Our founders are busy packing their bags in preparation for the journey of a lifetime: Green Is The New Black is heading to the Arctic Circle to study climate change and film a documentary aboard the National Geographic Explorer with Robert Swan. WE KNOW, RIGHT?
After many months of nearly exploding with excitement and anticipation, we are SO PROUD to share that our founders Stephanie Dickson and Paula Miquelis have been selected for an expedition to the Arctic Circle to witness the effects of climate change firsthand. Under the guidance of one of the greatest living explorers, Robert Swan and his son Barney Swan, they will spend two weeks this June traveling through the Svalbard Archipelago toward the North Pole onboard the National Geographic Explorer where they will witness the disintegration of ice sheets, loss of habitat and wildlife, rising sea levels, and more while contemplating the effects of climate change together with a group of 80 other youth ambassadors looking for solutions.
In addition to exploring glaciers, trekking across tundra, sharing beaches with walruses in Edgeøya, hiking the cliffs of Kongsfjord, and more, they will be fully immersed in a Leadership on the Edge program that consists of a unique blend of leadership development, up-to-date climate change training, and sustainability education that will better equip them with the tools they need to return home and help make real change in the world for the betterment of mankind.
Never ones to miss an opportunity, Stephanie and Paula have taken it upon themselves to up the ante and attempt to complete the expedition entirely zero-waste and vegan. They will chronicle this in a documentary called The Naked Arctic Adventure that will premiere at the 5th anniversary of the Conscious Festival by Green Is The New Black in Singapore at the end of 2019.
Actually, we’ve barely grazed what this ClimateForce: Arctic 2019 is all about and have left it to Stephanie and Paula to shed a little light on their personal insights.
How does the story of joining the expedition unfold?
Paula & Stephanie: We heard about these expeditions a few years ago when people we knew went on the one to Antarctica. So when I saw the CDL E-Challenge earlier this year it reminded us and we decided to apply. It all happened so fast actually and everything fell into place beautifully, which really makes me feel this was meant to be. We are really grateful for the support of HSBC Private Banking for their contribution to making the trip possible and to CDL, particularly Esther An, for championing for us to go.
We already know what the overall objective for the mission is, but what are your personal goals for the expedition?
To us, there are a couple of goals we have in mind. Firstly to understand climate change more deeply and the impact this is/will be having on us and our future. Secondly is to understand deeper why some people wake up and take daily action to be more sustainable, and what makes others acknowledge that the issues are there but ignore a lot of it completely. We hope through this project, we will be able to reach some of the skeptics and non-believers and convert them. And finally, we are excited, and a tad nervous, to challenge ourselves further to fully embrace and surrender to the adventure.
There are so many activities on the itinerary. What are you looking forward to the most?
This trip is a once in a lifetime for us both. Having the opportunity to go to the Arctic Circle on an expedition like this is just crazy and still hasn’t fully sunk in. We’re also really looking forward to meeting the incredible people who are on the expedition, sharing ideas and learning from them. We’re going in with an open mind and heart.
Tell us a little bit more about the documentary. What are you trying to achieve with The Naked Arctic Expedition?
We really hope that we can reach those who are on the fence, or know about climate change but haven’t started changing their habits or taking action yet – and convert them to take their first #LittleGreenSteps. We hope that we are able to address some of the typical responses we get from people who pick convenience and modern living over sustainability and then share that it’s too hard, too expensive, or their actions are too small. Or they don’t know what to do. Climate change is a ticking time bomb and while we don’t know what exactly the future holds, our actions today are having an impact on what will happen tomorrow. But in true Green Is The New Black fashion, we want to make it accessible, positive, a little cheeky and actionable.
What does the expedition mean for the future of GITNB?
We feel like this is going to be a turning point for us. We’ve always loved video since the get-go, but now we’re upping the ante by doing our first documentary, which is a big step but also one that is incredibly exciting. We will be premiering the documentary at the 5th Anniversary of our Conscious Festival, which in itself is pretty special. Hopefully, it is one of many crazy and meaningful adventures that we get to go on together.
What’s packed in your zero-waste and vegan suitcase to make life easier on the trip?
We’ve decided to go NAKED on this mission – meaning waste-free, vegan and fearless.
> Offsetting our flights and transportation so we’re carbon neutral
> Reduce single-use packaging as much as possible and recycle what is unavoidable
> Be armed with our reusables (bottles, containers, cups, cutlery, bags etc.)
> Our make up and cosmetics will be as low impact and vegan as we can.
> And of course going green on our periods (e.g. mensural cup and period pants)
> Free our minds from fears
To put it simply, we will use, eat and bring with us what we only need and just as we are – almost naked. We are both constantly trying to reduce our waste and be greener. It will be interesting to see what will be the sneaky items that creep in throughout the trip but we’re hoping to keep them to a minimum.