#MySustainabilityStory: Kate Kieran

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 Consultancy Lead, Kate Kieran.

Sustainability loves

Food: Oddbox – My housemate gets a weekly box of wonky looking vegetables that can’t be sold and we love to make whatever we can with them. I also really love the only two times a year when I ‘forage’ and make wild garlic butter and elderflower cordial…

Drink: Brich barbera is my absolute favourite wine at the moment and it’s natural and organic…that works right?

Fashion: I do have a small problem with buying clothes so I try to get as much as possible secondhand from places such as depop or vinted.

Product/Service: I love Float, a bicycle delivered, locally made oat milk service that we get in my home (yes, it’s the most ‘Bristol’ thing in the world).

Location: The magic sauna on the beach in my home town in Cork where you can watch and listen to the waves as they come in. Its not called that, it is just magic.

Resource: https://climateclock.world/

Quote: “Some of the worst things imaginable have been done with the best intentions.” Jurassic Park

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

I do all the regular things that people do, try to buy eco-conscious brands and refill where possible. Buy groceries from grocers and not supermarkets, aim for independent and secondhand clothes. Walk/cycle/train, do all the recycling etc etc. Most importantly though is that in the last few years I have changed my mindset when it comes to voting, I now really look to vote for people where environmentalism is a top priority which I think is possibly the best thing you can do because we need legislative change to genuinely create impact.

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

We’re spoiled for choice when it comes to sustainability in Bristol as it sits very central to the city’s ethos. Some of my fave sustainability focussed things are Bristol Bike Project / Recycle/ fixing workshops in my library / Grow Wilder – teaching individuals and businesses about regenerative growing  / Bristol Community Land Trust – a co-housing community that provides affordable eco homes based on a self finish model / The Better Food Company – an amazing organic supermarket set up over 25 years ago and of course our city farms where you can see (and pet) lots of amazing animals.

How do you connect to the natural environment?

Surfing wherever and whenever I can. Mainly just sitting on the board in the sea but that’s all I need really. I’m also very lucky that I have two dogs so I’m forced into walking outside every day.

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

Shambala Festival is an incredible event with an undeniably rich ethos. You can really feel the importance of their sustainability message throughout the entire team and across the whole event.

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

It was actually many conversations with my father-in-law who is a dedicated environmentalist and city councillor, first for Labour, now an independent which really spurred my interest in becoming more involved in sustainability from an active place, he really inspired me to not just do ‘my own little bit’ but to involve myself as much as I can.

Tell us something unusual about your sustainability journey

I grew up as a little hippie in West Cork where a lot of my friends grew up in co-housing situations that were environmentally based which I think made sustainability a part of the conversation from the get go. I don’t think I have anything particularly more interesting than that.

What’s on your sustainability to-do list?

Learning, so much more learning and being as active as possible in helping educate and influence anyone around me…Oh also one day I would love to build my own home by the sea as environmentally consciously as possible. Oh and putting solar panels on my camper van….and maybe my house.

Read more:

My Sustainability Story: Dom Bemrose

My Sustainability Story: Miriam Habtesellasie

My Sustainability Story: Ieva Tarutytė

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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