Sustainability Talks with S_Marga
This week Sustainability Talks bring you the inspiring words and ideas of Margarita from @s_marga. Margarita is knowledgeable and passionate about all things sustainability and animal rights. Several times we found ourselves to be moved by her words, actions and all the valuable information she shares online. While answering our 5 questions she shares extremely valuable points backed by her experience and studies in animal biology and conservation. We are so excited for you to read Marga’s great tips and take inspiration from her ideas.
1. When did you realize sustainability was a topic you cared about and decided to adopt a specific lifestyle?
I was studying animal biology and conservation, as a part of my degree, we had environmental science where we were discussing a lot of topics like climate change, deforestation, plastic waste, fast fashion and the negative impact of tourism. I realized that we all visit these places for a reason why contribute to their ruin? Travel does not have to be environmentally destructive. We have the power to make travel more eco-friendly and we should demand more of the places we stay and visit. Now I travel wisely, I spend a lot of time picking a hotel to stay, tour operator to join and of course, do everything possible to produce less waste.
2. Can you share one story of sustainability that has recently made you happy and one that made your sad/upset
On Facebook, I am part of a great community which I recommend everyone to join. Journey to zero Waste it is a group where everyone supports each other on a mission to make our planet cleaner, produce less waste, make travel more eco-friendly. Every day I see videos of new innovations that make me feel like our Planet still has a chance if more people would support those practices, like the variety of alternatives to plastic, meat, and materials. Also, recently I was in the hotel in Zanzibar that was 100% zero waste and all operated on solar power, this story made me very optimistic about the future of tourism and I believe that this would be more popular and affordable if more people switched to those hotels during their vacations now. On the other hand, I get upset seeing how people litter, seeing trash at the beach, talking to people who are saying climate change isn't real and that there are much more important topics to care about than ecology and environment, seeing that my friends don't care enough to recycle even after talking to them zillion times. It all takes time for people to understand that there is no topic that is more important than the environment because if we lose our planet no other topics would ever matter, and I am impatient to wait.
3. Which is the one behaviour that you have changed in your day to day that had the biggest impact on living more sustainably?
I get judged a lot and people openly laugh at me when I am being very serious about sustainability, almost every day I hear that what I do is silly, that alone I will not make any difference. But at the same time, I know many people who became aware of environmental problems thanks to me. I used to be offended and was taking every single word personally I even thought about giving up, but my behaviour changed and now instead of taking it personally I speak to people I show them videos, I speak about problems, I tell them how they can help as well and that it doesn't have to be hard. It is their decision to listen or not, but many people do and I believe that only together we can make a difference, by spreading the message, by being the leader by showing people the right way with your own example. We can be the change right here and right now.
4.What are your top 3 tips for being more sustainable while traveling?
Going for eco hotels.
Always pack reusable stuff with you like a water bottle, cutlery, reusable bag.
Pick cars and trains over flying.
5.Which is the one thing/object you have with you in all your travels that helps to be more sustainable?
I think the greatest purchase I have ever made in my life was a water bottle with filter by Water To Go. I haven't bought a single plastic bottle in about a year and I can safely drink tap water anywhere from Africa to Asia.
You can read more amazing tips on eco traveling on Marga’s blog here.
More about Margarita
Margarita 25 years old. I was born in Latvia, moved to the UK to study animal conservation. I used to work for environmental companies, but at the moment I am a full-time traveler and I use my page to speak up about ethical animal encounters, eco, and responsible travel and encourage people to travel to less popular destinations. My first step was giving up on meat and it was really random, as growing up in Latvia meat-free diet was just never an option and I used to make fun of vegetarians myself. My reasoning for not eating meat is mainly environmental, as the meat industry is the biggest polluter out there and one of the main reasons of deforestation. I take every new idea is a challenge, I see it online and then I try to implement it in my life. Recycling, gardening, reducing water consumption, switching to green energy providers, shopping at the far
mers market, buying cruelty-free products, saying no to palm oil products and minimizing plastic consumption gradually came into my life and now I do not see any other way to live, shop and travel.
We joined Journey to Zero waist and are ready to get better and better on our own personal path to sustainability. And you?