A Deep Level Of Sadness For Orangutans

Posted on November 12th 2019 by Jason Rawles

I’ve just finished watching the BBC documentary called Natural World and in particular the episode about Orangutans (Red Ape – Saving The Orangutan) and the fact they are critically endangered. More so, critically endangered because of us. I feel a deep level of sadness and felt compelled to write this blog.

I think my deep level of sadness is as much for the environment as a whole as we have so many inputs. Perhaps it’s becoming confusing. Perhaps it’s just me. Fuel, plastic, animals, meat etc. so I wanted to give you a view of how I am going to do things.

It’s my simple view and I’m sure I could do more. However, I do have to live and work and enjoy my life but also be aware of my social purpose and take some positive action.

Since this started with Orangutans I’ll start with my first point…palm oil…which is devastating the environment where these beautiful creatures live.

I also want to look at this in terms of communicate, educate and inspire. Not just me but for us all.

Palm oil and Borneo

  1. We share 97% of our DNA with Orangutans and as wise people it’s crazy that we are destroying what are fundamentally our relatives. Firstly, I am educating myself as to what I am using that has palm oil in and will phase it out. I could go and throw it all out but that’s just wasteful. I am also considering that some palm oil is sustainable. The website Good To Know has some easy to understand information that’s helping me…CLICK HERE to read it.
  2. Our greed and laziness (business and consumer) has led a forceful domination of nature that is causing wide and sweeping effects. I am educating myself (and will be communicating about) the brands that are worse offenders. I will doing everything possible to stop the personal use of their products and encourage any organisation I work with to do the same. Greenpeace have a website of top offenders and CLICK HERE to have a look.
  3. In places like Nepal, as part of the Aspire Adventures expeditions that I run, there are charities supported that bring more social purpose to what’s happening. I’ll be reaching out to International Animal Rescue to see how I can support via a Borneo expedition. My thinking cap is on with that one but Borneo has been on my radar. I’ve also just bought someone a gift of Motherly Love which is babysitting the baby Orangutans – CLICK HERE to do the same or a virtual gift like food.

Single use plastics

  1. While I have blogged about this before I still have more work to do. My laziness needs to be put in check. Sometimes after long, hot days in the mountains I’ll find myself with a bottle of soft drink. I really HAVE TO stop doing this. A can would suffice and even better, nothing. I am constant work in progress.
  2. Again, directly linked to laziness is the odd coffee while out and about while travelling. There really is no excuse. I don’t need to have a coffee (or tea) and I know I feel dreadful afterwards. I can carry a thermal mug with me and pretty much every coffee outlet around the world will accept it. I must do better…
  3. I can honestly say that I haven’t bought any single use bottles of water for ages. However, I have worked with numerous companies who have supplied plastic bottles of water as part of what they’re offering. I can and should make a stronger moral stance on this. It can be sorted and dealt with and I must continue to push and educate as again, there is no major excuse. Aspire Adventures doesn’t use plastic bottles, we supply reusable bottles as and when, we move jerry cans of water around the mountains to refill and we educate as part of any joining process. This also applies to expeditions and how kit from Pure Hydration can help.

The wider environment

  1. The palm oil stuff is right on my radar and single use plastics is a hot topic. I am also (plus have been) reducing my red meat consumption which is HARD! I love steak and I love bacon but I have to consider the impact of the energy and impact in getting that to be table. Yes, I can support local and more sustainable produce but in the absence of that being available the process is to reduce it. It was the Netflix documentary called Cowspiracy that brought this to my attention.
  2. Travel doesn’t just cost a lot it’s also bad for the environment. That said, it’s a necessary evil. I am looking to reduce it as much as I can and think about using trains where cost and time allows. I’ve also been planting tree’s to offset the carbon created from not just my travel but also those who have been investing their money in to joining Aspire Adventures workshops, events, team development days etc.
  3. I’ve mentioned above about red meat consumption as that seems to have the biggest impact but we need to consider meat as a whole. At the moment I am going 2 days minimum (ideally 3) days a week without meat. I may go more but to be quite open, I love turkey and I love salmon. Having worked as a butcher in my younger years I also don’t want to see this trade disappear due to everyone in the world stopping eating meat. Just my view of course!

What’s next..?

Well, I need to organise myself better and make better decisions. I am nowhere near where I want to be in terms of supporting this amazing planet we live on.

I’m by no means a big hitter in terms of damage but I’m also no angel. I can do better and I believe we can all do a little more.

We won’t change the planet as individuals but we can collectively make positive changes which have a wide and sweeping impact…

Are you in?

Let me know in the comments below and perhaps share some stuff that you’re doing that maybe I’ve missed? It may help inspire others.

I suppose all we can do is our bit…

Thanks for reading and please do share.


PS – please do support the Orangutans as my heart is broken after the documentary…

One response to “A Deep Level Of Sadness For Orangutans”

  1. Mr Michael J CHANDLER says:

    Hi Jason.

    Completely agree with your statements above and also my wife and I saw the programme and it has certainly changed our perspective.
    We now check everything we buy for Palm oil and other associated ingredients. If it contains it, we dont buy it. We have had to make some pretty drastic changes already to our normal brands but know it will help improve the dreadful situation.
    We have also cut meat from our diet 6 out of 7 days a week. It’s a struggle at first as we have both been meat eaters our entire lives but, with more practice, it’s getting easier to make meals which are equally as tasty and obviously much better for us and the environment.
    Let’s hope other follow suit and make changes, however small they are at first.
    I dont want to be a person telling my children in years to come “I remember those animals but they’re extinct now”.

    Keep sharing the love mate!


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