Earth Day Is Every Day, For These Unsettled Alumni

There are four million different kinds of animals and plants in the world. That’s four million solutions to the problem of staying alive.”

– Sir David Attenborough

 

Happy Earth Day, fellow Earthlings!

Every year on April 22nd we are reminded of the importance of protecting the environment and honoring our planet. Today, and everyday, we are grateful for all the Earth provides us and we are in constant awe of the resiliency of the natural world. In honor of Earth Day, we tip our eco-friendly caps to the many Unsettled Alumni Earth champions that through their sustainable, inspiring, and forward-thinking efforts, make us proud to call this planet home.

Here are a few of their stories…  

Name: Seth Haber

Next travel destination: San Diego, CA

What do you do professionally? And how is it relevant on Earth Day?

I started my own business a little over 15 years ago (Trek Light Gear) and today we sell a growing collection of happiness inspiring products: everything from hammocks and blankets, to apparel and lifestyle goods for people who love the outdoors and live their lives with passion. We make products that encourage people to build a stronger connection with the outside world, but that’s only the first step. I believe that making the planet a better place should be built directly into the DNA of a business itself – which is why we give back with every sale we make by planting trees around the globe, donating school supplies and more.

What is something you can do everyday to help protect the natural world?

For me, I just try to think about waste as much as possible. When it comes to the Three R’s, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, I think it’s often missed by people that they’re truly in order of importance and how you should implement them. Recycling is great, but it’s costly and extremely challenging to educate people on what can and can’t be recycled. Reducing your waste is where it really begins – just try to use less of everything (or more of everything before you throw it out) and you’ll save a ton of waste. The Reuse step is just as crucial to practice because we’re making so many things out of plastic these days. It might feel good when you toss things in the recycle bin, but it’s a million times better if you find a way to reuse that container or glass jar so it doesn’t need to be recycled at all.

Where do you feel the most connected to your natural surroundings?

I love to camp and backpack, and it’s during those experiences when I feel the connection to the planet best. Just getting outdoors anytime is great, but it’s when you’ve spent a couple of days unplugged and nothing but the sound of nature to keep you company that it really hits home.

If you could say one thing to Planet Earth herself on Earth Day, what would you say?

Please keep being patient with us. We’re (re)learning how to take care of the planet and we’re doing it way too slowly, but we’re trying and we really need this relationship to work!

 

Name: Hannah Wheaton

Next travel destination: Papua New Guinea

What do you do professionally? And how is it relevant on Earth Day?

I am a tropical tree crop consultant…a job title that I gifted myself when I found it too hard to describe what I do. In a nutshell, think food security, climate change, cocoa/coconuts and developing countries.

Its relevant on Earth Day because I work with subsistence farming communities in some of the remote places on earth trying to re-learn how to farm in a changing climate. Climate change is already drastically impacting on those who contributed the least to global emissions and unsustainable practices. We need to be more aware that climate change isn’t some vague future threat, it’s here and its here to stay.

What is something you can do everyday to help protect the natural world?

I grew up in arid lands in South Australia so am very conscious of water usage. Don’t leave the tap running if you don’t have to, resist the temptation to have a long shower and buy water saving appliances for your home.  

Where do you feel the most connected to your natural surroundings?

This is very clique, but I really do feel a deep connection to the farm on which I grew up. If you can belong to the land (which I believe we can), then I belong to a patch of red dirt in the mid north South Australia. It has shaped my personality, my career and instilled in me a deep respect for mother earth.

If you could say one thing to Planet Earth herself on Earth Day, what would you say?

It astounds me that we eat three times a day (more or less) yet so few people think about where their food grew, how it grew, and who grew it. Only 10% of earth is arable and about 35% of earth is considered agricultural land – mother nature truly is amazing. Thank you for sustaining us in every way possible, and sorry that we take you for granted.

 

Name: Marianne S. Hosein

Next travel destination: Somewhere in Italia

What do you do professionally? And how is it relevant on Earth Day?

I am a radical change agent for influencing perspectives on our environment. I have worn various hats in Trinidad and Tobago over the last couple of decades to accomplish this- from environmental activist, University lecturer, Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) Professional in the local and multinational energy industries to my current vocation- Adventure Life Coach.

Currently, I am developing creative systems to assist people in living their most authentic lives by re-discovering their connections with nature. It involves pushing personal limits and opening oneself to everything our environment has to offer. When people have a personal experience in nature (Ever helped a baby sea-turtle emerge from its nest and crawl to the surf? How about adopting a river closest to your community and ensuring that it remains free of garbage so that when the rains come, people’s homes are not impacted by flooding? Or becoming a wildlife response volunteer to assist with animals impacted by an oil spill?), they try to do as much as they can to protect/preserve/restore that which they feel connected to. As you influence another, who then influences others, we experience a cascade effect which can magnify the behaviour you are trying to influence.

