Interviews

Faces of Sustainability

Santiago Tarditi, A writer, environmentalist and a true vegan advocate. In his spare time, he runs Project RamaRama, a life & creative coaching practice linked to sustainable living, with a spin-off reforestation project in Colombia based on regenerative models

Its quite hard to pick just one species out of the approximately 60,000 that have been identified so far… I love the robustness of the kapok, the smell of the frangipani, the singularity of the Socotra dragon tree; but nothing beats a magnolia.
Discovering new animals, plants, microorganisms, and all sorts of incredible, jaw-dropping beings that seem out of this world. I want to focus the rest of my life to protecting nature so that future generations can the same experience.
The global education system. Reform the course offerings and requirements to represent today’s needs; teach meditation, composting, gardening, ethics, poetry. We must redefine concepts like success and provide people with skills to regenerate the planet.
Tropical islands; places like Bali, Japan, St. Lucia. There’s a unique mysticism to locations where mountains meet the sea, on top of a pile of active lava.
I meditate. Even if it’s just for 5 minutes, when I start to feel like the news is too much and I’m doing too little, I take some time off to focus on my breath and empty my mind. Gardening is great too. Being in nature turns the discomfort into fuel to continue fighting for the planet.
Sharing the latest scientific information and institutional reports on climate change and convincing people of the urgency to act. Most persons accept the eco-crisis we’re in, but don’t realize it’s actually an eco-catastrophe. If we all acknowledged how interconnected we are with nature, we’d probably make climate our main global priority and leave everything else aside.
I grew up watching animal documentaries (at one point I wanted to be a NatGeo photographer) but the last five years have been pivotal to me. Going vegan helped solidify my commitment.
Lord Rama, the Hindu deity representing virtue. On a human plane: Joaquin Phoenix .
Don’t be afraid to do what you know is right; your family will always support you, your real friends will still be there, and there’s more people like you out there. Don’t take nature for granted.

To surf in front of my house, in Moorea, the sister island of Tahiti. The ocean is our playground here.

I would stop plastic pollution and climate change. Our earth is dying, we have to do something, we have no choice anymore!

The caves created by corals. Magical places underwater. You have some amazing ones here in Moorea.

I act. I work for Coral Gardeners, an NGO created to save the oceans, one coral at a time.
Our role is to replant corals to save the reefs and to raise awareness all around the world.

At work, I am in charge of the eco-tours so I educate tourists about the situation of our reefs.
I also go to schools and conferences to raise awareness. At last, I am also part of the adoption team because people all around the world can adopt a coral online to support us!

My dad. He is a fisherman and always lived in Moorea, at one with nature. He is a specialist of the “rahui”, protected zones created to respect nature and to guard the ecosystems living there.

“Sharing is caring”. So protect the oceans and care about corals. Respect the environment and contribute to saving our planet. We all have a role to play!

Taiano Teiho, one of the founding members of @coralgardeners. A project that is restoring French Polynesia’s coral reefs whilst also educating future generations

Javier Goyeneche, Founder of @ecoalf a sustainable fashion brand that integrates breakthrough technology to create clothing and accessories made entirely from recycled materials

Change our leaders, they are not prepared and lack long term view.

With positivity and doing things. I believe in being part of the change.

To show that there is a way to do things differently. What we do is not enough, how we do it and how much waste we generate is more important.

I’ve always been exposed to it at home… Since I was a kid.

If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.

Ohh there are so many options. How about a Pohutakawa tree, I loved those living in NZ.

Life is my biggest passion. I love everything that it holds, love, my friends, photography, even the downs to teach me along the way.

I’d have every child access free education, and in the Western world particularly, I’d have people learn how to listen to their hearts more.

On top of a mountain or by the water.

Consuming as little plastic as possible when grocery shopping.

There was no particular starting point. It evolved throughout my travel career.

Every human leading with love and living to his or her fullest potential, from Michelle Obama to my grandma.

Create more than you consume, and remember the only thing we should fear is fear itself. Do the best you can and lead with love, always.

Carmen Huter, After a brief stint in the corporate world, she now spends her days as a professional travel photographer. Through her visual storytelling, she hopes to inspire a curious audience to explore new places, more about oneself, and notions of sustainability.

