‘It’s about baby steps’ Goumbook founder Tatiana Antonelli Abella joins cashy.me for Green Tuesday
As a former featured face of cashy.me, it should be no surprise that this UAE Saves Week Ambassador joins us for Green Tuesday. Tatiana Antonelli Abella, founder of Goumbook, joined us for an amazing set of articles for Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week earlier in the year. We loved her tips and way of life so much, that we asked her to join us as an ambassador and, thankfully, she agreed to get involved with us here during UAESW. No one better represents a down-to-earth, easy and manageable approach to conserving energy and thinking in a more ‘green’ way. Over to you, Tatiana!
Why is the message of UAE Saves Week important to you? I think we can all live better and in a healthier world if we learn to save: by saving money we spend less and don’t consume too many resources. Also, we produce less waste and have a lower impact on our planet as well as on our family economy.
When did you first become involved in more sustainable living and becoming more environmentally aware? When I came to live in the UAE I realized the incredible effort done by the country to provide water, energy and food to the growing population. Almost everything we consume here is imported or produced at a very high cost because it’s not readily available here. I also got frustrated by the lack of infrastructure in terms of waste management and started getting involved in awareness campaigns to make residents more conscious of the way they live and on how they could live more sustainably by reducing their general consumption. Using less energy, less water and less food allows you to save money and feel good about helping the planet.
You are a fantastic example of our message for Green Tuesday. Could you give us a little insight into how you made your home more eco-friendly? It is all about baby steps: ‘going green’ doesn’t mean that from one day to the other you are going to turn your life upside down and sacrifice on quality, beauty and safety. Green and sustainable solutions offer great options nowadays, sometimes even better than conventional ones. Just choose one aspect of your home that can help you see immediate results: in my case I decided to change all light-bulbs and have energy efficient ones instead. I did spend more, but the result was immediate - since the first energy bill I could see the reduction in electricity consumption and could see the return on my green investment. Later I decided to stop buying bottled water and installed filters under the sink in order to start drinking tap water. It’s been 5 years now and I can happily say that not only have I saved money, but I have managed to have great quality water free of BPA and other chemicals released by plastic bottles. In the meantime, recycling has become a must in our home and we separate all waste into plastic/paper and carton/cans and glass/organic waste to then dispose of it properly in the various recycling centres available around the city.
What are some simple steps we can all take to making our eco-'footprint' smaller? I would follow the 3 Rs; Reduce-Reuse-Recycle, and apply them in all aspects of your life - from the moment we drive our children to school or go to the office (car-pooling is great!), to the little objects we use daily (avoid plastic and use reusable cups and bottles), even down to the food we buy (almost 30% of food is thrown away at the end of the week because it hasn’t been consumed).
You wrote some amazing posts for us during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week. Do you think the UAE and Middle East is becoming a more environmentally-conscious place to live? I do think that the public has finally become more aware and also that the market is offering more options. It is not easy to go green if you can’t find the right products and services. We have ourselves invested in an online platform where UAE residents can buy all things green and sustainable by staying home and getting it all delivered at their door step in a couple of days. You can visit www.gecostore.com and start going green online!
How will you be saving energy (and cash!) this Green Tuesday? I will take the metro! It will save me time, the kids will enjoy the ride, I won’t spend money for petrol and I will reduce my carbon footprint!
What is the most important thing we can do TODAY to be more environmentally friendly? We should start reducing our consumption, buying less and better, things that will last longer. Let’s invest in quality: better foods, better energy, and better water for a better future.
If YOU want to join Tatiana and take a picture of yourself on the Metro as part of Green Tuesday, upload your picture here! Or why not take a picture of your DEWA bill and upload it to the gallery with a pledge to reduce it by next month?