Hatrack Heroes! Episode 8


Guest: Deanna Freeth

Organisation: Mindset Earth

Release: 10th February 2020

Environment is one of those topics hot on the lips of many people these days... but for Deanna, our next Hatrack Hero, it's more than just this. 

Cabin crew, also in the Middle East, Deanna is living and breathing a world of recycling and sustainability, trying to raise awareness, educate, and get people to practice the very simple habit of recycling... plastic especially.

Listen here!


Nick: Hi everyone, and welcome to another episode of Hatrack Heroes! Today we are talking about a completely different aspect to our previous podcasts. And this week it’s in line with recycling and the environment. We’re talking to a girl named Deanna, who hails from Adelaide in Australia, regarding her endeavours within the company she works for here in the Middle East, and the community that she lives in. We hope you enjoy, and that you can really get some insight into looking after the world we live in, and some tips on how you can actually help.

Deanna, can you tell us about who you are, what you do for work, and where you’re from.

Deanna: Yeah, so thank you for having me.

Nick: You’re welcome

Deanna: So, I’m Deanna, I am from Australia… I’m a passionate eco-warrior, a cabin crew, and I’ve been living in the UAE for the past 8.5 years.

Nick: So, similar to me, cool! And, can you give us a quick rundown of what you are doing as a ‘Hatrack Hero’?

Deanna: So, yeah… I do community recycling, try to find solutions where there are none, for people living in my neighbourhood.

Nick: Mmhmm

Deanna: And I’m working on changing the company I work for…

Nick: Yep

Deanna: …and this year I also took on a larger project, we call the laundry plastic project…

Nick: Mmhmm

Deanna: And I find I’m a resource of information for fellow cabin crew.

Nick: Okay

And this endeavour, is it something that’s just come from your heart since joining the airline, or have you always been involved in the environmental, eco-warrior kind of thing back home.

Deanna: Growing up in Australia, we always recycled… and we had a bottle rebate my whole life, but when I came to Dubai, I took it for granted that they just recycled, and then one day they removed recycling bins from my building…

Nick: Yep

Deanna: …and that was where my real passion started, so that was May 2015…

Nick: Right!

Deanna: …and I sat on that for a few months. I found out why and everything, but then I was like “ Oh, okay it’s fine”

Nick: yep

Deanna: …but after some time I’m like, ‘this is not fine, and I have to find a solution’, so in January 2016 that’s when I began searching for ways my community can recycle.

Nick: Okay, so your community meaning where you live…

Deanna: Yep!

Nick: and you had… You were talking to other people already, or you just thought… ah, cool, I’m to do this by myself, and then just bring in other people as we go?

Deanna: I had to try and get some permissions, because to do anything in buildings you need permission… ok, you can do this or that, but I also had to look around the neighbourhood to find options as well.

Nick: This laundry plastic project, is this… what is this, what does this mean?

Deanna: So, I saw a lot of waste from our uniforms…

Nick: So, this is for staff of the airline?

Deanna: Yep… So, we have a lot of waste from the plastic that it came in…

Nick: Mmhmm

Deanna: …and I didn’t see them doing anything with it, and if you X that by the amount of crew, and each piece of plastic, it becomes a lot, so I tried to make a change for that, and we started in January last year…

Nick: Okay

Deanna: …collecting

Nick: And how’s that going?

Deanna: It’s going well

Nick: Going well, yep… cool!

Deanna: It’s going like… it’s going okay.

Nick: yeah

Deanna: We’ve recycled a lot so far, and I have a team of cabin crew helping me with that.

Nick: Okay

Deanna: About nine of them I asked at the start to help set up, and they’ve remained until now, and there’s been others coming and going along the way.

Nick: Yeah, okay…

…and do you find that there’s these people helping you when you are doing this, are.. they’re all in it for the same reason you are. Or, they’re people doing it just for Instagram stories, or just for the show or whatever.

Deanna: Most of the time, the ones that helped me from the start, they have been in it because they care about it. When I approached them to help, they were happy to do so, and we’ve had some come along the way. But I find that people in the higher positions were in it for the show… they got their good photo ‘look what we did’, and then when I really needed help, they all vanished, so…

Nick: Okay

Deanna: And, we’ve had a few other people come and go, but it’s mostly the people that really helped…

Nick: So, majority of the time, you are getting the help you need to achieve what you want to achieve. Just the minority are just doing whatever…

Deanna: Yep

Nick: …doesn’t help.