For me, April 22 has become a personal check point to gauge my progress with what I consider making a positive difference in life generally. I acknowledge that I still have a lot to learn and change in myself too!

What is something you can do everyday to help protect the natural world?

Sheesh! Hard question because there are many things that individuals can do EVERY DAY to respect the natural world. It really comes down to owning your choices. From switching off lights when not in use, using motion sensor lighting, choosing foods with less or no plastic packaging, carrying your own shopping bags to the mall or supermarket, using your clothes for longer, recycling/reducing/reusing your waste, using domestic water wisely, carrying your own food and water containers/ utensils when not at home, using organic mixtures to manage pests to more longer term projects like continually educating yourself about environmental advancements, volunteering time to plant trees, clean waterways or getting involved in conservation programmes in your area.

Where do you feel the most connected to your natural surroundings?

Ironically for this fire sign, in tropical water like seas and waterfalls.

If you could say one thing to Planet Earth herself on Earth Day, what would you say?

Thank you for all that you have shared with us. As we continue to accept that each of us has the power to influence others and effect positive change, we will see more balance being created….an updated version of what we seek, but a new way nonetheless.

Name: Abba Carmichael

Next travel destination: Exploring Switzerland

What do you do professionally? And how is it relevant on Earth Day?

I’m a socialpreneur. I’m the founder of and work with companies and organizations aiming to build a better world for all life.

Thus far in my career, this has manifested as working in the film industry as a producer and casting director on PSAs, short films, viral videos and more. In animal, human, and environmental education through providing marketing and strategy work for organizations and I produced an award-winning podcast spreading environmental education.

Currently, I have two primary projects: one is working with a European organization focused on raising global consciousness through Purpose-driven living and business leadership. Second, my newest project, which has a less obvious but huge environmental footprint, is “My Sexual Biography”. We believe sex education and empowerment is a vehicle for peace–in ourselves, partner(s), and the world. You can learn more on Instagram @mysexbio or mysexbio.org. Our theme this month is Sexual Sustainability and we’re even releasing a special Earth Day newsletter with Green Sex Tips – join our newsletter to receive it!

What is something you can do everyday to help protect the natural world?

I am conscious of my consumption. What I eat (as many local veggies and goods not in packaging as possible), what I wear (second-hand and fair trade), how I travel (contributing to carbon-offsetting – especially for flights), and when I have to use something how I can reuse and keep reusing it before considering upcycling and last recycling.

Where do you feel the most connected to your natural surroundings?

Farmer’s markets actually make me feel particularly connected to nature. I think it is partially from feeling the energy the farmers who are connected with the earth bring to the market, and also when heirloom and unusual (to me) varieties of veggies are available, it puts me in awe of all nature has created and we’re lucky enough to enjoy.

If you could say one thing to Planet Earth herself on Earth Day, what would you say?

Thank you for your unending wonder.

Name: Michael Youngblood & Jonathan Kalan

Next travel destination: The British Virgin Islands

What do you do professionally? And how is it relevant on Earth Day?

We are the co-founders of Unsettled. We are building a business that we truly believe in, that helps people unfuck their routine. As a travel company, Unsettled helps you do this by getting perspective on how you want to live differently. When you travel with Unsettled, we design our experiences to impact your worldview so that you understand all the beauty and all the fragility that the world is. We hope that all of our participants are deeply impacted and moved by these experiences and go on in their lives to think about when they travel the planet, and how important she is.

What is something you can do everyday to help protect the natural world?

On our Unsettled retreats we highly, highly encourage people to bring reusable water bottles. Because when you travel you often have to buy filtered water because you can’t drink out of the sink, and so we all but require participants to bring a reusable water bottle.

The old saying “reduce, reuse, recycle” is in that order. And it starts with the reduction of disposable plastics. We take that same motto with us at home and always try to have a water bottle and reusable coffee cup.

Where do you feel the most connected to your natural surroundings?

(Michael) When my feet are in a cold mountain stream in the southern Appalachian Mountains. Where there is nothing but natural life within sight and flowing between the cracks of my toes.

(Jonathan) On a surfboard, anywhere in the world, just as the sun is rising and the birds are starting to wake up and stretch their vocal chords. It’s an unparalleled feeling, and the best way to start any day.

If you could say one thing to Planet Earth herself on Earth Day, what would you say?

(Michael) First I would listen to her. And if I asked any questions, I would ask: how could I, through Unsettled, create experiences that help participants more deeply connect with you.

(Jonathan) I’ll have to agree with Michael here. If you have a chance to speak with earth, you don’t talk; you listen. You listen for what she needs and how you can fully support that to keep this beautiful ecosystem we live in balance and harmony.

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Unsettled is a global travel community for those who embrace the unknown and value meaningful human connection. Our mission is to inspire a lifelong pursuit of growth, meaning, and adventure through travel and shared experiences.


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