialisation, leasing rather than owning, be inspired by nature

Students – this will be the best tutor group ever!

Environmental and sustainability professionals – keep your knowledge up to date and share your thinking with other professions

Educators – debate the latest ideas and take them back to your students

Planners – consider the issues that you need to incorporate into plans for the built environment today

Sceptics of every kind

 

We are looking forward to the New Year to learn and challenge ourselves more on this hugely important topic! Let’s increase the conversation across Nottingham in 2016!