Mirna Ines Fernández Pradel is 27 years old and she cares for the environment and is passionate about protecting it.
Mirna, who lives in Bolivia, became a Girl Guide when she was just six and it’s a movement that’s inspired her to stand up for what she believes in. That’s why she’s determined to make the fight against climate change a priority.
“In Bolivia, there are many ecosystems and people depend on them to survive. Unfortunately, the impact climate change is having on the ecosystem is being felt most by the poorest
communities who are finding it the hardest to deal with,” says Mirna Ines Fernández Pradel, 27, from Bolivia.
The issue of c limate change now affects every country on every continent. It is disrupting national economies and affecting lives. It’s costing people, communities and countries a great
deal. Unless measures are put in place, the situation will only get worse – and it will affect girls disproportionately.
Among the poorest communities, girls are most vulnerable.
Mirna says, “Girls often have to drop out of school to take care of their siblings and to do the housework. As the effects of
climate change worsen, it’s the girls who will have to shift activities to help their communities. This means they might have to drop out of school to help address issues associated with
climate change, such as collecting water or becoming farmers to help families make ends meet, leaving them more vulnerable to early marriage.”
Having grown up in Bolivia, Mirna knows the difficulties girls face. She became part of the Bolivian Girl Guides Association when she was six. Now, she’s a leader and, as part of her
role, she is focusing on the Global Goal 13: Climate Action, and campaigning to ensure change happens.
Launched a year ago, the Global Goals are a series of ambitious targets to end extreme poverty and tackle climate change for everyone, and it’s a notion that’s at the forefront of
“We can use the Global Goals to push decision-makers to move towards the change the planet needs, so the current challenges we are facing can be addressed,” says Mirna. “They
also bring hope, reminding us it is possible to reach a consensus over all the intercultural and political differences.”
A committed campaigner, Mirna is also educating her fellow Girl Guides about why climate change needs to be tackled, through a range of non-formal education programmes.
“I want to influence as many people as possible to care about biodiversity related issues. At a grassroots level, I want to keep motivating my Girl Guides to work on environmental issues. At a national and global level, I want to network with young people from different regions focusing on biodiversity, as well as bringing solutions to the environmental crisis.”
Her campaign work is going well and it’s clear girls in Bolivia are passionate about the topic.
“The group of Girl Guides who want to learn more about the environment is increasing. At the beginning I was the only one in my group working on environmental issues, now there are many more who want to learn about it.”
As well as pursuing a Masters in Tropical Biodiversity and Ecosystems, Mirna has also represented the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) at a range of
high-level conferences, including the United Nations Climate Change Conference and the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development.
“For a young woman’s voice to be heard at these high-level conferences is a life-changing experience and it’s a responsibility we all take very seriously,” she says.
“It’s crucial girls and young women’s voices are heard. Empowering them through education and decent job opportunities means more resilient communities will be created, ensuring the coming generations will be aware and capable of how to build a better future.”
The Girl Guide and Girl Scout movement has been integral to Mirna’s journey, helping her to shape her values and beliefs.
“I owe a lot of my values, including the environmental ones, to the Girl Guiding Movement. My commitment towards nature comes from the outdoor activities I enjoyed as a Girl Guide. Being a Girl Guide leader helped me understand some of the world’s biggest challenges, such as poverty, sustainability and inequality, while I was able to develop my knowledge on environmental issues thanks to the non-formal education program,” says Mirna.
“Finally, my best friends, young women that I admire a lot, come from the movement, and I am still able to work with them. Now, as we come together to mark International Day of the Girl, it’s important to realise our full potential and to recognise that we don’t need to wait to grow up to make a big differences in the world. Change can happen now.”
4 Common Items That Can be Reused Again and Again
As a society we are getting much better at taking our obligations to the world and environment around us more seriously. This is undoubtedly a good thing! The effects of climate change are beginning to manifest across the world, and this is turning the issue from an abstract threat into a very real danger. Trying to introduce some greener, more eco-friendly practices into your life isn’t just a great way of doing something beneficial for society and the world around you. It is a wonderful way of engaging positively with the world and carries with it numerous psychological benefits.
Being a greener, more ecologically friendly person doesn’t require any dramatic life changes. Breaking or making a few small habits is all it takes to make your life a greener one. In this article we look at one of the easiest, yet most effective green practices to get into: reusing everyday items.
