Meet Katie Hardyment… a passionate environmentalist and sustainability advocate.
Katie’s fascination with the great outdoors and understanding the interaction of people and their environment led her to follow a path into Geography. This path would lead to a roll with an NGO, and it’s here that Katie developed her passion for understanding why things are like they are, and why people do what they do.
She developed these skills further as a Sustainability Consultant for organisation such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Kellogg’s and Disney. Katie’s work with these organisations has allowed her to develop strategies for social and environmental impact – from sustainable farming programmes to behaviour change campaigns around women’s health.
Katie hopes that her involvement with eXXpedition will not only be an opportunity to connected with a group of empowered female wave makers, but also an important opportunity to collaborate on ideas, solutions and be a part of creating lasting change.
No sooner had Katie hopped off Sea Dragon, we collared her in St Lucia, after the end of an unforgettable eXXpedition Caribbean Leg 1, and after being part of the first ever microplastic sampling in these waters, to answer our ‘Meet the Crew’ hot seat questions, so you can find out more about our incredible change makers!
Q: What colour is your toothbrush?
Q: If you could teleport where would you go and why?
A: I’m a fan of big, wild, open spaces so I’d probably take the chance to go places like Patagonia, Mongolia or Canada
Q: Who do you admire the most (dead or alive)?
A: Too many to name (there really are!).
Q: What’s your top tip for reducing plastic use – what works for you?
A: Just by being conscious of it, you’ll be open to ideas and noticing how you can change. I was reading an article about how many face washes contain plastic microbeads that made me realise it’s easy to switch to one (like St Ives) that doesn’t.
I also think it’s about starting small and making habits, like picking veg at the supermarket that’s loose rather than in plastic packaging.
It’s also good to try to get the message across to businesses that you care about this kind of thing. Telling a cafe you’re glad they have biodegradable cutlery, or posting a review online saying something similar to a big brand, is feedback that can genuinely help create and sustain change (I know: I’ve worked with lots of businesses to help them think about what the public feel about sustainability, and I can tell you that your comments make a difference!)
Q: If you could put just one thing at the top of your bucket list, what would it be?
A: Going in a hot air balloon
Q: What’s the most delightful word you can think of?
Q: What’s your biggest fear?
A: Losing people close to me
Q: Favourite flavour ice-cream?
A: Coconut. Or coffee. Or chocolate. Can I have all three?!
Q: Who would be your 4 ultimate dinner party guests (dead or alive)?
A: I’d try to reunite a few entertainers of old – some of the Monty Python crew, perhaps
Q: Where would you go if you were invisible?
A: Into a beehive
Q: If you owned your own Yacht, what would you call her?
Q: What have you done that you are most proud of?
A: I’m proud to have worked for several organisations that are making a real difference to people’s lives and move things (business, society etc) in a positive direction. Good Business, the Gates Foundation and Camfed are all way ahead in the game of being innovative and practical about how to create change. In a small way I’ve been able to help them do that
Q: What would your Superhero power be?
A: Ability to control time
Q: What piece of advice have you been given that was most rewarding?
A: That there’s no ‘right’ path – in career or in life. The journey is like climbing a mountain – if you can work out roughly what the top of the mountain looks or feels like, then you’re set. Accept – perhaps enjoy – that the paths you take may go sideways and they may be rough or smooth; as long as you try to make choices that feel broadly right for what you think the top looks like then you’ll reach the top that’s right for you
Q: What’s the most important thing you want to take away from your eXXpedition voyage?
A: That feeling of knowing that you’ve refocused on what matters
Q: What’s your favourite marine animal and why?
A: Turtles – the most amazingly peaceful and mesmerizing animal I’ve ever seen
Q: What’s the one thing that drives you crazy?
A: When people in positions of power deliberately misinform, confuse or panic people. Stop them!
Thanks Katie…. reading your blogs, it sounds like the Caribbean, its people, and plastic has really left its mark on all of you – great work girls!