- Brand: MAINTENANT Sustaining Now
Fantasy aficionado and philosophy novice
Seeing perfection in nature
Our Junior Ambassador Charlotte consolidates her interests - politics and philosophy, nature and keeping healthy - into a sustainable lifestyle, designed to fit her needs. She says everyone can contribute to sustainability in simple ways that suit their lifestyles.
Londoner Charlotte is a knowledge-thirsty college student and the latest addition to our Junior Ambassadors. She was greeted with a warm welcome by the other Junior Ambassadors. “I was overjoyed by the contribution of the others”, she says. “And they were all so passionate. It’s a very joyous thing to be doing, and I’m very happy that they are so motivated, and that they are participating so much, even though they’re so young.” She adds, “And they are really making everything themselves and coming up with the ideas.” Charlotte participated in UK’s biggest climate protest in London in 2019. Young people had been protesting on Fridays, following Greta Thunberg’s example in Stockholm, and were joined by more than 100,000 people on a Friday in September last year. “The adults have to take care of the environment as much as they can right now, and they should have done it a long time ago,” says Charlotte. “But right now it’s up to the schools and the government to educate the children, so that when they pass the torch, the kids can continue this.”
Problems and solutions
With a flair for complex and in-depth subjects such as philosophy and politics, Charlotte looks at the world with bright and alert eyes, and can easily outline both problems and solutions. “The cattle industry is one of the biggest producers of greenhouse gases in the world,” she says. “Especially with the population growing, it will be the big concern for a few years” she adds.
In school she studied a text which spoke about the mass production of pigs, Charlotte says it really hit home. “Reading about it really makes you feel sick, because you learn about these animals that are being treated worse than we would treat ourselves, they’re being treated as objects, things that aren’t living,” she says. “They feed us, yet we treat them badly.” At home Charlotte and her family try to limit their meat consumption. “We don’t go full on vegetarian, we just limit ourselves in our daily lives as much as is comfortable for us, but in a way so that we can still support a sustainable environment,” Charlotte says. She emphasises that any change should happen on an individual level, and that it is very much up to the person. “Well, you don’t live to eat, you eat to live,” she says. “So, you really need to learn how to manage your diet in your own way. Every person’s contribution makes a big whole.”
Charlotte, an enthusiastic voyager, also travels with the environment in mind having only been on a plane three times in four years. She loves discovering new places - but there are more ways to do so than travelling. “I love fantasy books,” she says and smiles. “It lets you escape into another world.” As a nine-year-old she read the Harry Potter-series three times, and the Tara Duncan-series is another favourite. “My favourite part of a film or a book is the start of it, when they discover new places and go on adventures,” she says. “When you read fantasy books about different worlds, dystopias or utopias, it makes you think and compare them to your own world and the similarities and differences between them.” In her spare time she also likes to draw and paint, mainly the nature and the environment “because it’s ever changing”, says Charlotte. “Nature is a lot calmer than drawing portraits. When I envision perfection, I envision nature.”
With nature as a muse, Charlotte is eager to make a difference and help restore the environment. But how do you actually make a difference? “You learn”, Charlotte says convincingly. “Studying philosophy has really changed my perspective and made me realise that I’m still young, there are lots of things I don’t know. I need to learn more in order to make a difference,” she says. Personally, she spends some of her free time doing it, making the most of the current quarantine by taking online lessons, but she mostly learns through reading, of course. “You just read, you just learn,” says Charlotte. “Increase your knowledge on subjects you studied in school. And if there is something in particular that I like, I learn more about it. Just find your sustainability topic and read.”
|Favourite sphere||“The cryosphere. Everything to do with the North Pole and the South Pole and how nature takes form there.”|
|Favourite card game||“I really like the polar animal card came.”|
|Favourite animal||“I like loads of different animals, but I really like the King Penguin right now. It can live on land and in the water, and I really enjoy watching them swim. It’s just very beautiful. And it's something amazing when you see all of the penguins crowded around and one ice cap or on land, it's just really breathtaking.”|
|Favourite hobbies||“I love to play sports. I play hockey, golf and basketball. And so sports is a really big part of my family staying healthy and taking care of yourself.”|
|Favourite school subject||“Probably philosophy. It makes me think the most, and I love the reading material that we study, it’s cause and consequence - basically you read something and it’s meant to cause a reaction in you. Philosophy is basically thinking about matters in life and in the world around you. It’s just really, really interesting.”|