1) Tell us a bit about Yourself
I am a small-scale farmer who has been concerned about the environment since high school. I advocate for a decentralized, local economy, and try as much as possible to eat local even out of season. I find that food is an excellent avenue to get people turned on to the environment because local, fresh food does taste a lot better, and we need to be able to preserve our natural landscapes in order to grow food perpetually.
2) What inspired you to start getting involved with the issue of plastic pollution?
In 2021, I worked for the Harrison Lewis Coastal Discovery Centre. The amount of plastic and garbage that would wash up on the shore there was astonishing. What would have been a nice pristine environment is now littered with ghost gear from the fishing industry and other various plastic that ends up in the water.
3) What specific action/steps do you take to help the environment?
I encourage people to grow their own food, cook meals at home, and bring reusable mugs to work or other events. I also like to cycle as a mode of transportation and hope that it gets other people to bike when they see how much fun I am having!
4) Why is a plastic-pollution-free environment important to you?
Plastic is a waste product that humans are producing en-masse. Without it being able to biodegrade, we are littering our surroundings with what is essentially an inert material that doesn’t provide any ecological services but is in fact a burden. The slow deterioration of plastics initially starts with the dispersal of microplastics which are finding their way into wildlife and our food system. Simply throwing out this waste into our ecosystems is poor foresight. It is important to me that we close nutrient loops and cycles and this includes all of the plastics we use. If we can achieve a plastic-pollution-free environment then our specie will be that much more resilient.
5) What challenges or obstacles do you face when pursuing your goals?
Opposition to change. Being challenged as to whether change is possible. Burn out from trying to do too many things at once.
6) How do you keep yourself motivated?
Knowing that I tried to make a difference and leave the world a bit better.
7) Who inspires you in terms of activism and making a difference?
Greta Thunberg, Benjamin McMahon
8)What has been your favourite experience on this journey so far?
I have chosen to run to raise awareness about plastic pollution. Finding new trails is really exciting! Making the effort to run to work from home makes quite a bit of noise! It is exciting to come to work and have my co-workers encourage me to keep going. Without them, it would be that much more difficult.
9)What was something that surprised you during your journey?
That taking a risk and putting an effort into trying to change the status quo may inspire someone else to do the same….and that person may end up doing something big! You never know what your initiatives will lead to!
10) Do you have any recommendations for people wanting to make a difference in their community?
Make a club, find some friends, and join an already active group. It is much easier to do this in a community. We can inspire each other in this case.