Say hi to India @with_india 👋🌊 A SUPYoga instructor and travel presenter who has taken on a sustainable lifestyle with a mission to protect our oceans and nature and inspiring others to do the same.
It was her work that brought her attention to the devastating effects plastic has on our oceans and it was her long-standing love for our oceans made her want to protect them. She does so through her work with organisations such as @2minutebeachclean and Plastic patrol whilst also hosting SUPYoga classes to highlight the beauty of our oceans and the need to protect them. She is also an eco-champion, with a lifestyle founded on conscious environmental thinking and sustainable habits.
It is her passion for wanting to get people involved and being a part of the solution that we find so inspiring and that is why we are excited to share her story with you.
WHAT'S YOUR NAME & WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
My name is India and I live in the UK, on the Kent Coast.
WHAT DO YOU DO FOR A LIVING?
I am a Travel Presenter and Yoga Teacher
WHAT FIRST BROUGHT YOUR ATTENTION TO PLASTIC POLLUTION, AND WHEN?
As a Travel Presenter, I have seen the impact tourism can have on a destination both good and bad. In 2018 I made a film in Cape Verde about the impact of tourism on such a small island and it opened my eyes to the devastating effects plastic pollution can have on an island that doesn't have the infrastructure to recycle properly. This experience has never left me and I felt a need to not only change my own lifestyle choices but also encourage others to do the same.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WANT TO BE A PART OF THE SOLUTION?
I am lucky enough to live 3 minutes from the sea and walk my dog every morning along Hythe beach. I love water, and spending time on my paddleboard just cruising, or teaching SUPYoga, it connects me to our blue planet even more. My daily walks and paddles have brought me closer to the problem we have with plastic pollution but I do have faith we can change this.
I spend most of my holidays down in Cornwall, exploring this beautiful part of the UK in a camper van. A few years back, whilst heading down to the beach in Bude I spotted an A Frame board - it read ‘2 Minute Beach Clean’ on the front and attached to the board was litter pickers and bags. The message on the board asked you to spend just 2 minutes cleaning the beach and to take a photo of your beach clean and post it on social media with the hashtag #2MinuteBeachClean to encourage others to do the same. What a brilliant idea, I thought, 2 minutes is no time at all and if we all did it, what a difference it would make! They were not asking you to clean the whole beach, it doesn’t make you feel guilty for not being able to make every organised beach clean or for that matter solve the entire crisis. It simply says “do what you can’ 2 minutes on every trip to the beach or in fact anywhere, just pick up a few pieces. I believe small acts can amount to big changes, even if they only take 2 minutes!
HOW HAVE YOU CHANGED AND SHAPED YOUR LIFE SINCE THEN?
I will now always try to make the sustainable choice when it comes to shopping for food, clothes, items for my home etc. The majority of furniture in my home is second hand or upcycled! The same goes for my clothes, I now try to buy my clothes from charity shops or am always open to friends who want to donate their unwanted items! When it comes to food, I mainly buy from local farm shops, so it is seasonal and not covered in packaging - it's also great to shop locally too! I have learnt how to make cleaning products for my home and my body using natural ingredients, so this has massively shrunk the amount of plastic in my kitchen and bathroom. I now always carry 3 simple items with you - a reusable coffee cup, reusable water bottle, and a set of reusable cutlery - the ones I have come in a travel set and are made with Bamboo. This way I never have an excuse to need to use 'single-use' plastic when out eating.
HOW ARE YOU MAKING AN IMPACT IN YOUR COMMUNITY?
In June this year, I raised over £700 for the ‘2 Minute Foundation’ which also secured my local beach with a ‘2 Minute Beach Clean board’. To raise the money, I paddle boarded the 28-mile length of the Royal Military Canal between Rye and Hythe, picking up litter along the way. The board is a great addition to the community as it means everyone can get involved with doing a simple ‘2 Minute’ beach clean!
In addition to this, I am a rep for the environmental organisation ‘Plastic Patrol’ and run yoga/ beach cleans in my local community to help inspire others to get involved with looking after our beaches and enjoy some yoga at the same time! The event starts with a yoga class, and then we grab our litter picks and head to the beach. After every beach clean, I ask the volunteers to register the rubbish they find into the Plastic Patrol app. This helps to gather crucial data that would help conduct the world’s largest survey of inland plastic pollution that can be used to approach brands that are causing pollution from the source.
HOW DOES STAND-UP-PADDLE BOARDING FIT INTO YOUR LIFE AND HOW IMPORTANT IS IT FOR YOU TO BE ON THE WATER?
Paddleboarding is a form of meditation for me. Meditation is about clearing the mind, to let go of thoughts and feel completely present in the here and now - paddle-boarding does this so well. You are so focused on staying on the board, becoming aware of your breath, your body, the sounds of nature around you, that during your time on the board - nothing else matters.
WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION?
I am inspired by nature. The natural world is phenomenal and functions seamlessly without us humans interfering. The flora and fauna we share this world with doesn't need material objects to be content and I think this is something we should all take inspiration from.
WHAT CHANGES IN SOCIETY DO YOU THINK WILL HAVE THE BIGGEST IMPACT TO REDUCE PLASTIC POLLUTION?I think we all need to take responsibility for our own actions. I really do believe small acts can amount to big changes. If we all start refusing to buy single-use plastic, the large companies will have to change their products to meet customer demands.
MORE ABOUT INDIA
Full name - India Pearson
From - Kent, UK
Main occupation - Travel Presenter and Yoga Teacher
Favorite place in the world is - Cornwall, UK
My favorite book right now is - Paddling Britain by Lizzie Carr.
I cannot live without - Without my dog and our walks on the beach!
My ocean spirit animal is - A seal, I sometimes see them when I go out paddleboarding
Three words that would describe me are - Positive, proactive, clumsy!
My favorite thing about our oceans is - Its power to heal
First activity in the morning is - I make a fresh mint tea and take my dog for a walk on the beach
One of my dreams in life is - Walk by the beach and see no litter
My go-to sustainable product is - My reusable water bottle
My bucket list includes - So many things. Travel around New Zealand in a campervan, take a paddleboarding trip in Norway through the fjords, surf in Hawaii, start a dog rescue charity, maintain a happy healthy life!
I AM PASSIONATE ABOUT - Encouraging others to take care of our planet. We live in such a beautiful world and share it with so many incredible plants, creatures, and marine life. Let’s work together to keep this planet healthy!