"I have a big secret project, but I can’t tell you yet". Julia from Grön i Åbo
Hello Friday & Hello Finland!
This week, instead of a short interview, we wanted to share with you a conversation we had with Julia from Grön i Aabo! She’s a Zero Waste’r, environmentalist and… an author! Read on and get inspired!
Tell us a bit about yourself, where are you from, where did you study, and why did you choose to be based in Åbo (at least for now)?
Hi! My name is Julia Degerth and I am a Swedish speaking Finn from a city called Turku (Åbo in Swedish) in Finland. This is where I was born and also the city where I feel most at home, even though I for example have lived in super cool Copenhagen. Turku is always the best choice for me. I am 25 years old and environmentalism is my passion. I studied and graduated from a school called Novia and now I am a Community Educator.
What's important to you, and how do these values affect your professional choices?
It is very important to me to choose what is good for our planet and to tell others about it. I started a company in the fall 2017 to be able to work with environmental issues through the ”lectures” (or talks) I have about living sustainably and according to the Zero Waste lifestyle. In January my first book ever, ”Min lilla gröna” (~my little green (book)) was published which talks about the same things that I write about on my blog Grön i Åbo. In my company I also collaborate with other companies, writing articles about their products. I only choose to work with people who share the same values with me and I would never write about a product I wouldn’t use myself.
How would you describe the general eco-awareness of people in Sweden/Finland? Do you see a difference from big cities to more remote areas?
I think it is getting more important every day to be conscious. When I was 11 years old and heard about climate change for the first time, very few people cared about these things. Today it seems like everyone is concerned about our planet and wants to make a difference. I feel that Finland is taking this seriously and we have really good bus connections and to the bigger cities also quite good train connections. Recycling is accessible to almost everyone and there are more green options on the market today than when I was 11 years old.
In big cities you have so much to choose between, you can find spices in bulk and buy ethically made products. On the other hand, you can do a lot of unnecessary shopping in bigger cities, probably more than in smaller towns. In small towns there might not be many different stores with environmentally friendly products but there can instead be more local food that is sold at the farmer’s markets. I think both places are good to live in as well as bad, if we look at it from the perspective of our planet’s wellbeing.
What about diet: do you reckon that people in Sweden / Finland make dietary choices based on environmental awareness?
Absolutely, veganism is way bigger today than five years ago! Also, I think buying local is pretty important for Finns at least.
What's your personal battle? What do you do to live more consciously on daily basis?
I try to do a lot and I hope that makes a difference. I write a blog that inspires others to make green choices, I live a trash free life, I don’t eat meat from the meat industry, only game meat. I use public transports as much as I can and I don’t fly anymore. I buy almost only second hand clothes and I never consume just for the sake of consuming. I try to do things that are good and I try to do many different things, not only for example avoiding fast fashion. Looking at the big picture is important.
Who are your personal heroes and why?
Greta Thunberg from Sweden for sure! A 16 year old girl travelling the world striking for our planet. So inspiring and cool. Love it that a girl does this and shows the world that women can do anything.
What book are you currently reading?
Right now I am reading a novel by one of my favorite bloggers Flora Wiström from Sweden. The book is called Stanna and is a lot about a girl’s first love and the struggles she has to go through.
What’s next for you?
Right now I am working hard to sell my book, Min lilla gröna, and I guess that will be what I am doing this spring. In the summer I will go travelling by trains, ferries and buses only (no planes!) in Europe for two months. That is my vacation before I continue working. I have a big secret project I will start doing after that, but I can’t tell you yet hehe! It will be even bigger than my book and I can’t wait to share it with the world.