EARTH in conversation with Tom Levitt

‘Buy less and waste less’. This was Guardian journalist, Tom’s Levitt’s, answer to the EARTH’s question about what we can all do to reduce our environmental impact.

We were delighted to be joined by Tom Levitt via Zoom on Monday 13 June to hear about his career in journalism and his reflections on food production and the environment.

Tom encouraged pupils to find what they enjoy and pursue it, regardless of setbacks. He gave us an insight into his career path and said that a flexible approach had suited him and that it was not essential to have a firm, set plan as long as you make the most of opportunities and contacts along the way. Tom later explained the importance of transparency and honesty in investigative journalism, and the need to check and verify all claims, to avoid litigation.

Tom stated that everything has an environmental impact and warned us to be wary of misleading marketing claims that make a product seem environmentally benign. Tom also talked about the importance of being curious about supply chains and considering the impacts of our purchases of food and non-food items on other people and places. Tom then reminded us that big corporations care about reputation and profit and encouraged pupils to use their power as consumers to ask questions about social and environmental impacts, and send messages about what they care about via their purchasing decisions. Tom ended by highlighting the importance of education systems to promote a ‘less impactful way of life’, starting with the mantra, ‘Buy less and waste less’.

Many thanks to Tom Levitt for making the time to speak to us, and for sharing insights into his career and research. Thanks to Jonny Muir in the English Department for setting up the meeting, and to EARTHers for their curiosity and great questions.

The Environmental Action Research Team at Heriot’s (EARTH) runs on Monday lunchtimes in the Geography Department for S1-S6. All welcome!

There is always something going on at Heriot’s. Extra-curricular activities enrich the experience of our individual pupils and the life of the school. We offer a huge range of activities each session and encourage our young people to try out a variety of pursuits outside the classroom.