To round off Earth Month, the singer and songwriter talks work, mental health and taking action on climate change in a special guest edit for Marie Claire
Hi, I’m Ellie and I’m taking over Marie Claire UK as Guest Editor to celebrate Earth Month, where I’ll be talking about my passion for climate activism and why you don’t need a big platform to make powerful changes.
This week, we will be publishing expert guides on tracking and reducing your carbon footprint, the benefits of eating sustainable food, and cutting down your fast fashion consumption, while also focusing on issues that are more personal to me like mental health and motherhood.
Standing up to the climate and nature crisis is a scary thing to think about, particularly right now. Humanity is emerging from a global pandemic, there are wars going on, and so many things that are rightfully freaking people out. The temptation is to retreat – I find it overwhelming too. But then I go for a walk or I look at my son and think, “Fuck I really can’t keep avoiding this. I need to do something”.
What’s clear is that we need extreme major change now to save our future. The systems that currently govern how we farm, live and use energy are unfair and unsustainable. We need a massive transition to better systems. The good news is that we have those solutions in most cases. But that story gets overshadowed by all the doom and gloom. So if by talking about that need for a huge shift and a plan of action, I can ignite just an element of fire in people and inspire them to take action, then I’m going to do it.
We are the first generation on earth who are aware of the damage we’re doing to the earth. We are also the first generation to know what we’ve got to do to stop it. The evidence is all there, the technology is all there, we just need to implement it. So, now it’s up to us to take action.
The best thing we can all do right now is to keep informed and to realise our power. So, as a result I have chosen to focus this Guest Edit on key information and essential changes that you can make individually, that can scale up and plug you into collective action.
In short, I want to remind you how powerful you can be.
This Guest Edit will also explore my relationship with mental health, how it has changed my approach to exercise and the lessons I have learnt from becoming a mother, as well as from the inspirational people around me. I’m a natural activist but this has been challenging for me recently as I’ve been getting to grips with motherhood and having to listen to my body more than ever before.
I want to recognise and celebrate the women who have shaped me and my activism, and so we will be profiling my power player idols from the inspirational CEO of WWF UK, Tanya Steele, to my friend and climate change pioneer Stella McCartney. These women, along with many others, show us how to lead and amplify change. This is important, because in my experience, so many women tend to underestimate the influence they have.
I initially felt powerless when I found out about climate change and how rapidly it was happening, but it was the like-minded people and organisations around me that made me feel powerful.
Right now there is a global sense of helplessness and people feel like they can’t start action on their own. But it’s when individuals do the same thing and build collectively that change really starts to happen.
The government can’t ignore people for long. At some point point they have to listen. And we all have the power to use our voices and make change.
I hope that in some small way this Guest Edit empowers you by reminding you that you can make a difference too. You don’t need to have a big platform with millions of followers to have the power, you have it already.