It’s a powerful thing when women take action. Little actions in the face of big problems, taking on things that matter and inspiring all of us to do the same.
Candice Batista is an award-winning environmental journalist and one of Canada’s leading eco-advocates. When Candice speaks, we listen. She has been tirelessly working in animal rights and environmental action for decades – she’s consistent, committed and inspires us to keep fighting the good fight. Scroll down to watch the video feature and written interview with our leading lady Candice.
Candice, could you start by telling us about yourself?
I am an environmental journalist who has been in the green space for 20 years now. Helping and educating people on how to live a greener life. I grew up in Africa and got a real sense of the narwal world very early on. I think I was born an environmentalist and have been a voice for the planet from a very young age.
Where do you find inspiration for your articles?
All over the place. I work in Television and have been a TV producer for years. I am used to looking out for great stories and finding new trends for my readers. And I read. A LOT! I also talk to people in my community which I think is so important, they normally have so many questions and can be a really good jumping-off point for new content. The news is also a place I go to find tilted stories on climate change.
There is so much information being published around environmentalism and sustainability, what advice would you give readers on how to distinguish fact from fiction?
They need to connect with people who have proper credentials and who use sources for their work. Facts matter. Following an influencer simply because they have a gazillion followers does not mean that they know what they are talking about. It’s important to talk to people and companies who align with your values. Always ask questions!
What are some small steps you would tell people to take if they are just starting out on their sustainability journey?
Waste Reduction: Get familiar with Zero Waste principles: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rot. Realize that taking steps towards Zero Waste means you are gradually and systematically working towards a simpler, less expensive and more practical lifestyle in all areas: the kitchen, linens, cleaning products… it’s never-ending!
Do a waste audit to see what you are throwing away each week. It’s easy - over the next week instead of taking out the trash daily and throwing it in the garbage, collect it in one place, the garage is perfect. Are there any plastic disposables in there? If so, consider replacing it with a reusable alternative. Some examples: razors, produce bags, straws, plastic sandwich bags, etc. Our Amazon Shop has so many great alternatives for you to choose from.
Put social media to good use. I have a love-hate relationship with social media. It’s great for seeking out like-minded people and companies but it also plays on our insecurities and makes many of us feel inadequate as we try to keep up with the Joneses. Everyone is on the prowl for inspiration and guidance, so show them that you care about nature and share messages on how people can help! Do you go birdwatching? Do you embark on wild adventures? Upload your photos to Instagram and show the world how nature matters to you!
Cut down on your vehicle’s emissions. Keep the car in good working order. Do regular maintenance, keep tire pressure at proper levels. Don’t let your car idle more than a few minutes. This contributes to emissions and gives you zero miles per gallon fuel efficiency.
Be Informed. Revolutions in renewable energy, important decisions in environmental policy, climate change research illustrate there is a lot going on in the environment sector, and it is important to stay informed. Sign up to newsletters that will help you. Some of my fav’s: Green Matters, Alternatives Journal, Eco Watch, David Suzuki Foundation, and Environmental Defense.
How do you incorporate sustainability into your wardrobe?
I am a massive outfit repeater, don’t shop a lot, and I LOVE second-hand clothing. Also, look to support groups who are fighting in the front lines. Fashion Revolution is working to secure a radical change in the way that our clothing is produced, sourced and consumed. They are pushing for greater transparency in the fashion supply chain through social media outreach, investigative research, innovative events and inspiring, informative content. Donations and support to Fashion Revolution help:
- Inspire people to think differently about their clothes by creating interactive resources, practical guides and innovative events to think differently about how we buy, care and dispose of our clothes;
- Pursue investigative research to change industry practice by informing industry, consumers and policymakers with new research data to ensure global supply chain transparency and responsibility in industry practice.
What is your most exciting memory of your career to date?
Training with Al Gore and getting David Suzuki. LEGENDs.
What is one thing we can all start doing today to reduce our environmental footprint?
Conscious consumption: being aware of where your purchases come from is empowering. If you like a shirt because it’s fashionable, you can also LOVE it because it’s ethically sourced. If you love it, you will keep it longer. Understand your impact and think before you buy it.