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SustainableBelieving

Recepie for one of the greatest moments: listen to The Greatest by Sia while eating the greatest candy ever on the way to the greatest person on earth.

Berries is without any doubt the best candy one can ever find. Perfect. And the greatest.

I’ll pick you up

Every time I go visit my parents, who live on the opposite side of Stockholm from me, my mother offers to pick me up at the train. A super kind gesture. Often I say I’ll just walk- it takes less than 30 min- or take the bus – about 10 min. But sometimes I accept, because I’m hungry, or tired, or have a heavy bag. I need to stop that. Yeasterday she offered again, because it’s raining. I sort of want to say yes – but really so can take the bus and walk a few minutes in warm rain. No biggie.

Everytime I take up her offer actually matter since it’s one extra start up and a few extra kilometres that wasn’t needed. So from today I will truly attempt to never be picked up or take the car if it can be avoided. If it is possible, I will solve it with a walk, a bus or a bike ride. Bye bye unnecessary car ride! Hello pretty walk in the rain 🙂

Did you know your electronics supports conflict?

Social sustainability is important to me, and it also what has lead me to look into other aspects of sustainability as this blog shows. Usually I try to find alternatives that are ecologically, economically and socially sustainable. When I have to choose, I prioritize social sustainability. It’s not hard to see why this is the path for me: as a human rights student I care that social sustainability is a way of achieving respect for people’s rights.

During one semester of my bachelor we focused on Central Africa, and on reconciliation processes around the world. A concern of both is Congo. One of the things we spoke of was conflict metals. To be honest I had no idea that a large portion of metals in a common mobile phone comes from mines in Congo. That Congo is the producer of metals is not a problem in itself, the problem is that these are conflict metals. The mining supports several armed groups in the countries, allowing them to continue to control areas using threats, violence and sexual violence – thus the name conflict metals.

Today electronics with material from Congo are made of conflict metals since there is little control of the supply chains which could guarantee conflict-free metals. During the time we read about this in school I was feeling increasingly guilty that the phone in my hand probably supported armed violence against civilians. That’s far from something I want to do, but since it’s already in my hand it’s too late to do anything about it. I thought to myself that with my next phone I would do better.

And here I am: time for my next phone and for me to do better. Therefore I’ve chosen to buy a Fairphone which will arrive at the end of October. Until then I am borrowing my dad’s spare phone. The Fairphone guarantees transparent supply chains which conflict free metals, while reusing what can be reused. As an initiative they have chosen to continue to source their metals from Congo, despite conflict, but to it in a way that supports the common people, free from conflict and with minimal impact on health and the environment. Which in itself sound almost impossible, but as a company they’re getting incredible results. Last year they announced that all metals – tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold – now have conflict-free supply chain and are fair trade. That is just wow.

As a added bonus, and important to me as a human rights tudent, is that they strive for fair working conditions throughout the process by working with manufacturers to constantly improve conditions and relations at the workplace.

I feel so glad now that I´ve ordered it and I know that I am taking a step towards supporting a sustainable and fair process. Every bit I read about it, I feel proud that it can be done, but also optimistically glad that there’s enough people who want to go out of their way to produce a fair and socially sustainable phone instead of finding the cheapest alternative. It’s the sort of thing that restores faith in humanity, so I’m more than happy to put my faith in them.

Suprise gift

On monday I visited my mom and she had just got a bunch of tiny mint plants from her friend who apparently had way to many. Mint is a bit holy for me and my mother – we love it. She gave me three of them and they are now happily living on my balcony. I love to have fresh spices and such on the balcony so I don´t have to buy a whole new plant when I need leaves for something special , plus I can pop them in anywhere I want (come to me virgin mojito). Yhey for awesome suprise gifts!

I also have my rosemary, which I must say I´m not as good at using. I need to learn when I can put it in so I have a use for it. Now it sits there being decorative most of the time.

Our hike to the nature reserve

 

