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Meet the Northumbria third year who organised a huge climate change march

Over 500 people attended

It's the topic that everyone is talking about: Climate change.

The climate is not changing, it is literally breaking down. There are so many things that we can do to help give some love back to Mother Nature. More and more people are turning to vegetarianism and a vegan diet, some are using reusable bags but others are taking to the streets. Here we introduce to you, Mhairi Andrews.

Last Friday protest marches took place all across the country. The Newcastle campaign was organised by Mhairi, a third year Mental Health Nursing student at Northumbria University. We spoke to her about the event and her views on students and climate change.

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What is climate change?

To me, climate change is the result of human beings being passive in their existence, meaning we are not consciously aware of the detrimental effects we have on our planet.

Climate change is the Earth telling us we need to change our ways for the sake of our survival, for the sake of our generation and future generations. Humans are a major cause of climate change due to overconsumption, pollution, deforestation, agriculture and overexploitation. Many people believe that human reproduction is a factor of climate change, however, I do not believe this to be the case.

Our pollution has spread to every single inch of the Earth. We all need to make a collective change if we are going to make this through. Mankind’s selfishness can no longer continue and Mother Nature is showing us this.

Why did you organise the march?

I organised this march because I believe in the future of humanity, the animal kingdom and nature. The most dangerous thought a person can have regarding climate change is thinking "someone else will do it". I took it upon myself because you have to be the change you want to see in the world. I want to be an advocate for our planet and to be part of this paradigm shift. We are facing a New Age Movement and humans can no longer be separate from the land.

We have to respect and regenerate our Earth so that we can live in harmony with it, instead of being fearful of its ecological collapse. I have been terrified of climate change since I was 10 years old, I am now 21 and I am sick of being terrified.

We all have the power to make a real difference. This march instils hope and allows for like-minded people to gather and fight for the same cause. We are living history right now and it is vital that everybody is involved in this global movement because it affects every single one of us.

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Should we see a more political dynamic introduced? Have Newcastle and North East MPs been working to tackle this?

Of course we should see a more political dynamic introduced. When we leave this to our leaders nothing gets done and then we turn on one another due to frustration and feeling stagnate, we need to be unite to overcome the hierarchy and the bourgeoisie, and this march is doing exactly that.

It seems as though political parties discuss sustainable energy in their manifesto but little gets done, because if it was being implemented, we would not be in this current crisis. We can no longer talk about "sustaining" the Earth, we need to be "regenerating" the Earth if we are to survive.

Politicians should be listening to the people’s worries and the scientists facts and taking action to ensure our future is safe, as well as their own. It is not right for politicians to sit idly by whilst our Earth disintegrates before our very eyes.

How do you think high street retailers, particularly supermarkets should approach climate breakdown?

Every single supermarket should be making drastic changes to their approach in production, packaging and transport of their food and products. If supermarkets like Iceland and Lidl can do it, I don’t understand why every other supermarket wouldn’t follow suit, which I think they will due to having to compete with eco-friendly supermarkets, which customers will be inclined to shop at.

We need to make stores energy efficient, source fish and wood from regenerative sources, reduce plastic packaging, making packaging recyclable or degradable.

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As a student, are there any tips you can give to other students on the best way to contribute to fighting climate change?

Reduce meat and fish intake due to agriculture and overfishing being a main cause for climate change – planetary diet – eat meat that is grass fed in a holistic or intensively rotated that is used to provide nutrients to vegetation. Students can reduce their carbon footprint by walking, cycling or getting the bus to uni.

Reduce plastic waste – take bags to the supermarket with you, life long bags, metal coffee/tea cups, stop buying bottled water – canned water, or bring your own bottle.

Grow organic food in garden – regenerate the land – eat food that does not mine the soil and is locally produced

Students should stop buying expensive materialistic things you don’t need just to follow the status quo – happiness is inward, not outward.