#MySustainabilityStory: Kat Bednarczyk

Find out how members of the isla team 'live' sustainability away from their 9 to 5.

Here at isla we think it’s important to practise what we preach, so in this series we take a deeper dive into what sustainability really looks like on the ground for members of the isla team. This week we hear from new isla Projects Consultant, Kat Bednarczyk.

Sustainability loves

Food: Not technically food but I love this cookbook One: Pot, Pan, Planet by Anna Jones

Drink: Fresh mint tea (from the garden) and I’m a sucker for a locally brewed IPA from Wild Card in Walthamstow

Fashion: I love vintage shops. My new favourite treasure trove is Cobblers (in Pokesdown).

Product/Service: OddBox .

Location: Lake District National Park

Quote: “Imagine our future history. Create the pathway. Make it happen.”Professor Mark Maslin from his book How to Save Our Planet. The facts

Resource: We Don’t Have Time App 

How do you ‘do’ sustainability in your own life?

I make a big effort for our household to be as sustainable as possible. Granted it’s not always possible with two small kids, but we try! I buy almost all of my clothes and children’s clothes second hand. We very rarely use our car and travel by cargo bike, walk or take public transport. I research a lot of purchases before I commit to them, avoiding single-use plastic where I can and shopping in our local refill store. I look forward to a time when sustainable choices are made easy and affordable for everyone. 

Are they any local sustainability initiatives that you’re excited about/have engaged with?

As an E17 local, one project that I really hope becomes a reality is The East London Waterworks Park. At its heart is a community group that wants to acquire and transform the 5.68-hectare ex-Thames Water Depot in Waltham Forest into a publicly accessible green space with natural swimming ponds. I can’t think of a more magical way to immerse myself in nature, on my doorstep.  

How do you connect to the natural environment?

We live on the edge of Epping Forest so often don our wellies and take the kids for a forest adventure. Whenever I can, I try to get to the seaside for a swim or to just sit down on the beach to watch the waves.

What one event that you attended really impressed you in terms of sustainability credentials?

The Green Planet AR Experience by Factory 42. Check out the case study here

What was your biggest aha moment when it came to climate change/the environment? 

I suppose a real shift happened about 10 years ago when a number of documentaries around climate change made a big splash. Ones that spring to mind are Before The Flood, This Changes Everything and Cowspiracy. After that, I became vegetarian and followed climate news more closely and made a concerted effort to be more sustainable in my daily life. 

Tell us something unusual about your sustainability journey

My parents were always very thrifty. We very rarely bought new things. My dad fixed everything in our house from appliances to patching clothes. My mum cooked in a way that created little food waste and we often spent weekends foraging in the forest. Maybe it’s not very unusual but it definitely instilled in me a more sustainable mindset (even if this wasn’t their main goal at the time!).

What’s on your sustainability to-do list?

Start growing more of our own veg! 

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