#MySustainabilityStory: Ieva Tarutytė

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 practice 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 Community Coordinator, Ieva Tarutytė.

Sustainability loves

Food: My homemade zero-waste plant-based creamy peanut butter ramen with tofu puffs and vegetables that I have on hand, I’m a big advocate for root-to-stem cooking and minimising food waste whenever possible.

Drink: I drink water 99% of the time, so won’t be the most interesting answer!

Fashion: I try to keep a minimalistic wardrobe and re-wear the clothes that I already have. I buy something new only if I really need to and if I can’t find it second-hand. But if I had to recommend a conscious clothing brand, I like Pangaia for their sustainability credentials and material choices.

Product/Service: I have so many to recommend but my recent discovery was a reusable water bottle from Ocean Bottle who support and fund plastic collections at 345 sites worldwide (I actually got my bottle from Vinted which was sold as an unwanted gift – completely new and one-third of the price – a win-win!).

Location: I recently visited Dr. Kavvadia’s Organic Farm in Corfu and attended their olive oil tasting tour where we found out how it’s made, stored and pressed. We also learned about their circular agriculture practices, for example, how they turn their food waste compost into chicken food, and use their chicken manure as a nutrient-rich fertilizer for their vegetable gardens.

Resource: I love the Too Good To Go app which is aimed at tackling food waste in restaurants, coffee shops and grocery stores.

Quote:“Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them” – Albert Einstein, Physicist.

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

Over the past few years, sustainability has become a huge passion of mine and I try to do the best that I can in my professional and personal life. I like to be curious, research and learn about different alternatives, materials, lifestyle choices and how I can contribute whilst also minimising the footprint that I leave on this Earth. Whether that’s by eating seasonal and local plant-based food, carrying my reusables, reducing my waste, buying items second-hand, cycling and walking, I believe that every small choice we make can collectively contribute to a bigger positive change.

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

I recently discovered Reading Bike Kitchen which is an entirely volunteer-run, non-profit organisation. They aim to make cycling accessible for everyone by offering low-cost bicycle maintenance, giving donated bicycles to those in need and recycling bicycle parts saving them from going into landfill and incineration.

How do you connect to the natural environment?

Growing up in Lithuania, from an early age, my family and I used to spend most of our summers exploring the Lithuanian countryside, discovering nature reserves, wildlife and parks, swimming in lakes, camping, canoeing, visiting forests and picking mushrooms and berries. These activities definitely influenced the deep and meaningful connection with nature that I have now and if I feel like I need to reconnect, I get myself outdoors whether it’s for a run, hiking, cycling or swimming and it instantly helps!

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

The BBC Green Planet AR Experience featuring Sir David Attenborough in Piccadilly Circus was extraordinary, I especially loved their idea of engaging the brand ambassadors as human signage which allowed them to minimise the need for physical signage saving it from going to waste.

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

I’ve just finished reading a thought-provoking book called How Bad Are Bananas by Mike Berners-Lee (thank you to isla’s Climate Strategist Rebecca for recommending it) which details the carbon footprint of various activities and encourages you to think about less carbon-intensive lifestyle options. For instance, I was shocked to learn that the paper industry is highly energy intensive, and from the carbon dioxide equivalent perspective, plastic is better for the environment than paper (but of course, it’s not as simple  plastic can linger in the environment for centuries, as such, our most climate-friendly option for shopping is to carry a reusable tote bag).

Tell us something unusual about your sustainability journey

Throughout most of my life, I wasn’t aware of climate change and the negative impact it has on our planet, wildlife and us, humans. However, my journey to sustainability started during the pandemic, when I became more curious about my health and the nutrients my body needs which led me into learning more about the benefits of a plant-based diet for my health, animals as well as the planet. After doing more research and watching a few documentaries, I got inspired to make a change and take action into living my life more climate-consciously, which is also the reason I decided to write my final university year dissertation on the Glastonbury Festival attendees’ pro-environmental behaviours.

What’s on your sustainability to-do list?

One day to have my own urban garden, so I could grow fresh and seasonal vegetables, fruits and herbs and use them for my daily cooking!

Read more:

                                                                                         My Sustainability Story: Jonathan Woodhouse

My Sustainability Story: Alex Camacho

My Sustainability Story: Malcolm Leach

My Sustainability Story: Susanna Zema

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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