With Sustainable September drawing closer, we thought we’d open a window into the world of Blue & Green Tomorrow. Journalist Ilaria Bertini tells us about his background, interest in sustainability and what the future might hold.
Tell us briefly about your background and your current role.
I come from Northwest Italy – from a place blessed with lovely hills and good wine – where I took a BA in communication; I later decided to specialise in environmental journalism in the UK at the University of Lincoln because I have always believed in journalism as a way of fighting for a better world and speaking out against injustices. I have been writing for Blue & Green Tomorrow for over a year now, focusing mostly on environmental issues and ethical shopping.
Where does your interest in sustainability come from?
I barely remember, as it is like it’s been part of me since forever. I became a member of the WWF when I was 7, I remember feeling very sad about knowing tigers and polar bears were endangered. Having always lived in the countryside I have a very strong link with nature and with my native country, enjoying long walks and climbing trees (this last one not anymore I’m afraid!). Over the years, I volunteered in many organisations focusing on the environment, conservation and animal rights.
What’s your favourite sustainability story at the moment?
Well, I was really excited of hearing about the proposal to serve vegan food at Wadham College at the University of Oxford for ecological reasons and despite the recent u-turn, I’m optimistic that the news will have an impact on many students and staff members.
What one idea do you think could change the world for the better?
I truly believe that we are what we eat (and more generally, what we buy), and if we eat unsustainable, cruel and polluted food, we are on the wrong path. I decided years ago to change my eating and consumption habits, consuming only local, organic and plant-based food, as well as homemade or handcrafted stuff – from beauty products to energy sources. I think we need to reconnect with what we take for granted just because it’s on the shop’s shelf and learn how to ‘make’ things again.
What do you see of the future in terms of sustainability, business and the environment?
Sustainability is a great thing but I feel it has been misused and greenwahsed on some occasions. Businesses need to understand they cannot make profits over a world that would be poor, empty, devastated and without resources. Overall, I think we need a different model, and I very much like the idea of de-growth, but I recognise it’s a bit of an utopia. On the contrary, a circular economic model is perfectly viable and realistic in the current world.
Writing for Blue & Green Tomorrow makes me hungry around noon, and you know an hungry Italian is not a good thing, so please buy me pizza!