We started our day around 8.30 when we hopped on the bus that went all the way from our station Tanjung Tokong to the National park, which took about 45 min. The public transport in Penang is really cheap and nice, a bus ticket cost you about 2 ringgit which is like 4 kr. All of the buses have air con, and are pretty clean. The traffic is very typical for this region, lots of cars, traffic almost everywhere and pretty crazy driving. Still I didn’t see a smashed car anywhere along the roads or anything.
After the bus ride we ordered a taxi boat to the parks furthest beach called Kampi. We wrote ourselves in to the National parks register book (probably so they know who to look for if we didn’t return).
The parks opening hours were between 9am-5pm.
We started walking on the path through the rainforest towards our first stop, the turtle sanctuary and meromictic lake.
On the way we met a monkey, a goanna and a couple of other hikers. The walk consisted of pretty steep hills both upward and downward. The air was extremely humid so we were sweating lots by just standing. Luckily the thick leaf works gave us shade so we didn’t have to deal with the burning sun.
When we reached the turtle sanctuary and got under the roof it started raining for a short while.
I was pretty disappointed at the sanctuary itself, we got to know that it was a public holiday which meant that there were no guides there to inform us about their conservation work. So we just had to draw conclusions by ourselves, which was not in their favour. There were approximately 5 tanks in the sanctuary. One with lots of baby turtles which I, and some of the other hikers we met inside, assume are going to be let free in the ocean when they have grown a bit bigger and won’t be as easy take-away lunch targets for the big fish.
The tank beside the one with the babies was a turtle that was a bit bigger in size, yet not full grown. I hope with all of my heart that this one will be let free soon.
Then there were the tree last tanks, the most depressing ones. All of the had a big adult turtle inside them, one had a broken shell, the other two I didn’t notice any outer injuries on, but what do I know. The thing is, these big magnificent creatures where put in small (maybe around 1,5×1,5 m) tanks. They swam around in a circle for a bit. They had nothing in the tanks but water. No seaweed, no rocks, not a single thing to enrich the enclosure they lived in. It made me angry. Especially when there was nobody to defend the work the centre is doing.
They hade nice informational posters about how an embryo becomes a turtle and pictures of the different sea turtle species that can be found around the beach. But there was not much about their conservation work.
I innerly hope that what I saw, has a good explanation because of those turtles are just kept like that for fun, this conservation project is a mere scam.
After watching the poor turtles we continued our walking trough pretty rough terrain with more hills. After about an hour or so we reached the beach Kampi, which was pure beauty. We were accompanied the last 20 minutes by a local who normally walks around the reserve on his spare time. But other than that, we were alone at the beach. After a couple of hour of chill we got picked up by our ride and got to see reserve from the outside and the rainforest was magnificent. I can’t believe how you wouldn’t want to conserve the nature, trees may not radiate wifi or grow donuts on them, they make the air around us breathable. They are the reason we live. They are important, much more important than our petty little needs. Much more important than us.

Sustainable Penang

The past 9 days in Malaysia have been really great.
One of the greatest things with the city of Penang is that they have pretty recently become more and more environmentally friendly.
They have this campaign running with the slogan “Cleaner greener Penang” which means they have started to governmentally fund proper waste disposal. They also have stopped giving out free plastic bags in shops and have them behind the counter so people have to ask to buy a plastic bag if they want one, even in grocery stores. I think it is good that they have the bags on the other side of the counter because if you could just pick one for yourself it would probably be something that people did more without notion and just out of habit.
Most of all public toilets had signs where they recommended a minimal use of water and toilet paper, as they stated it
“Don’t flush the forest. Save paper. Save trees. Save the world.”IMG_0392
These things are baby steps, but all of them are in the right direction which makes me happy.

Fresh fruit finds

France is a great place for fresh fruit. Unlike home, you can find fruit that is day fresh and transported only a few hours. And the taste is wonderful.

Whenever you are out travelling, make sure to buy some fresh and local fruits! You can find all kinds of things. My favorite here has been nectarin which I love and has been dripping sweetness. And I just tried Figs which was new for me. It was awesome as well – I’ll try more of that!

The pictures are from a small local shop put by the road in Camarc, a nature reserve area in southern France.

And as a plus: they had paper bags for the fruit and veggies instead of the plastic bags! Yhey for sustainable packaging!

Todays choice

Today we visited the amazing Carrières de lumières. If you are ever in southern France, visit it. And if you’re not, youtube it. It was truly amazing and almost overwhelming.

Afterwards we strolled through Le Village which is located right next to it. There we found this beauty. Fresh fruit is generally in abundance here, unlike home, but look at those cups! It’s cardboard and not plastic! I was overjoyed!

The sign said rawfood and stuff to but I didn’t try any of that as we walked on with our fresh lemonades. Thought the village they also had other wonderful sustainable products, sush as unpacked and locally produced soap, fresh and local olive oil, ketchup and jam in glas jars. It was adorable and really nice. And it gave me renewed energy to search for fresh and local products at home – from veggies to bread, oil and candy.

It was an awesome day and I really wanted to share this small sustainable joy 🙂

Malaysia

While Erika has been out climbing in France (omg looks so fun!!!). I have hopped on an airplane, or actually three to be precise, to visit my mother in Malaysia.
If we start right there, I flew for almost 20 hours across the globe. I know that flying has a huge impact on the world, and I guess a more sustainable way of travelling would have been taking the train through Russia and China. But hey, I only have two weeks of holiday and I want to spend the most of it with my mom.

We have roamed around the city/island of Penang, where she is house/cat-sitting for her friends while they are away.
We’ve been to markets, a festival called Walk the Talk, visited a rehabilitation/conservation centre for orangoutangs called Orang Utan Island and lots more.

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