Earthero: You’re a Yoga instructor, wellness coach, as well as a model, how do you think what you do connects you to the environment?
Natalie: Yoga is not just about stretching, it’s also a lifestyle. When I practice yoga, I form a union with my surroundings. Overtime I learn to respect and care for our mother nature and have kindness towards others. When I health coach, I always emphasize on the connection and care to nature. I’d ask my clients to go outdoor, take off their shoes and walk on the sand or grass. These are little but essential steps towards personal wellness. At first thought, modelling doesn’t seem to have much connection to the environment, but it was through modelling that I’m introduced to the idea of sustainable fashion and more aware of conscious and ethical shopping.
Earthero: What are the eco-friendly practices you adopt? Can you share some tips with us?
Natalie: First step is definitely ‘bring your own’. I carry my BPA-free foldable container and glass Keepcup with me. I’ve also been trying to convince my boyfriend to do the same! Other little tips include, swapping clothes with your friends, don’t leave the tap running, and buy less packaged goods!
Earthero: Do you think eco-friendly lifestyle is economically viable in HK?
Natalie: Avoiding wasteful consumption of resources always saves you money. Sometimes I don’t mind spending a little more money for a more environmentally friendly option. However, a lot of the times, you can also spend less by switching off the lights when you’re leaving a room and lowering the temperature of your air conditioner etc.
Earthero: Do you notice any effort in conserving the environment happening around Hong Kong?
Natalie: I’ve been living in Hong Kong the past 7 years and I feel that we’re in a good place where eco awareness is definitely growing, from beach cleanups, sustainable fashion to reselling platforms. Some shops tend to offer discounts when you BYOC and a lot of restaurants also stopped offering plastic straws! At the moment, we are still behind cities like Sydney but I believe we’ll make progress.
Earthero: What do you think can be done to raise more awareness?
Natalie: HK is known for its fast pace and convenience, and a lot of people’s our habits result from it. It takes 28 days of consciously trying to change a habit so people will need the constant reminders of the easy options to save the environment. It’s important that people don’t overlook the importance of their actions. People often think that one person doesn’t make a difference but that’s never the case. If one person stops using plastic straws here and another person starts using a reusable coffee cup, eventually these changes accumulate and make a huge difference. Every little steps matter. I think visualizing the ‘journey’ of plastic wastes would also help. If you knew that the plastic straw you plan to use would end up rotting in the landfill for the next 400 years or breaking into pieces in the ocean and end up in the stomach of a fish, you might avoid using it.