Jorge Cervera Hauser, an award-winning film producer, eco-tourism activist and an incredible underwater photographer.

I would definitely be an Acacia tree. Just to live in the African bush and be in direct contact with all of its amazing species. Also, in one way or the other, the Acacia is a link that connects everyone and everything within its ecosystem, making it work.

World peace! Just kidding. I would definitely make people aware of their individual potential for changing the world. Small actions lead to big changes, and it we were a lithe less selfish the world would be a better place_ I certainly try to pass that message along every day.

Freediving with orcas in the open ocean.

This question is super fitting for this crazy quarantine times we are living in The way I deal with anxiety in general is jumping on my boat and going out in the ocean. Specially now. it has put into perspective how insignificant we are as a species, and how the world without us just keeps going.

Trying to be more responsible with my daily choices and the impact they have.

Jacques Ives Cousteau

It’s not really about “saving the planet”, it is about saving ourselves as a species. Nature always adapts and finds a way, whereas we as a species, not so much. If we keep acting like a virus in this planet, then Gaia will fight back, eliminate the flu, and move on. DO NOT TAKE OUR CONNECTION WITH NATURE FOR GRANTED.

I would be a fig tree, it’s grounded and strong. It is giving with it’s abundant fruit and provides shelter for many animals.

Wildlife and all animals

The environment… It’s future is our future.

Anywhere with wildlife roaming freely.

I deal with anxiety in general so I’ve found the best way to deal with it is to be kind to yourself, try your best, avoid overthinking things. Every little bit helps.

Like many, I battle with trying to live a sustainable lifestyle and minimize my waste.

I’ve always been in awe of the natural world and conscious of their wellbeing and habitats but I think it really resonated with me when I was around 8 years old.

People who live their dream in a way that also gives back. I admire those kind of people.

Find something you’re passionate about and then find a way of combining that with giving back and make it your career – that’s the ultimate.

Shannon Wild, an award-winning wildlife photographer and conservationist at heart

Sam Bonsay, Director of The Impact and leads day to day operations of the organization. He is a board member of Keller Enterprises, a family office committed to values aligned investing, sustainable agriculture, and venture philanthropy.

Mango. Strong, shady, tasty.

Working for a world in which every being thrives.

The limitations of the human mind to fathom the interconnectedness of all things. My wife also wishes I could fix the sink.

Freediving in the open ocean.

Reminding myself of the immensity of geologic time, and our utter insignificance within it.

The temptation of convenience.

My grandfather. He retired and became a park ranger on a volcano.

Ua Mau ke Ea o ka ʻĀina i ka Pono

There are many trees I love. But a top one would be a Yew. We filmed a Yew tree in Sussex that was thousands of years old, and when you shift your preception of time, getting into deep time, its a valuable shift and to be with a Yew tree that was breathing on this planet at the same time as the Vikings where coming over to England, at the same time a guy called Jesus was walking the earth, it’s very humbling and inspiring at the same time.

My second biggest passion is dance. Especially Gabriel Roth’s 5 Rhymns. Right now I am missing it big time. And it saddens me that the intimacy and freedom that comes with it may not to think it may not come back in the same way due to the fear and distancing that is being set around Covid….

It would be truth telling. Can you imagine how much progress we could make and so quickly if everyone, especially politicians did their best to speak their truth and speak from their heart.

I was raised in the Pennine Hills in Lancashire, the old land of the Brigantes and a favourite spot is a bronze age burial hill next to hawshaw wood…with a stream and views of the Pennines

The hardest question…I find the work that reconnects, from the root teacher Joanna Macy valuable. It presents the 3 main stories we are running in our dominant culture…Business as usual, the Great Unravelling and the Great Turning. We all are moving to different degrees in all 3 stories. Work work work, all will be well is the first. Everything socially and ecologically is falling a part big time before our very eyes is the Unravelling and the third is the one that helos me deal…the Turning…this is the story of all the things we are doing by turning to face the future with hope. Not blind optimism that we will fix things, but standing side by side to work on the many positive visions for where we could go together…

The disconnect between our higher selves, the values that we align with and the compromises that get made around things like property ownership, money, jobs and relationships. Not walking the talk always!

