PLASTIC FREE HOME: BBC TV presenter Michaela Strachan on the problems facing our planet…

David Lamont
David Lamont

From 90s children’s television through to the BBC’s CountryFile, Springwatch and Autumnwatch programmes, presenter and nature lover Michaela Strachan has been on our screens for three decades. We got her views on things…

How would you describe the challenges facing our planet?

The challenges are huge and there are so many. Habitat loss, climate change, consumerism, greed, plastic pollution, the list goes on.

Deforestation is a massive threat right now. If we compared the rate of loss relative to a city, the whole of London, would be wiped out in just under a week – just think how many people that would make homeless. It certainly puts it into perspective.

Do we still have time to turn things around?

I think that there has recently been a real shift in consciousness.

People are certainly more aware than they were. With movements like The Extinction Rebellion, the amazing young campaigner Greta Thunberg, parliament declaring a state of climate emergency, documentaries like Our Planet, people can’t help but be aware.

As David Attenborough has said: ‘Saving our planet is within our reach’. The human species is incredible at reacting in a crisis and coming up with amazing and innovative solutions and there is no doubt that we have reached the crisis stage.

We have to all make an enormous shift in our thinking, our habits and our way of life. And put the planet before profit and that’s a huge challenge. 

A recent study by New Zealand Cider brand (delicious by the way – ed) Old Mout showed that 80% of Brits want more ways to take action, and that those aged 45-54, closely followed by millennials, that want to spearhead the changes.

How does the situation make you feel?

I tend to have huge swings in my emotions when it comes to the future of the planet and what we have done to it. When you look at the facts, it’s hugely depressing, but then you look at what people are achieving and it lifts you back into a more positive frame of mind. 

I am ashamed at the absurdity of humanity, the crazy things we do thinking we are progressing and moving forward when so often we aren’t.

Do you think that big brands are taking things seriously and doing enough?

Many aren’t but it’s great to see that others are.

I’ve been working with Old Mout Cider now for three years, because they care about the environment.

For two years they put money into helping the endangered Kiwi in New Zealand and raised awareness; this year they’re partnering with the WWF to help save half a million acres of natural habitat and we’ve done a lot of campaigning to get people thinking and talking about how we can all be more environmentally aware.

Do you think we need to take things more seriously?

Of course, we do and we need governments and policymakers to force radical change. Individuals often think that what they do won’t make any difference, but if we all do small things it collectively makes a huge difference.

We have all been bombarded with depressing news about the state of the planet and we’ve needed that to become aware. Now we need to give people hope, ideas and inspiration. The media has a huge role to play so anyone, like you, who is doing their bit should be congratulated and supported. We can all do better but let’s support those who are striving to be more sustainable.

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