Mediaplanet spoke with Les Stroud — the legendary do-it-yourself filmmaker, survivalist, musician, and environmentalist — to discuss the importance of a circular economy and how reconnecting with nature is the key to getting Canadians on board with reducing waste and saving the environment.

Mediaplanet: What does the term “circular economy” mean to you, and is reducing waste something you advocate for?

Les Stroud: A circular economy is the ever-turning cycle and flow of goods and services in a way that feeds back into its own system in a kind of positive feedback loop. Reducing is not simply something to advocate for — it’s a necessary way to move forward into the future. There should be a mandated grouping of laws and regulations that industry must abide by in order to reduce waste. 

One of the main topics of discussion right now is the volume of plastic waste in the oceans and in nature at large. How have you seen wastefulness affect nature?

The waste in nature is choking natural systems and the way that they flow and function. It’s interrupting cycles that have been free to morph and ebb and flow for millions of years by bogging them down in materials that the planet isn’t ready to handle, at least not in any kind of expedient manner.

You’ve spoken about how we don’t have enough urgency when it comes to protecting the environment. Do you see more people getting on board to fight climate change?

Les stroud

The number of people — especially younger people — getting on board to fight climate change is growing exponentially to the point where I believe the next revolution will be an environmental one. 

Your music has provided a commentary on the state of the environment and nature. Will you be doing the same with your new album?

Yes — most if not all of my music is connected in some way to nature, to either celebrate it, warn about issues related to it, or bring about a call to action. 

How has your audience responded to the environmental messages in your music? 

They seem to respond with great appreciation for the fact that I’m not pulling punches and that I’m saying things that need to be said but aren’t, or are being delivered in soft, safe ways instead of straight and upfront. 

You’ve mentioned before that you drew from the same inspiration for both Survivorman and your music. Do you think reconnecting with nature is the key to getting more minds to change concerning the environment?

I think reconnecting to nature is the only key to getting more minds to change concerning the environment. Nature itself is the ultimate authority if you stop to listen to it. Humans are only facilitators — nature is the teacher.