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Thalia Day

Thalia Day

#PANGAIAChangemakers

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Thalia Day

Thalia is a changemaker through and through. As a scientist she spent time in Antarctica studying the impact of climate change on ice shelves. Thalia now works with a global change organisation to reduce the demand for single-use plastic by helping businesses go plastic-free.

image with artdirection

 

image with artdirection

 

We asked Thalia a few questions about her life and passion, to see how she has made change in small-big ways.

Initially, what prompted you to drive change?

I decided to become vegan about 8 years ago, and I was welcomed into a community of people who opened up my eyes to a minefield of all the other environmental disasters we are facing. So, I started focusing my studies on business ethics and sustainability by writing papers on petroleum oil, GMO, the fashion industry and so on. I knew I could delve deeper into my research methods once I understood the science behind the environmental claims, so I did just that and continued on with a Masters of Science.

What has been the most rewarding moment of your journey so far?

The truth is, the people I've met along the way have been most rewarding for me. We all have a collective goal to save the planet and certain people have exceeded my expectations in humanity. I ride all my hopes for our future on these altruistic people.

What change-maker/s do you look up to and why?

There are many people I admire including Jane Goodall and Theodore Roosevelt but, for a long time now I have looked up to John Elkington. He coined the term ‘Triple Bottom Line’, which refers to the responsibility of organisations to equally safeguard People, Profit and Planet. He also coined the terms ‘Environmental Excellence’ and ‘Green Consumer’ — all of which encouraged businesses to build their values around Elkington’s set of frameworks. I believe he really changed the way businesses think about their footprint on this Earth.

If you could save one species at the click of your fingers, what would it be?

As a believer of ecocentrism, I wouldn't choose one species based on bias. If I was asked which species (I believe) need protection for the greater good of our ecosystem, I'd say bees for pollination and Antarctic krill for marine life survival.

Why is it important for brands/companies to become more responsible?

I do believe in the power of the consumer, but businesses also control an element of our buying habits. On the one hand, they use creative marketing strategies to drive us into thinking we need more STUFF. On the other, they do have the innovation, design, and advanced technology to change the world for the better.

If you were stranded on a desert island, what is one thing you would want to have with you?

I'm not sure if this is allowed, but I'd like to take The Eden Project with me. The globes have everything I need to stay mentally energised and ultimately survive - this might be cheating!


What are some small changes people can make in their everyday lives to help save (specifically, in your field)?

There are many ways to reduce your plastic and it only takes small behavioural, positive changes to see the difference. A few top tips I would begin with include:

• Banning cling film — it can be easily replaced with reusable silicone stretch lids or wax wraps.
Find a light spot in your kitchen and grow your favourite herbs indoors — this stops the need for plastic and it smells great!
• Get creative with your food waste — the less food waste, the less need to shop for more supplies.
• Learn to love baking soda — it has many uses for cleaning your home and your teeth!
• Avoid polyester when buying clothes — each time we wash our polyester clothing releases microfibres into our waters.

Once you start being vigilant about the plastic in your daily life, you can't overlook a crisis. They are small changes with great, positive effects — ride the plastic-free wave!