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For a long time now I wanted to start with the interview section for my blog. I want to talk to people from all kinds of backgrounds, professions and lifestyles. I believe that if we understand each other, we can find the best way to share the message of having a life more in tune with nature.
Not everyone it’s going to become an ambassador of the sustainable lifestyle, and that’s ok. But together we could find valid solutions, so everyone incorporates sustainable habits to their lives.
Recently, I stumbled upon this lovely project that has three elements very close to my heart: books, the environment and the education for children. The truth is that one of my inspirations to pursue this kind of lifestyle it is the little ones. I have a nephew that I love, and often I think about the future we’ll leave him. Another plus about this book it’s that is in English and Spanish!
This interview goes for the parents! Books are a jewel; kids will learn everything that we’ll teach them. Since we are leaving this world to them, it’s important to leave a guide on how to be friendly with their home, Earth.
In this first interview in Geo-Awake, Maria Fernanda Fuentes, co-creator of the Tales of the Travelling FootPrint, tells us about this lovely flipbook that teaches the importance of reducing, reusing and recycling. Without further due, here it is!
Name: Maria Fernanda
Country of origin: Venezuela
Country of residence: Costa Rica
What’s the project about?
It is about 6 flipbooks in total, with illustrated images, with paragraphs that are part of a poem. This poem tells a story, about being conscious on reusing and recycling things. Not only to dispose them but, to give a second chance to objects.
Above all, the intention of the book it is to get the message to lots of people. Which is why is not just a book with information, but it’s attractive and nice to look at. It grabs the attention and makes you interested in the subject.
Where does this idea come from?
Well, the first time that Astrid (co-creator) and I got together was at university. When it was the time to give ideas to develop an individual project we gave very similar ideas. We wanted to develop stories, or a book with images, something that would send a message, mostly about the environment. But, we both wanted it to be attractive to the eye. Hence, we got together to develop the project.
From there begins the whole adventure of creating it, how to tell a story, how to communicate that this boot that is travelling across the world is affecting the life of many animals.
Where does your inspiration come from?
I think it comes from Costa Rica. Neither Astrid nor I’m from here. She is from Honduras and I am from Venezuela. I would say in comparison to our countries, it is not so clear the idea of recycling and taking care of the environment. The fact of being here in Costa Rica, it has taught us how to take care of nature, to be more aware of the natural resources, they provide tonnes of information here. They have specific recycling centres for everything: computers, phone batteries, etc. There are many things I have learned here in Costa Rica, since I moved six years ago, habits that I practice on a daily basis. Here it’s practically law to recycle, so it’s something you learn and get used to.
Did you ever think that your career could have a social impact?
Always. If one has the possibility to develop something that is attractive, like an animation film, a movie or something like that, let’s not make it superficial. It’s not only about telling a story and that’s it, but to teach something, to give some tools or an advice on how to take care of the environment, to recycle or anything, as little as it might seem, then you have to do it. To take care of this world that it’s the only one we have, so yes, I’m certain that with whatever you study you can always help, no matter how little.
You feel your habits have changed since you moved to Costa Rica?
Yes, they have. I’m pretty sure before coming here I must have thrown away a piece of paper or plastic in the rubbish without thinking about recycling it. Here we have a system where they recycle paper, food waste, plastic, cardboard and a lot more.
I live with four other people, and we all recycle everything we can, I am like a watchdog with my family (laughs) always behind them making sure they recycle. Also, I always try to go walking wherever I can. The other thing is electricity; I can’t stand having a light on that it’s unused. When I’m alone at home I’m like a vampire (laughs) the only light on it would be in the room I’m at. I reuse the paper a lot until there is not more chance of reusing it, and then I recycle it.
But, my family it’s very new here in Costa Rica, and they are all adjusting to these new ways of recycling. I still feel very new as well, like a child, there is a lot I have to learn.
Which are those things you feel are more challenging to change?
Not using so much water. I have to remember not to waste so much. I see on the street many times a lot of pipes that are pouring drinkable water. And so I always think that it’s our fault because we don’t take good care of the pipes. We can’t abuse on the fact that we have a lot of water. It’s about being aware of the resources we have.
Which habits have your family changed?
Well, for example, my Mum used to go to the supermarket, that was like 2 Km away, in her car. Here she goes on foot, which is also healthier for her. It is good to move, it’s comfortable to be sitting but it’s not very healthy.
Which projects would you like to do in the future?
I would like to create a book, not a flipbook, but a book with illustrations like a story book, or a short animated film, something to send a message about the conservation of the planet, human beings and animals. To help with the idea of taking good care of the environment and the planet. It is something that could become true very soon because it’s related to this project.
A message for all of those who are reading this interview
That you have to be mindful of what you do with your waste, reuse what you can and recycle the rest. Take things to recycle to a specialised centre. Reduce the use of automobiles and use more bicycles. Take care of the planet and yourself, which is actually the same thing. Take care of the animals, because the thing with waste it’s that is affecting too much the life of many creatures.
Although the project of The Tales of the Travelling FootPrint it’s about reducing waste, Maria tells us about another interesting aspect in Costa Rica, and on how they are trying to be more sustainable in the energy sector.
At the moment in Costa Rica, they are trying to make people avoid using automobiles for transportation. They are encouraging people to use more public transportation and less private cars, since the public transportation allows more people to move from one place to the other, this with the intention of reducing the gases that are being liberated to the environment, like carbon dioxide.
Of course, there are tonnes of people who would rather go in their own car, but it’s something that they are trying to change here. Like two or three years ago they started bringing more electric cars, there are already some stations where you can recharge the vehicle, I think at the moment there are two stations and probably around 200 electric cars. The government it’s trying that more people buy these cars, it’s best for the environment. They’ve encouraged the people by removing the taxes on these cars for a period of time.
A little note on the project
Maria tells us that besides Astrid, who is the co-creator of this project, there was also an awesome team that gave them support with lots of details that creates the environment of the story, people that believe in the message and that were there to help them out.
The intention of the project (which was their thesis) was to be able to donate the books and spread the message on how we should take care of the environment. But, for this they need a financial support, hence, they decided to launch the campaign at indiegogo, here I’ll leave you the link for you to support them with this beautiful work.
And here I’ll leave some links in case you want to get in touch with these talented ladies.
If you want grown-ups to recycle, just tell their kids the importance of recycling, and they’ll be all over it. Bill Nye