I would say around 10. I was lucky, very lucky to grow up with a garden that had a stream that I could follow up to the hills or down to an abandoned lancahire cotton mill…and around that age I started my first tree nursery and started gathering seeds and planting out trees… 

Richard St Barbe Baker, an unsung radical forester and free thinker who I met when I was 17. He had a theory like Gaia Theory before James Lovelock. Also Michael Reynolds, Biotect and Eacthship builder, who I worked with introducing Earthships to Europe…

It’s not really about “saving the planet”, it is about saving ourselves as a species. Nature always adapts and finds a way, whereas we as a species, not so much. If we keep acting like a virus in this planet, then Gaia will fight back, eliminate the flu, and move on. DO NOT TAKE OUR CONNECTION WITH NATURE FOR GRANTED.

Daren Howarth, CEO of C-Level a UK based organization founded in 2000. Today they are global leaders in Carbon Offsetting/Carbon Balancing: helping businesses align with natural systems to reduce global carbon emissions.

Tessum Weber, Director of Weber Arctic whom own and operate the premier, internationally recognized Arctic experiences: Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge, Arctic Haven Wilderness Lodge & Baffin Heliskiing

An old growth cedar – they’re truly incredible trees that make me feel like I’m in a story book.

My biggest passion is Arctic adventure. Our family owns Weber Arctic – a specialized Arctic travel company. After three generations of polar adventure, exploring the wilds of the Arctic is literally within the fabric of my DNA. There’s nothing that compares to being in one of the most remote and wild places on earth such as the Arctic.

Solve nuclear fusion. While we’ve got to make it work, it could be the cleanest and (almost) limitless source of energy possible. If the world could solve the everlasting energy problem, it would literally eradicate a host of other issues.

I have many – but two stand out: the Cunningham River delta near Arctic watch when hundreds of beluga whales are frolicking in the inlet and the mountains of Baffin Island (standing on top of the peaks, just before skiing a gorgeous line).

I don’t really get eco-anxiety. I see it more as an opportunity to educate. As an Arctic guide, I am fortune to spend time in some of the most remote and pristine places on the planet. I believe it is my duty to educate visitors about these environments. I see my job as a tool to showcase through awareness. It is pretty rewarding to have heads of state and massive corporations leave our trips with a changed awareness/appreciation of all things wild.

I have many but one is the reality of travelling to super remote parts of the Arctic (and world) is a huge expenditure in fossil fuels (i.e. aircraft). it’s simply the only way to get there. That being said, those who experience it are the ones who make the bigger climate changes and positive impacts down the road. Striking a balance between the both. I don’t believe total fossil fuel abandonment (at present) is the answer – our mass ability to implement technological evolution simply isn’t there yet, but rather a conscious shift towards greener methods in incremented steps.

Probably about 6 years old, when I had a polar bear stalk me for the first time – this absolute fascination with all things wild grew inside me.

I’m really lucky to be surrounded by numerous amazing people. I don’t tend to aspire to follow people, but rather I’ve been incredibly blessed to have fantastic mentors over the years. People who’ve been extremely kind to provide advice and suggestions or act as a sound-board. They’re mostly private citizens from different walks of life and all have had a big impact in my life. I’ve always believed that you need to surround yourself with people who are smarter than you, bring new skillsets to what you’re doing and will continually challenge you to do better daily. Life is one big adventure, and you can’t succeed without fantastic teammates!

Always be yourself, pursue your passions and make your own decisions.

Bamboo
-> strong and flexible -> grows everywhere -> sustainable! -> in a love relationship with pandas!

Connecting
– connecting the dots – connecting with others — connecting other people – connecting with my inner world – connecting to nature

sense of separation (from others, animals, the planet)

I try to be mindful and do my best in every area but, as my friends like to remind me, I still have a long way to go regarding flights…

recycling, plastic bottles, food choices, cloth choices…

Can I change this question?! Let’s assume I can 😉 if the question was: “how old were you when you started making conscious choices?” I would say that I took some early steps when I was 26yo, I committed about 6 years later and I still have a long way to go!