Deanna: Yep, because they don’t really care.

Nick: When it comes to the figures of what you’re collecting with you and your team, do you have some kind idea of what you’re collecting yourself, and also what kind of figure isn’t being collected from within the company?

Deanna: Yeah, so this year we’ve collected over 7000 kilograms of plastic and cardboard…

Nick: Wow, 7 tonnes…

Deanna: Yeah, so it exceeded my expectations in the first week. I was expecting ‘oh, yeah, we’ll get 100 kgs in a month, and within the first week we already had that. It was cabin crew participation because it was not really officially communicated…

Nick: yep

Deanna: but they just saw the opportunity, and they started basically bringing their stuff, so that’s…

Nick: So, they’d bring it to you, where you are, where you live and…

Deanna: They bring it to locations we set up, where they can collect…

Nick: Okay, so you’re setting up a specific place, they come, they bring it, and then what do you do with it from there?

Deanna: So, the volunteers they help to pack it, or myself, or the ones in certain areas I have them monitoring it, and we pack it up, and load it in a car… only 3 of us have a car, so the rest of them, they just pack it, and we just drive it to the location to recycle.

Nick: Okay

Deanna: the items

Nick: cool… and what’s the figure for what’s not being collected? Do you have a ball-park figure or…

Deanna: …it was estimated when we started, that around 40 thousand kilograms would’ve gone to landfill before we started this, but actually the number would be much higher, because we’re only doing it from 7 outlets, and there are double that.

Nick: Double that…

Deanna: at least, and so we can’t cover everywhere because of access and time.

Nick: Yeah, of course!

Deanna: Yep!

Nick: So, Deanna… on an… say an average week, how much time you think you would spend outside of work hours collecting and recycling?

Deanna: So, I can’t really say how much… I spend most of my spare time doing it.

Nick: Mmhmm

Deanna: It’s a few hours every day or it’s like a whole day, and the next day I have some time to do something else.

Nick: Yep

Deanna: And then the layovers are rest time!

Nick: Of course, and the amount of time we get to sleep and have spare time is limited, so you’re…

Deanna: Yep

Nick: utilising your time wisely, but I’m sure you must be super tired.

Deanna: I don’t really notice the tiredness too much

Nick: No, okay

Deanna: But I need to catch up on some sleep… someday

Nick: But today’s basically… you’ve done some work with it this morning. You’ve come here for this podcast, and you’re going to go do some more stuff this afternoon.

Deanna: Yeah, another small collection, and then…

Nick: Work tonight

Deanna: Yes

Nick: Wow… so it’s quite…

Deanna: that’s how I fill up my days

Nick: …quite full on. Yeah Okay!

Deanna: Yep

Nick: For the listeners that don’t specifically know what landfill, can you give us a description or a definition of what landfill is exactly?

Deanna: Yeah, so a landfill is where all our general waste goes. I’m not an expert, but it’s a site selected that would be away from people… out of sight, and so they also don’t smell it.

Nick: Mmm

Deanna: The landfill would be going for around up to 30 years, and then eventually it would get covered over, but they also have to protect… to line the landfill so chemicals and everything doesn’t leak into the ground water, and contaminate the environment around it.

Nick: Okay, and so this landfill, it doesn’t decompose, it just stays there… there’s plastics, and metals, and glass and all sorts of different things just in the landfill,

Deanna: yeah

Nick: just sits there for…

Deanna: So, a landfill is not designed to break down waste, but just to bury it… so there’s not really an ‘away’. Like, you can’t just throw something away.

Nick: So, if we don’t try and recycle and start doing things differently with the products that we use, these landfills are just going to grow and grow and grow, or there’ll be more and more landfills.

Deanna: Yeah

Nick: Is there enough space for these thing… like this just seems impossible to maintain for too much longer.

Deanna: Yeah, I agree… so, the first thing you can do better, is reduce what you use in the first place, and then from there… reuse and recycle. So, a proper waste management is really important.

Nick: yep

Deanna: Like, plastic is commonly talked about now, but it’s better in a landfill than in the ocean or in the street, but at the same time…

Nick: True, but…

Deanna: Everything that we put into a landfill that is a resource, is wasted basically.