Jars and Containers
Glass and metal are widely recycled, and recycling is a good thing! However, consider whether any containers you buy, whether it’s a tub of ice cream or a jar of coffee, can be washed out and reused for something else. Mason jars, for example, can be used to store homemade pasta sauce and can be washed for future use. Once you start thinking about it, you will find endless opportunities to reuse your old containers.
An ice-cold soda is a wonderful treat on a hot day, but buying soda can get expensive, and the manufacturing and distribution of the drinks themselves isn’t great for the environment. However, by holding on to your old soda bottles and repurposing them as water bottles, you can save money on drinks, or use them to measure out water for your garden.
Most of the time groceries come in paper bags, which are better for the environment than the plastic alternatives, but they are less durable and thus harder to reuse. Whenever the store places your items in a plastic bag, hang onto it so you can reuse the bags again. If you want to take it one step further, consider looking into buying some personalized recycled bags. These bags are designed to last for a long time and are made of recycled materials. They look striking and unique, they’ll turn heads, and maybe even attitudes!
If you’re a keen gardener, then you will already probably know how to reseed your plants in order to ensure a fresh crop after each plant’s lifecycle. If you have space in your garden, or haven’t yet tried your hand at gardening, then consider planting a small vegetable plot. Growing your own veggies means that you’ll be helping to cut back on the emissions generated by their transport and production. The best part about growing your own food in this way is that, by harvesting properly and saving the seeds, you can be set up with fresh vegetables for life!
Reusing and recycling common household items is an easy way to make your world a little bit greener. Once you start looking for these opportunities you’ll realize that they’re everywhere!
These 5 Green Office Mistakes Are Costing You Money
The sudden interest in green business is very encouraging. According to recent reports, 42% of all companies have rated sustainability as an important element of their business. Unfortunately, the focus on sustainability will only last if companies can find ways to use it to boost their ROI.
Many businesses get so caught up in being socially conscious that they hope the financial aspect of it takes care of itself. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to go green and boost your net income at the same time.
Here are some important mistakes that you will want to avoid.
Only implementing sustainability on micro-scale
The biggest reason that brands are going green is to improve their optics with their customers. Too many businesses are making very minor changes, such as processing paperwork online and calling themselves green.
Customers have become wary of these types of companies. If you want to earn their business, you are going to need to go all the way. Bring in a green business consultant and make every feasible change to demonstrate that you are a green organization from top to bottom.
Not prioritizing investments by long-term ROI
It isn’t realistic to build an entirely green organization overnight. You will need to allocate your capital wisely.
Before investing in any green assets or services, you should always conduct a long-term cost benefit analysis. The initial investment for some green services may be over $20,000. If they don’t shave your cost by at least $3,000 a year, they probably aren’t worth the investment.
Determine which green investments will have the best pay off over the next 10 years. Make these investments before anything else. Then compare your options within each of those categories.
Implementing green changes without a plan
Effective, long-term planning is the key to business success. This principle needs to be applied to green organizations as well.
Before implementing a green strategy, you must answer the following questions:
- How will I communicate my green business philosophy to my customers?
- How will running a green business affect my revenue stream?
- How will adopting green business strategies change my monthly expenses? Will they increase or decrease them?
- How will my company finance green upgrades and other investments?
The biggest mistake that too many green businesses make is being overly optimistic with these forecasts. Take the time to collect objective data and make your decisions accordingly. This will help you run a much more profitable green business.
Not considering the benefits of green printing
Too many companies believe that going paperless is the only way to run a green organization. Unfortunately, going 100% paperless it’s not feasible for most companies.
Rather than aim for an unrealistic goal, consider the option of using a more environmentally friendly printer. It won’t be perfect, but it will be better than the alternative.
According to experts from Doranix, environmental printers have several benefits:
- They can process paper that has been completely recycled.
- They consume less energy than traditional printers.
- They use ink that is more environmentally friendly.
You want to take a look at different green printers and compare them. You’ll find that some will meet your needs as a green business.
Poorly communicating your green business strategy to customers
Brand positioning doesn’t happen on its own. If you want to run a successful green business, you must communicate your message to customers as clearly as possible. You must also avoid the appearance that you are patronizing them.
The best approach is to be clear when you were first making the change. I’ll make an announcement about your company‘s commitment to sustainability.
You also want to reinforce this message overtime by using green labels on all of your products. You don’t have to be blatant with your messaging at this stage. Simply provide a small, daily reminder on your products and invoices.
Finally, it is a good idea to participate in green business seminars and other events. If your community has a local Green Chamber of Commerce, you should consider joining as well.
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