Tips for a Sustainable Life – on and off the slops with Núria Castán
Every year on April 22, Earth Day marks the birth of the modern environmental movement. Since it began in 1970, climate change has made its mission increasingly urgent. The 2022 Earth Day theme is Invest In Our Planet, which lies at the heart of what we do and who we are as a company. From using recycled materials and renewable energies to supporting individuals and organizations, Our DO MORE NOW sustainability program means that every step we take is a step toward making a difference for our planet.
We are proud to work with ambassadors who share that ethos and use their platform to increase awareness. Recently we spoke again with our ambassador Núria Castán, the only Spanish female snowboarder on the FWT and a passionate campaigner for climate change. Whether plogging, cleaning up Mediterranean beaches or encouraging her fellow riders to use public transport, Núria is taking every opportunity she can to combat climate change.
What does "small actions, big changes" mean to you?
Making small changes means doing little things consistently, everyday activities that can make a big difference if enough people join the movement.
An example, how many takeout coffee cups and lids do you think you have bought in your life? How many people do you think have done that?
Imagine how many cups and lids we could avoid if you just bring a reusable coffee mug to the shop every time? It would reduce tons of waste, and by the way, your coffee will also stay hotter way longer. It would also allow you to be more responsible in dealing with the trash if you make people aware, spread the message, and get more people in the movement!
Could you tell us about some of the eco-actions you have taken and projects you are involved with, for example, The Good Karma Project, plogging, or public transport for skiers?
As a snowboarder, I am not perfect as it is a sport that requires a lot of traveling, often by plane, but I try to do my best. I participated in the movie INNSBRUCK.POWDER.PEOPLE its motto is: Think global, ride local. It’s a movie to raise awareness about the need to use public transport, try our best to protect nature, and do what we love the most: skiing/snowboarding. With POW Austria’s support, we went to all the FWT competitions by train throughout Europe, with the main goal: to show that transport public is possible. It was a bit of an adventure to cover those enormous distances with all the gear we needed (ski gear, big bags)-but we made it!
In my values and professional career as a snowboarder and graphic designer, I also love to support and represent brands committed to a good cause, especially if they try to work in the most sustainable way possible and do their best to protect nature. So here I must say, I am happy to represent a brand like BUFF® whose values I share. It is a true connection!
I have helped spread the message and support the cause of Good Karma Projects, a nonprofit organization that develops education and environmental awareness projects.
As a clean-up volunteer for them, I have helped recollect microplastics on the Mediterranean beaches. Volunteering is an exciting way to protect the environment while giving back to society. The clean-ups on beaches are needed because there are many microplastics. Nowadays, pellets, the raw material from plastics, are one of the biggest problems due to problems in the transportation process as they cross the Mediterranean.
At GKP, I have worked as a graphic designer developing different assets, such as the “Kids For the Future,” an educational and awareness project for Schools. In addition, I am creating the editorial design of four books and presentations for kids about very important topics (The Ocean and the plastics, Responsible Consumption, Biodiversity, and Climate Change) and other types of content creation that they need for GKP events or projects.
In my freelance career as a graphic designer, I have also created illustrations for Liken Skis This handmade wooden skis company is a super nice sustainable brand. They also try their best to make all their products by hand using sustainable materials.
If someone wants to work towards a more sustainable way of living, can you give us three small actions achievable for everyone?
Small actions I do at home:
- Giving a second life to a piece of A4 paper. When you use one side to write something, and you want to throw it away afterward, instead, keep it with you, save it in a folder, and do the same with all the papers, you don’t need, and you will give more lives to them and save a lot paper.
- Turn off the lights and change the temperature on the thermostat when you’re not there, so it’s not working as hard while you’re gone. You will help reduce carbon emissions created from fossil fuels and natural resources by reducing your own use of electricity and energy.
- Recycle all the waste.
There are a lot of actions we can take. For example, you could donate to non-profit organizations trying to give a voice and take action for a good cause. Get more companies and organizations involved, ones that make the world and society more aware of problems and increase awareness. You could also help as a volunteer, but maybe that’s not for everyone, so this is an easier, more achievable option that would greatly aid these organizations.
Another small action: always bring an extra bag inside your backpack on your adventures. When you’re in nature, hiking, climbing, running…, whatever you do, if you see trash on the way, collect the litter and put it in the bag.
Usually, no workers clean up the trash in nature. People are not aware of the damage that it causes and keep throwing it. Sometimes it’s transported by wind from one place to another. So it is up to us if we want to keep seeing this or not. By taking this small action, nature will thank you!
What are some ways to make your daily life more sustainable?
There are things that, even if we try hard, we are not capable of changing by ourselves, like buying products in the supermarket. So many packages and plastic nonsense finish in the trash as fast as we consume them. So we have to avoid products that only have one life and are single-use and support shops that bulk sell loose food by weight, so you will have healthier food and reduce waste. Support and consume natural, Bio, and organic products, companies that genuinely support and follow a sustainable way to manufacture food, clothes, cosmetics, etc.
But equally important, only buy what you really need. So, make a list of the food you plan to buy for the week, for example, so you don’t buy more and have to throw it away.
There are so many ways we can make life more sustainable. The most important is to be aware of the problem, to take action and make it part of your daily life, and finally, spread the message so others can join the movement!