Conscious about conservation – Krissy Middleton

Conscious about conservation – Krissy Middleton

It’s the first blog post of the month which means it’s time for another Scientist Showcase. For October please welcome the inspirational Krissy (@conservationistkrissy).

Krissy is a 27 year-old postgrad studying Conservation and Biodiversity and writes her super amazing blog “Conservationist Krissy”, which you just have to check out! I love following what she does via Instagram, I learn a lot from her. I’m therefore so excited to introduce you to her, over to you Krissy!

Krissy

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Tell us a little bit about you

People always ask questions like “what made you want to..?” or “do you remember the moment you decided to..?’, but to be honest I never had that ‘life changing moment’ people speak of.  My affinity for wildlife and the natural world is something that has resonated in me since before I can recall!  It may sound cliché, however, I could not imagine doing anything else with my life; I feel a genuine responsibility to protect our planet and the creatures we share it with.

After finishing school, I travelled to Madagascar for conservation, studied sports science for a year, worked in client servicing (finance), researched wildlife in South Africa, backpacked around Indo and Australia, and then decided to return to school and follow my dream.  Earlier this year I finally achieved my first class degree in Animal Conservation, and am beyond excited to be a part of the latest Conservation student cohort at University of Exeter. 

I’m passionate about community engagement and science communication, I want to facilitate plastic pollution mitigation efforts, I want to travel and work in the field, and I’m really interested in solutions to human-wildlife conflict. So, who knows where I’ll end up!

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What inspired you to start your blog?

University has opened my eyes to so many conservation issues and cutting-edge wildlife research, and has allowed me to develop my writing skills.  So, a little over a year ago I realised I wanted to communicate what I was learning, to influence and educate other people, and to simply have an outlet for everything I was thinking and feeling about conservation.  So enter ‘Conservationist Krissy’!

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So you’re transitioning to a zero-waste lifestyle? Tell us more!

Being a conservation student can have its drawbacks; learning about all the issues our planet is facing can be infuriating and overwhelming.  BUT, that doesn’t dissuade me.  I have seen the power humans can have when they come together; the change that one person can make, no matter how small.

I am working towards eliminating plastic from my life and reducing the waste that we produce.  Marine plastic pollution is a devastating issue and one that does need to be taken seriously.  I want everybody reading to understand that myself and other zero-waste bloggers are not preaching, we are simply passionate about protecting the environment and honestly believe that a zero-waste lifestyle is do-able.

Hopefully, when people understand the impact it has on the creatures we love (turtles, whales, and even your dog!) they will feel compelled to make a change.

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Any beginner tips to lead a more environmentally sustainable way of living?

Buy the following items: a re-usable coffee mug and a re-usable water bottle.  Single-use plastic bottles are one of the worst offenders and if we could all commit to refusing them we would start to significantly reduce plastic waste.

The best advice I can give is to organise yourself if you are committed to making a change – do your research, decide where and when you can do your shopping, and take everything you need! If you’re going to make the change sustainable (longevity), it’s best to make changes gradually – it’s like dieting, you won’t stick to it if you wake up one day and try and do it all at once.

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How do you balance work and personal life?

It’s something I’ve always struggled with because I am so desperate to do well.  Having said that, I am learning.  I do my best to fit in the things that I enjoy; Crossfit, hiking/walking, reading, and relaxing with my two boys.  It sounds ludicrously obvious, but when I make time for these things I perform better, and I enjoy my work more.

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I am going into this year with a slightly different attitude.  I am organised, I schedule, and I adhere to deadlines.  But I will not turn down the things that matter; I am going to make sure I take time for me, and for my relationship.

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Thank you so much for asking me to be part of your showcase feature. Keep doing you Lisa! x

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And finally, a day in the life of Krissy!

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A massive thank you to Krissy for sharing her story and tips in helping us lead a more environmentally sustainable life! She really is so inspirational so please check out her blog and follow her and her journey on Instagram.

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