My name’s Anna Hughes and I’m an environmentalist. This feels like a confession or something that should be mentioned in a whisper.
My whole life I’ve been aware of environmental issues, and as I’ve grown older and learned more about the world, more and more of my decisions have been made with the environment in mind. I no longer buy fast fashion – most of my clothes are from charity shops. My water usage is very low – I have a composting toilet and I rarely wash my hair. I’ve been vegan for many years, I’ve never owned a car, and I don’t fly.
Up until now I’ve been happy to live to my values, and let others live to theirs, being a ‘secret’ environmentalist or at least a ‘quiet’ influencer – my friends and family are aware of my beliefs, and perhaps it rubs off on them a little, and so far I’ve felt that’s good enough.
But not any more. We are on the cusp of climate breakdown; all the warnings say that runaway climate change is a mere decade away. We absolutely have to act, for the good of the planet, and for the very survival of the human race.
Tackling this is not going to be easy: it requires a complete overhaul of our current lifestyles. No more ‘I recycle so I do my bit.’ For many of us, it involves changing almost everything about the way we live.
Such is the urgency of the climate crisis that I’m no longer satisfied with my own individual actions. I’m now talking openly and emphatically about climate change, and I am trying my hardest to encourage others to make those sustainable choices, too. That was the motivation that led me to launch Flight Free UK. The campaign asks people to pledge not to fly in 2020 if 100,000 others make the same pledge.