Back then none. Now: Greta, Emma Watson, Michelle and Barack Obama

You can definitely do better ! (Versus us)

Giorgiana Notarbartolo, an impact investor and entrepreneur committed to system change, investing to reduce inequalities and collaborating on projects supporting international partnership to achieve the UN SDG’s.

Philip Winter, Co-Founder & CEO of Nebia an entirely new shower concept with water savings up to 65% compared to standard showers, Nebia was designed to make a meaningful impact.

Discontent in the human soul.

Try to do “something”. And talk openly and non judgmentally with people.

Trash! I still produce much more of it than I feel comfortable with.

Yvon Chouinard – environmental activist, outdoor enthusiast, and entrepreneur behind Patagonia

The future is bright, find out what you are passionate about and enjoy that process because your passions and your opportunities will evolve. Therefore enjoy each step of it!

Get the world on alternative energy..

20 meters down on a freedive

If you’re trying your hardest to be the change you wish to see in the world there should be no anxiety. I’ve never experienced that. I feel that the power to change the world has to start with the individual and us making the changes to embody that which we want to see.

I try not to battle, its a waste of energy and lifeforce. It’s better to work on better communication skills and compassion.

I had decided to study environmental science in University, so must have been around then.

Mom, super hero.

Every breath is precious- life is so short, don’t waste a minute and be fully empowered to stand up for what you believe in.

Christian Sea, the owner of Ngalung Kalla a Eco-Surf-Health-Retreat with the three tenants of Permaculture in mind. Earth Care, People Care, and Fair Share

Lea Wieser, co-founder of @arkitaip . An eco-conscious linen brand, with a strong focus on an ethical supply chain and the preservation of artisanal skills.

An apple tree. You’d have so many insect friends!

I love the power of words as they can trigger change.

Our planet. By somehow trying to reconnect us humans with nature.

The mountains.

First of all, I always try to look on the bright side of life. And I try to not panic. If we’d all go into a state of shock, things will never change for the better as panic won’t allow as to think rationally and find solutions.

I’m trying to find ways to travel more consciously – in my day-to-day life, I’m cycling or walking almost everywhere but I’m very conscious about the fact that I need to cut down on flying.

I started to think more consciously about our planet when I was 18. That’s when I first out out meat out of my diet. Once you open your eyes to it, it’s hard to shut them again.

Bill Gates. And my mum.

Switch to a plant-based diet. And create something with your bare hands – you will start to understand how much time and energy go into making something and it will help you to buy less and more consciously as you start questioning the supply chain behind a product.

An olive tree on a Tuscan hill!

To keep on learning about myself and through that, try to better myself both physically and mentally. Racing, beyond being amazingly exciting and one of my passion in itself, has provided me with an incredible platform to do just that.

The perception that being sustainable and fight for a green planet doesn’t necessarily go hand in hand with business or the interest of the global economy. It is not charity work. Perhaps it will raise short term challenges to our current systems but on the long term it will positively contribute to it. If we want our changes to be effective in the long-term, it is through science, technology and by putting our best brains at it, that we’ll find practical, realistic and implementable solutions..

I love all spots in nature, however I have started diving 3 years ago and being below surface in what seems to be a different world, from which we are in fact so connected, is amazing.

I am not anxious, I think that we need to focus on the present and on things that need to be addressed. There is an urgency of course, that is a fact, but I consider anxiety to be counter-productive and I therefore rather shift that sense of urgency onto focusing on finding solutions.

At a personal daily level, making sure I use what is necessary and not more. Short showers, non-excessive energy usage, recycling, no plastic policy as much as possible. At a professional level, I shifted from conventional racing to electric racing. It was a gamble to start with but I was convinced of the values behind what we were trying to do.

Ayrton Senna, not only as a driver but for his approach to what he was doing and for the incredible human being he was.

Give the importance and resources to education that it deserves. Most, if not all of the issues we face today, will be solve through education. Making sure that every generation that comes behind us, globally has had a better access to it is crucial to our long term prosperity as a species.

Jérôme d’Ambrosio, highly-experienced Formula E driver, a single seater motorsport championship that uses only electric cars.