Nick: yep

Deanna: So, aluminium and glass are 100% recyclable, and making new glass from recycled glass saves 40% of the energy required to make it from a virgin material… and for each tonne of recycled glass used in production it saves 1.2 tonnes of natural resources, because of the higher melting point for the sand process in the glass.

Nick: Yeah, okay! I was reading online just the other day, that plastic pollution… it’s not just a hazard for public health, which is obvious… but, it’s also a severe threat to oceans and marine life. And it was saying online, at least 1.1 million animal or seabird deaths happen each year, which is crazy. And, it was also showing in recent reports that at 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic is produced… or has been produced since the 1950’s, that’s just crazy. I don’t know how big that would be in comparison to the size of some country, but it seems…

Deanna: It’s a lot.

Nick: Enormous! What can we do to it except, put it in landfill, in the ocean… best thing to do is to recycle, or reuse…

Deanna: yeah!

Nick: …or not use so much! It’s crazy!

Deanna: Yeah… ideally, not use as much in the first place…  a good one. But, plastic is quite often not very valuable as a commodity. It’s light, and doesn’t have a lot of value.

Nick: It’s valuable for the producers of it…

Deanna: Yeah, but should it go to a landfill just because it’s not of a value as well.

Nick: Is it just mentality, or laziness, perhaps just habits… or is it monetary. Or is that two separate things?

Deanna: Yeah, I think some people don’t have options. They want to recycle, but they don’t find options in their area.

Nick: yep

Deanna: Then I think a lot of people think recycling is definitely the solution, but you could your water delivered, or get a water filter instead of getting single use plastic, because plastic can be avoided

Nick: But, do you think the other options are expensive, or there… for example, you know,  it’s so easy to go and buy the single use plastic big bottles of water for example. Is it more expensive to keep buying that, or is it more expensive to buy a filter? Are companies charging too much for the person that is struggling to live?

Deanna: If you live in a large household, a filter would be advised because you probably would save money, but just for one or two people, a filter would be more expensive than what you’re paying for bottled water

Nick: Mmmm

Deanna: But, if you get a water delivery, it’s often cheaper than buying the single use plastic so then you can just refill your own bottle

Nick: yeah okay… from that. Yeah, yeah

Deanna: …and eliminate those ones that you use…

Nick: Yeah, okay… true true!

Deanna: …and have it with you at all times.

Nick: Yep…

Deanna: it avoids getting new ones during the day.

Nick: Yeah, okay! And besides the access… is it laziness, as well, and people just don’t want to embrace?

Deanna: Feel like some people would rather have their head in the sand…

Nick: mmm

Deanna: …about this, but yeah definitely laziness does play a role. And yeah, there are options available, so then it is laziness.

Nick: Yeah

Deanna: So, there’s also a breakdown of systems between different companies, and cleaners, and then the landlord, and working out… you know, could the cleaners, perhaps if they see a big bag of plastic…

Nick: Mmmm

Deanna: …put it in the recycling bin. But then many places have a chute, so it’s already gone down the chute, so it’s kind of too late.

Nick: Yeah

Deanna: But, yeah… so there’s different ways you can try to change it, but it does take a lot of effort to change the mentality…

Nick: Yeah, of course!

And when it comes to companies, what kind of initiatives are companies doing… like for example, the company you work for… are they showing initiatives, and some good things for recycling.

Deanna: They have started recently, but again a breakdown of communication… actually the flight catering recycle, they have been for the past 9 years, but somehow it’s not communicated amongst the cabin crew as much as it should be.

Nick: Yep

Deanna: So…

Nick: So, then crew aren’t recycling… okay!

Deanna: Yeah, so, they’re recycling regardless… but we could definitely help more. So, this year, the company has started to take note, and reduce some plastic use…

Nick: Mmmm

Deanna: …onboard, but also to get the crew to participate in helping with the recycling.

Nick: I mean, surely this kind of initiative is beneficial for the airline financially, and also for reputation.

Deanna: You would think, yep!!

Nick: Because, the amount of people out there in the world, that are so pro-environment, it’s the kind of thing you would think a big company would be like… ok, let’s jump onboard, let’s show what we can do! …And there are certain companies in this region that I’ve seen that are doing things, as we were discussing earlier… Hotels that are giving…

Deanna: They’re giving water…

Nick: …water, yeah!

Deanna: Yep …filtered water.

