Back in the early Seventies, naturism was defined as ‘a way of life in harmony with nature, characterised by self-respect, respect for others and for the environment’. Well before then, late in the 19th century, naturists always stressed their eco-credentials. These days every summer, thousands of nude cyclists across the world protest against oil dependency and the car culture while completing in World Naked Bike Rides WNBR . So, what is it with naturists and climate change ? I guess it’s part of the earthiness you feel when you cast off your clothes and go back to nature, part of the wellbeing feeling you get being naked in the open air with the just Mother Nature for company. Being naked and not being ashamed of it or judgemental and it gives you a great sense of freedom. Added to that,the warm sun and wind on your skin feels great, it’s purity, serenity, peaceful and feels in harmony with nature. It is the ultimate acceptance of ourselves and of others. Respect for each other and nature is first priority. This is why I feel like it naturally fits in with eco/sustainable living.
In winter, you might think naturists would consume more energy heating their homes. In fact, because they’re more sensitive to rising utility bills than everyone else, so the eco-nudists’ argument goes, they tend to compensate by making their homes more fuel-efficient and better insulated, thus negating much, if not all, of this.
In summer, especially in hot climes, it’s a different matter. Naked, you expend less energy keeping cool. Indeed, if you’re communing with nature daily, you may not use any generated energy as immersion in a convenient pond or river often suffices. Another plus factor is that habitual naturist; tend not to have as many detergent-residue phosphates on their skin, chemicals which aren’t natural. Because of the free circling air around the naked body you are unlikely to sweat as much or smell and will you not use as much body spray every day, most times a shower a day keeps the pong away.
Even going on a naturist holiday in summer can help the environment as it requires 1lb of aviation fuel to shift 2lb of payload, and 1lb of jet fuel produces 3.1lb of CO2, it’s clear that a naturist beach-bound flier is more environmentally sound than perhaps even three of his suitcase-equipped, textile counterparts. Then when you get home there will definitely be less washing to do and your carbon footprint could be reduced further still. This kind of philosophy isn’t altogether new mind you. In the late 19th century Anarchist naturism appeared as the union of anarchist and naturist philosophies. Mainly it had importance within individualist anarchist circles in Spain, France, Portugal and Cuba.
Anarcho-naturism advocated vegetarianism, nudism and an ecological world view within anarchist groups and outside them. Anarcho-naturism promoted an ecological worldview, small ecovillages, and most prominently nudism as a way to avoid the artificiality of the industrial mass society of modernity. Naturist individualist anarchists saw the individual in his biological, physical and psychological aspects and tried to eliminate social determinations. Important promoters of this were Henri Zisly and Emile Gravelle who collaborated in La Nouvelle Humanité followed by Le Naturien, Le Sauvage, L’Ordre Naturel, & La Vie Naturelle.
Clubs, naturist retreats and other venues around the world too are open to some kind of eco naturism; campsites are situated on beautiful land, in deep countryside and sometimes are not connected to mains power or water. The locations being “out of the way ” provides opportunities to build ‘off-grid’ facilities with as much care for the environment as we could afford. There are various systems some I’ve mentioned already in earlier posts, here’s a general rundown on some of them.
Solar panels are by far the most popular way to generate electricity. This is mainly because they are the only system that is suitable for urban areas, and so are the most suitable for the majority of people. Also a wind turbine can be a very effective way to generate your own power too. Solar water heating also takes the heat from the sun, and uses it to heat water to use in the sinks, showers etc. Like solar PV, you need a roof that faces between south east and south west. However, for solar thermal panels you need less space.
For domestic heating purposes, biomass tends to mean wood in the form of logs, wood pellet or wood chip. Heat pumps work like a fridge in reverse. They take heat from the ground, air or water, and use an electric pump to boost it to the right temperature to keep your house warm, and sometimes also for water heating. Air source heat pumps attach to the outside wall of the building, and look much like the fans on air conditioning units. Ground source heat pumps generate power too but need lots of space, as pipes are buried in trenches of 1.5+ metres deep.
We have grown more aware of the importance of saving the planet even in small ways during the last 20 years ,so we should encourage others to ‘go green’ too. We can all buy environmentally friendly products and use green technology if finances allow, but everyone can learn how to reduce, re-use and recycle. This is saving the planet as well, by cutting Co2 output and this is very important to, so perhaps naturists are right, and theirs is a philosophy we should all adopt. It makes ecological sense that naturists are eco-friendly, then you can feel good that you’re helping the environment when stripping off. Being nude isn’t the only thing that’s natural; naturism fully embraces this naturel eco lifestyle.