March 15

Published by Panetary Health Initiative on

The Great Unravelling

Like the beautiful world I grew up in, my baggy old moth-eaten  jumper has seen better days and I’m not prepared to wear it any more.

It’s too precious to destroy, so today, for #AYearInADay, I decided to pull it apart and recreate it.

My initial thought was a ‘shock and awe’ campaign. I imagined pulling at a thread and the whole thing rapidly unravelling.



In reality, it’s taken hours and lots of patience to pull it apart carefully, without damage, so it could be ‘rebuilt’.

I’ve preserved it all, knotting each piece of wool back together, so I can start again to create something beautiful, and equally as precious.

Over the hours I’ve worked on it this evening, I’ve meditated on what it is I value. We protect what we value and I most definitely value this jumper and the resources that went into creating it, but there are conflicting voices chattering in my head.

On the one hand, as I painstakingly picked it apart, I couldn’t help thinking how ‘expensive’ the whole process was if I were to calculate payment for my time by the hour. It’s such a flawed value proposition though, because it doesn’t take into account anything but my time.

This jumper is priceless. It was lovingly knitted by my mother just for me; I spent years enjoying wearing it, so it’s imbued with beautiful memories; a sheep would have lived for around three months on deforested grazing land to produce the wool; and who knows how many other resources went into shearing, dyeing, packaging and transporting the wool (let alone the knitting needles and the pattern my mother would have used). It’s way too precious to simply throw into the bin or compost, and suddenly a few hours seemed completely insignificant to keep this beautiful wool continuing its journey on our finite planet.

How are other people contributing to A Year in a Day?

Yesterday Paul rode his newly serviced bike to work. As soon as he finished work it started raining. So … he just waited. And when the rain stopped an hour and a half later he rode home. He said he remembered that it’s ok to just sit and wait.

After he enquired about trying to find Camellia Sinensis plants, Shona did some research and shared with us tonight that White House Nursery has them.

It’s so inspiring to hear what other people are doing, and we’re gearing up to see if we can actually reach 365 actions in one day for World Health Day on Thursday 7 April. If you haven’t contributed an action yet, why not consider joining us for a WORLD FIRST on the 7th? Email planetaryhealth(at) to let us know your action in advance.

Is it worth taking action?

Research by academics at Leeds University, engineering firm Arup and the C40 Cities climate group has identified that 73 per cent of all changes needed by 2030 to keep the world on course to meet the Paris agreement targets need to be made by governments and industry.

But private citizens have considerable influence over the remaining 27 per cent.
Join #AYearInADay Citizen Science Project to see if we can all inspire one another to do more to restore planetary health

We’d love you to collaborate with us and share any actions you take to restore planetary health in the comments below or on our social media. While we welcome you to share ANY ACTION you take to inspire others, we’ll be recording NEW or EXTRA actions that people take as part of our tally, because we’re trying to inspire one another to do more than we’re already doing. Feel free to copy some of the actions our participants have been sharing – the action only needs to be NEW for you. Let us know if other people are influenced by your posts, or ours, so that we can measure outcomes of this project. To leave a comment on this blog you’ll need to enter your name and email address.

Our first step is to record 365 new actions. Our second step will be to aim for 365 new actions in one single day. Imagine if we could do it every day of the year! You can subscribe to receive a daily action from us here


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