Nick: Mmmm! …and then you’ve also got shopping centres, now phasing out the plastic bags… like of course, in Australia as you know the plastic bag, in Adelaide especially… has been not in use for years.

Deanna: I used to work in a supermarket, and it went out when I was working there, and people just went on with their lives.

Nick: And that’s plus nine years ago.

Deanna: Yeah

Nick: It was just normal. There’s no paying for bags, because you’re still using the bag, like in Europe you pay for plastic bags in a lot of places…

Deanna: Yep

Nick: …which is still defeating the purpose, because people will still pay that extra 50 cents, or whatever it is, or 20 cents for a bag…

Deanna: Yep

Nick: …because it’s just handy

Deanna: Yep

Nick: But doesn’t help whatsoever.

Deanna: Yep

Nick: As I’m saying, this kind of thing is beneficial for airlines or big companies as well… specifically their reputation but…

Deanna: Yep, I mean there are many savings to be made, both in the unnecessary waste of items, as well as to make additional income from recycling. Like, again, plastic’s not necessarily profitable, but your other items are, and you shouldn’t be landfilling them either.

Nick: Mmmm, yeah yeah!

Deanna: And eventually… they keep pushing it back, but the landfill price is going to increase. Per truck to landfill… the cost. So, you need to be taking those things out before it reaches there. So, the catering are doing that, but, again, some will still be lost along the way because of different processes. It’s hard to change a whole company, but definitely more can be done.

Nick: Yeah, of course.

Deanna: And, also reducing plastic then they start to argue about the cost of washing things.

Nick: Right

Deanna: But then you’re forgetting about what went in to making something that needs to be washed in the first place.

Nick: Mmmm

Deanna: So, the money’s not always the best option, but…

Nick: But they’re probably making money somehow from…

Deanna: Yep! Plastic is cheaper because you don’t have to wash it.

Nick: I see, I see.

So, what kind of suggestions do you have to change this kind of thing. To make people realise… businesses realise?

Deanna: To change big companies, it needs to come into their values… that they actually are taking a stand to make a difference, and I believe that the conscious community will support that once they start. So, I was happy to hear that, I think it’s Majid Al Futtaim was banning the bags…

Nick: yes, yes.

Deanna: Which is great, because that’s an action that needed to happen. People may not like it, but they have also in Carrefour bags for… a line for people who are bringing their reusable bags…

Nick: Mmmm

Deanna: and I’ve seen them turn people away because they didn’t have it, which is really good because they’re making a point…

Nick: Mmm, okay!

Deanna:  that you need to bring your reusable bag, otherwise you can’t use this empty check out.

Nick: yeah, okay!

Deanna: It is actually something good.

Nick: That’s great yeah! Slowly but surely, people will cotton on that things have to change… I guess individually, before… in turn with companies.

Deanna: So, for individuals, you need to take action. You could be a keyboard warrior, or share pictures of the plastic. But what about actually going out and doing something about it, that would help… and every small change that you make counts. Like, refusing the plastic bag is one for the most simple ones.

Nick: Mmmm

Deanna: Take a bag with you… when you go to the shop, take one that you already have in your apartment, or…

Nick: Yep

Deanna: …but each time it does help.

Nick: yeah, okay!

Deanna: Sit down and have your coffee, instead of taking it in a take away cup.

Nick: Yeah, that’s it… Because automatically, you go to coffee shops… certain coffee shops, not all, but they try and automatically give you the paper cup… which has got plastic in it

Deanna: Even if you’re dining in

Nick: Even if you’re there.

Deanna: Yep

Nick: They don’t really bother… to try and…

Deanna: Because then they have to wash it, but at the same time, each time the cups going in the bin anyway

Nick: Yeah!

Deanna: …so they don’t just

Nick: That’s it, that’s it…

Regarding what you do, especially with I guess, the company stuff, have you come across issues with it. Like, within colleagues, or storage, conflicts with people, or with hierarchy.

Deanna: Yeah, so, it is a constant battle… I wouldn’t say that any of the parts of what I’ve done in the last four years have been easy. But any change doesn’t necessarily happen by following the rules either. So, I find it’s difficult to get people in a high level to pay attention, especially if they don’t care, it means extra work for them.

Nick: Yep

Deanna: And, storage is an issue… because, you could get a truck to come and collect recycling, but I don’t want to pay for that. So, we asked what does it take to get a free collection, the cost of… the material versus the cost of the collection.

