#MySustainabilityStory: Susanna Zema

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 our new Membership Manager, Susanna Zema.


Sustainability loves

Food: Vegetarian lasagna or Aubergine Parmigiana! 

Drink: Matcha, deliciously healthy and green! 

Product/Service: Bloom in Soap shampoo and body bars.

Resource: https://aworld.org/

Location: My hometown beach (I’m from Calabria in Italy) in summer – blue sky and blue sea during the day and magic moonlight reflected in the water and myriads of stars at night.

Quote:Watch a blade of grass in the wind and feel like it. Your anger will pass too.”Tiziano Terzani 

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

I have always respected the environment in my way, even with small actions. Over the years, I have tried to find the best option for plastic-free  products I use on a daily basis like laundry detergents, body soap and shampoo, and kitchen towels. An example for the latter is bamboo paper towels, which are washable and reusable. Whenever I can, I raise awareness of the importance of protecting the environment to others, especially when I see someone throwing a cigarette or trash on the street! 

As an artist, I try to be conscious of my painting materials and tools. Although it is not always possible, I use non-toxic paint as much as possible and plastic-free packaging. Whenever someone has old clothes or accessories they want to throw away, I collect them to bring them to a new life with some paint! 

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

I have used Oddbox for several years. I love that I can save so many vegetables and fruits that would be thrown away because they are not suitable for display in the grocery stores. Plus they are seasonal and fresh so that I can enjoy good tasty food.

How do you connect to the natural environment?

I believe in the spiritual and transformative power of nature, the Earth, and the Universe to heal and uplift the human soul. When I feel lost or overwhelmed, nature is my safe place, where I can breathe and meditate accompanied by the sound of the wind and the birds (oh, and if you listen carefully, you can also hear the sound of the trees..!)

As an artist, I aim to inspire people to look at the world with fresh eyes and transport them to a realm of pure and mystical beauty, where they can experience a spiritual connection with the natural world and the Universe. In a world where chaos and stress often rule, my art wants to be a beacon of light, to remind us to reconnect with the natural world and tap into its divine energy. It’s a journey to reclaim what’s been lost and experience the profound joy and serenity of being in harmony with the Earth and the cosmos.

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

When I was younger, I read a book about intensive farming by Jonathan Safran Foer Eating Animals which reveals the burden of the modern-day meat industry that we all bear as a society and details the environmental, health-related, and ethical consequences.

I was already on my path to vegetarianism. Still, after that, my journey became more conscious about what was happening around me and how humans significantly impact environmental health.   

Tell us something unusual about your sustainability journey

My mum didn’t accept me becoming vegetarian at first she was concerned about my health and scared about lack of proteins consumption so when I started my journey to take off meat and fish from my diet completely, she would put some ham or other meat in the meals she was cooking, without telling me. It was also a journey of making others respect my choices and letting them understand the why. 

What’s on your sustainability to-do list?

I want to become more conscious of sustainable fashion choices and implement them in my everyday life more. 

My project as an artist is to learn how to make my own paint from natural sources and find sustainable alternatives to plastic paint. 

Read more:

My Sustainability Story: Alex Schlacher

My Sustainability Story: Emily Shephard

My Sustainability Story: Megan Harris

My Sustainability Story: Kat Bednarczyk

My Sustainability Story: Rebecca Lardeur   


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