Bitesize Blog

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I go by several names depending on who I’m with and what I’m doing.

For my environmental work I’m known as Action Nan – taking part in regular litter picks and sharing content with my almost 7k following. I’m also the owner of award winning Bosinver Farm Cottages where I’m known as Nanny Pat. To everyone else, I’m Pat Smith. No matter who I am, my passion for the natural environment not only in Cornwall but across the world is at the centre of everything I do.

I try to share my love for the natural world with my four grandchildren and guests’ children so they can experience the same joy and wonder of nature in the hope that they will also love and take care of the environment in their turn.

As David Attenborough says:

“No one will protect what they don’t care about, and no one will care about what they have never experienced.”

Where can people follow your blog?

Instagram – @action_nan

Facebook – Action Nan

Action nan


What made you start your blog?

Watching the film ‘A Plastic Ocean’ with my son at the Falmouth Poly which was followed by a Q&A session with producer Jo Ruxton. This film shocked me to the core.

I had no idea that all the plastic I had ever consumed in my lifetime was still right here on the planet, causing massive problems for ocean wildlife.

I was not only bothered by this, I felt a massive sense of guilt and responsibility – this had happened in my lifetime and it would be a polluted world I was leaving as a legacy for my grandchildren to inherit.

What are your thoughts on Climate Change?

It’s the elephant in the room, we all know about it but the scenario is so frightening that we humans are capable of pushing it to the back of our minds and getting on with life as usual. There are many things that we as individuals can do – wash clothes at 30 degrees, turn down the heating, not jet off to foreign places so often, and so on BUT, until governments implement firm measures to decrease the use of fossil fuels we don’t stand a chance of limiting the planet overheating to a point where it’s uninhabitable. World governments must take action now!

Have you changed much about your lifestyle?

I have decided not to fly, to take the slow road to explore more of the UK and closer to home. I’m trying not to buy anything new and repair old or broken things rather than throw them away. I’m shopping local, buying locally farmed meat and vegetables. I am trying to avoid anything that is wrapped in single use plastic. I’m very aware of monitoring my heating – I’ve turned it down to 18 degrees and put on a jumper or wrap myself in a blanket while I’m watching TV. I’m fanatical about not wasting anything, especially food. I’m becoming an ace soup maker! I have unsubscribed from promotional emails and blocked adverts on social media so I’m not tempted to buy things I don’t need.

What sort of reactions do you get from people who come across this?

Most people are interested and some have been inspired to make some of the changes themselves but I don’t lecture people it’s more about them noticing and perhaps joining in because they think it’s a good idea. Most people know about climate change but feel powerless because they don’t really know what to do in their own lifestyles to make those changes, so I hope I’m setting an example for them to follow. For example, a group of my close friends are taking advantage of a good price offer to fly to Sicily in September and I have refused to go. It’s caused a lot of eyebrow raising and even if they carry on without me I hope they will think about why they should carefully consider flying in the future.

Action nan

What changes have you found the hardest to make and what have you done to overcome them?

The hardest challenge for me is avoiding single use plastic – its everywhere! Always take your own shopping bags, shop at the local greengrocers or shops that use brown paper bags. Try to only eat fruit and vegetables that are in season and not those imported from other countries that have flown miles and are packaged in plastic clam shell boxes. At home I use beeswax wraps instead of cling film. I started a very successful campaign called Final Straw Cornwall encouraging local business to exchange plastic straws for paper ones or not use any at all. Our local MP, Steve Double quoted us as being “Inspirational and the campaign helped bring about the UK ban on plastic straws, stirrers and cotton bud sticks”.

What is your biggest fear about the future?

That climate change will bring about food shortages which will leave us unable to feed our population. Rising temperatures will make many areas of the globe uninhabitable causing mass migration and maybe war.

Who is your biggest inspiration?

It sounds obvious to say but David Attenborough would be my biggest inspiration. He is the superhero of all my family. His lifetime of experience and friendly manner has raised awareness of environmental issues to millions of people via his tv and radio programmes.

What is the one thing you would like people to take away from this?

“I always wondered why somebody didn’t do something about that. Then I realised, I am somebody.” Annie Leonard

I want people to realise that everybody can do something to change the way things are if they care enough. I’m just an ordinary person who happened to find that the situation with plastic in the oceans was partly my fault as it had happened in my lifetime. I read the above quote and decided

that I was the somebody who could do something about it, no matter how small, to bring about a change for the better. Don’t just think about it, do something yourself, you can make a difference if you try!

Do you have any advice for Appletree and Avalon?

Your ethos and products are exactly my kind of thing. However, if you hadn’t reached out to me I don’t think I would have found you. I love your images and blog candidates and sharing their thoughts and ideas on your website (genius idea) will hopefully connect you with many more people and raise awareness of what you are doing.

Bitesize Blog

Thanks Action Nan! (Pat). It is true, that as an individual running a small business, I can get over taken by the Greenwashers out there, or bigger companies, but I’m really pleased we found each other. That’s why as a small business it’s great when people share, like, follow or tag too! I love what you’re doing & pleased together we’re making our own differences to help the wider world in our little ways!

2 thoughts on “Bitesize blog – Thoughts from @ Action_Nan”

Leave a comment


You may also be interested in...


Bitesize blog – Thoughts from @ Aneeshwar Kunchala

7 Year Old Aneeshwar Kunchala has developed a passion towards the natural world since he was 4. For the last 3 years, he became an inspirational role model for future generations by spreading his positive message to millions people around the world through his creativity of art, poetry, wildlife documentaries, public speaking and other social activities like litter pick and other activities. He raises awareness through love, passion and drives children and youth into conservation and sustainable living. His selfless voluntary service, commitment and love towards the natural world has allowed him to integrate more into the community.

Read More »

Bitesize blog – Thoughts from @ david_ecolife

Hello! My name is David and I’m very lucky to have had my whole (short) career so far in the sustainable and conservation sectors, currently at a London University. I’m probably the definition of an imperfect environmentalist, and decided to transform my own micro-Instagram World into documenting my own ever learning sustainable journey a few years ago. With long-walks, the odd painting and commission and a love of wildlife that pretty much sums me up! It started with Instagram in 2020, during the first covid lockdown. I always used social media, but on a personal level mostly just selfies or my paintings (and to some extent it still is!).

Read More »

Bitesize blog – Thoughts from @ simplelife.freelychosen

In 2020, during the pandemic, small businesses were really struggling and there were lots of calls to support local businesses more. Plus, there were also BLM rallies going on and I heard lots of speakers asking for us to buy from Black-owned businesses. It all made me realise my money could have a much bigger impact if I chose to spend it with businesses who represent my personal values, rather than with the big chain companies who we all know are doing horrendous, unethical things.
I then started researching better places to buy from, better companies to support. I already boycotted Amazon and Shein, but now I was looking for a sustainable option every time I went to buy something new. And I thought, more people need to know about these sustainable companies!

Read More »

Sign up for our latest news, discounts & further inspiration for 10% off your first order*