Say hi to Annika @medveten_i_stan 👋🌊 She is an eco champion who spends her time helping others finding their sustainable voice, spreading knowledge, and encouraging people to make conscious decisions. It was her love for nature and a sudden consideration when being pregnant of how we leave our planet behind for the next generations that drove Annika to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle 🌏
It is her efforts and energy that we love and her being so realistic with her communication that no one is perfect and that we can all help in different ways and for different causes. She makes us feel like we can all champion our small changes and take initiatives for things we care about, without limits. That’s why we want to share her story.
WHAT'S YOUR NAME & WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
Annika Sundin, I live in the city center of Stockholm, Sweden. We also have a country house on an island called Singö in the archipelago north of Stockholm where we spend most weekends and holidays.
WHAT DO YOU DO FOR A LIVING?
Communication specialist and project leader since 20 years. I work with driving sustainability, internal culture, engagement, and change management.
WHAT FIRST BROUGHT YOUR ATTENTION TO PLASTIC POLLUTION, AND WHEN?
I’ve always spent a lot of time in nature. I’d like to say that it started then, and it did. Wherever you spend your time becomes natural and what you care about. But in 2008, when I was pregnant, I became almost obsessed with what planet we leave behind to generations to come. Just being outside or going grocery shopping brings attention to the enormous plastic problem we have.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WANT TO BE A PART OF THE SOLUTION?
The obstacle we have with plastic really gets me going! Instead of just panicking and feeling anxious I started to engage. I am a woman with lots of energy for things I want to change. If I can wake people up and inspire to a more sustainable life - that’s my mission! We can’t recycle ourselves from the problem. We need to change!! First, production and consumption need to change. We also need to raise awareness and need more education so that people all around the world take responsibility and demand change.
HOW HAVE YOU CHANGED AND SHAPED YOUR LIFE SINCE THEN?
We simply cannot do it all. Not me, not you. But I think that we need to start in daily life. That is what I’ve done. I started with the things I do often, things that are close and that feels good in my heart and stomach. We don’t have to make it so complicated! Just start somewhere! Example of things I do in my life:
-I always bring my own water bottle and coffee thermos
-I buy locally produced, ecological, and Fairtrade
-I eat more green meals
-I use all the food I buy and have stopped looking at the “best before” dates, using my nose instead
-I use digital tools instead of traveling (even pre COVID-19)
-I leave the car and use my legs (walking/biking). When using a car I use electric power
-I put my pension money and savings in sustainable funds
-I invest in sustainable companies
-I use green electricity
-I always consume second hand in first hand
There are so many conscious choices that you can make. And they all count. All in all - it´s just common sense!
HOW ARE YOU MAKING AN IMPACT IN YOUR COMMUNITY?
I’m raising awareness through positive examples. I’m influencing more people to take action.
I want to deliver the message that our conscious decisions will affect! That they affect right away. And that we can all influence. The first thing is to be aware, the next to act, then to act a little more, then to influence, then to contact corporations, grocery stores, and so on. We can affect more than we think we can!
WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION?
In my daily life. When I get upset about that the whole change process is so utterly unbelievably slow. I just cannot accept it! Maybe it sounds strange, but all bad habits and bad solutions inspire me to do better. Also - there are so many great accounts to follow in all social media and new sustainable businesses that inspire me. They all show that we can do it! I want to add - be inspired, but also be open to what is yet to come. We have great knowledge today, but we haven’t seen anything yet when it comes to technical improvements for example. We will learn new things every day. Some of the conscious choices we do today may look different in the future.
WHAT CHANGES IN SOCIETY DO YOU THINK WILL HAVE THE BIGGEST IMPACT TO REDUCE PLASTIC POLLUTION?
We already have the facts and the knowledge and that sadly that hasn’t helped. So, I say regulations. We need to get the politicians to enact laws that will speed it all up. We cannot recycle ourselves out of this problem! All politicians and all corporations have to wake up! And ACT! The more we are that push towards change the faster it will go. I’m not sure that we have the time to wait until the younger generation can use their voice and power. But soon they will vote and become politicians and cooperation leaders. Then we will see change if not before. I really look forward to that!
WHAT ARE YOUR TOP 5 TIPS FOR ANYONE LOOKING TO BECOME MORE ENVIRONMENTALLY CONSCIOUS?
1) Start small – don´t complicate things. Don’t make too many changes in the beginning so that you feel that it all gets overwhelming.
2) Use your wallet as a weapon. When we stop buying crap, crap won´t be produced. Always focus on circular products, pre-loved, and quality. It´s just that easy!
3) Don´t be judgemental to yourself or to others. We are all in this together.
4) Spread the word and the knowledge. We can all influence one another. That’s how we make the biggest impact!
5) Have fun along the way! No fun no change. Just start and you will see how easy it is.
MORE ABOUT ANNIKA
Full name - Annika Sundin
From - Stockholm, Sweden
Main occupation - communication specialist and sustainable micro-influencer
Favorite place in the world is - Wherever my family is and there is sun
My favorite book right now is - Graceful Living
I cannot live without - 10 hours of sleep, my family, music, and laughter
My ocean spirit animal is - Dolphin
Three words that would describe me are - Energetic, determined, friendly
My favorite thing about our oceans is - That it calms me down
First activity in the morning is - Going to the toilet, then yoga
One of my dreams in life is - Be a part of changing the world for real
My go-to sustainable product is - My reusable water bottle and pre-loved clothing
My bucket list includes - Not much if you think of travel destinations, jumping off a cliff, and so on. I have a great life, wouldn’t change one thing actually
I AM PASSIONATE ABOUT - my family, sustainability, and licorice
SUSTAINABILITY MEANS TO ME - kindness and balance. If we were kind and respectful both to ourselves, others, and Mother nature we´d already be where we want!
Do you want to get to know Annika better, visit her inspiring Instagram account @medveten_i_stan where you can follow her journey and awesome tips for a more sustainable lifestyle.