Please share a little bit about who you are and what you do in your regular life?
I am the co-founder of thebahamasweeky.com (EFWA media partner) and I currently work in corporate communications with the City of Coquitlam in British Columbia, Canada. I am Canadian and I lived in The Bahamas for 13 years. I love the contrast and beauty of both locations. Living abroad, and returning home makes you appreciate your homeland all the more. I love Canada for its wild, raw, natural beauty, and the Pacific Ocean coastal province of British Columbia is a jewel unto its own. It’s dubbed ‘Supernatural BC’ because of its epic natural beauty.
At what point did you begin to learn about the issue of sustainability in every area of daily life?
We used to live on the ocean in North Vancouver, and a waterfall fell down the mountains right behind our house. Although we had road access, my children went to school by water-taxi. My daughter would find natural clay in the earth and eagles, seals and Canada geese would be in our yard throughout the seasons. It enhanced my awareness of how precious our environment is.
Moving to The Bahamas brought me even closer to the ocean; and with crystal clear waters and pristine beaches, garbage sticks out like a sore thumb. The oceans need our protection. I do my best to broaden that awareness to readers of The Bahamas Weekly, and support initiatives that keep our coastlines clean. In Canada, I work with the Rivershed Society of B.C. and the Hoy-Scott Watershed Society.
I joined a dragon boat team a few years ago and we train along Burrard Inlet which is ocean fed, and presently a controversial area where oil tankers frequent and plans are in the works to increase the tankers by 700%. I’m very concerned about oil spills. This is the traditional lands of the Coast Salish People. Paddling in these waters we see seals, clams, salmon, jelly fish, and bird-life, all dependent on the water for their food source. I am very aware of the water and how it sustains life.
Have you embraced any changes that help you personally leave a smaller ecological footprint?
When I lived in Grand Bahama Island, it made me more thrifty with my wardrobe. There are no big malls, or many fashion choices. I began to use what I had in my closet more and adapt pieces. Then, after going through a divorce and hard times, and later returning to my homeland I spent even less on clothing - shopping for clothes became a long lost habit. Dressing for work or outings in Canada is very different than The Bahamas, weather aside. I began frequenting the local thrift shops. I love finding a designer outfit, near new, and for one-tenth of the price. I’m lucky to have options like this in Canada. Reusing has become my new fashion flare. We need to do more of it as a society, especially with fashion being one of the major polluters on the planet.
When I discovered the local salmon fish hatchery in the woods near my home, I quickly became involved. Knowing that full grown salmon return each fall in a shallow stream just a block from my house, and miles inland from the ocean, made me want to get involved. For the past five years I’ve been working hands-on to help enhance the salmon population and protect our watershed, and I’ve been at the computer promoting the work we do (and why) through our website, newsletter and social channels, now wearing the hat of president and public relations for the Hoy-Scott Watershed Society. I also work with the Rivershed Society of B.C. which aims to protect one of the greatest salmon rivers in the world — the Fraser River.
How did you meet Zuhal and what led you to become involved with EFWA 2017?
I met Zuhal while covering Vancouver Fashion Week for The Bahamas Weekly on her first visit to Canada. I was able to get to know her more on each of her return visits. My daughters both walked in her last show, Empty Oceans. I’ve enjoyed watching the evolution of Green Embassy, and the launch and progression of Eco Fashion Week Australia. I am excited to be a part of a necessary fashion movement highlighting sustainability.
As a part of the EFWA 2017 team, what role or roles will you be filling?
I was honoured to be a part of the EFWA team in 2017 as their media liaison. Being a writer, I also help with press releases and social media. I was a speaker at last year’s Disposable Planet seminar of Curtain University, sharing how I became involved in salmon enhancement. I’m looking forward to like-minds coming together again to collaborate and share ideas on sustainability in two Australian states in 2018, and will do whatever I can to assist.
What was it about EFWA's mission that drew you to offer your talents in support of this international event?
I believe in Zuhal’s vision to have a legion of people all working toward a more sustainable fashion ethos. I’m excited to return to Australia. I first visited in the 80s and country’s beaches were most memorable and pristine. We live globally, but we are all connected by our water.
Any last words or a favourite quote on sustainability?
I believe in a better world. It’s never too late to make change.