Nick: Yep

Deanna: and, they were like… over 200kg. So, storage has been a problem. I did store a lot in my apartment before… I had a very understanding

Nick: (laugh) 200 kilo’s?

Deanna: More than that, it was actually more.

Nick: Wow!

Deanna: so, and if you think about that… plastic doesn’t weigh a lot…

Nick: Right, I see

Deanna: It’s a lot… but, I had a very understanding flat mate. Recycling and environment’s not her passion. But she understood it was mine and she was onboard with that.

Nick: Ok, cool cool! That’s good of her for sure.

Deanna: yeah. That’s one of the things.

Nick: yeah

Deanna: Beyond that, now I have to do the drop off more frequently, because I cannot store it in my place anymore, so...

Nick: Yeah, okay.

Deanna: It’s not practical for long term either.

Nick: Yeah, okay.

Deanna: Yep.

Nick: You should be getting yourself a big semi-trailer

Deanna: That would be useful, but also at the same time, I don’t want to be selling my car unnecessarily (laugh). So, I’m stuck with it for now… next time I upgrade.

Nick: And then it’s the following up as well… of emails and so forth, is a bit of an issue!

Deanna: I find I always have to wait for replies to emails, so that takes time to follow up all the time, and people don’t like to do extra work… so if you ask for something, it’s taking their time.

Nick: Isn’t it a shame

Deanna: Yep!

Nick: Any other things to do with conflict, or?

Deanna: I think it’s sometimes, recognition… I mean, it’s not something you would get a lot, and it’s not why I’m doing it, but people easily take your job, or what you started and claim it…

Nick: Claim it for themselves…

Deanna: Yeah!

Nick: So, colleagues your saying?

Deanna: No, not colleagues…  

Nick: No, okay!

Deanna: …colleagues are…

Nick: …generally.

Deanna: …mostly fine.

Nick: Yeah

Deanna: Although, I did hear one girl said she started the project, and I was like ‘what! It was in my apartment’

Nick: That wasn’t you… what are you talking about (laugh). Yeah, yeah… you come and grab all these things… And onboard… Colleagues are, when you fly with them, are they accepting of what you’re trying to do? Are they proactive, or?

Deanna: Yeah, I would say like 90% of the time… once I explain what I want to do with – if I wasn’t to separate things onboard, or if I tell them what I do outside of work, they are interested to know more, and I find that once someone takes the lead… ‘okay, great we’ll do it’… they start thinking about what they’re putting, and where.

Nick: Yeah, cool!

Deanna: So, it can be done onboard

Nick: So, crew are really trying to do their best onboard, and help you out… How does that make you feel? Is it nice when they’re doing this for you, and contributing?

Deanna: It’s really nice to see when they participate, and I recently met a girl who’s, I would say, as passionate as me. She’s like ‘I go to business class and collects all the bottles and everything, so that was really nice. And also, I’ve had some crew come and go “oh, you’re Deanna, thank you so much for…

Nick: …amazing…

Deanna: …starting the laundry plastic”…

Nick: Yep

Deanna: …and seeing a community of crew come together as well, who some collect from other people in their building. And there’s a team in one particular area where they all come and help, and it just… it seems that we’ve created a nice community as well.

Nick: So, is it mostly positive feelings that you’re getting from doing this, or is there still a lot of negativity / negative feelings that come from certain aspects of what you’re trying to do?

Deanna: It takes a lot of time, but honestly this is my life… I spend basically all my spare time working towards something, that…  to change or to make an impact.

Nick: To help

Deanna: I live my… my favourite motto ‘be the change you wish to see in the world’

Nick: Mmmm, okay

Deanna: So, do something about it. Sometimes you can wonder if it’s worth it. Because it’s a lot of effort… or

Nick: …and I’m sure there’s still a lot of negativity around from people that just don’t really care.

Deanna: Yeah, I’ve had a couple of arguments

Nick: Huh, really? I suppose it would affect your motivation, I guess?

Deanna: It does sometimes, but then normally you find something that reminds you…

Nick: …gives you that kick in the backside again.

Deanna: …why you’re doing what you’re do.

Nick: Yeah yeah, okay… Overall, what kind of suggestions do you have to change, to make people realise? I mean, you mentioned the other day when we were chatting… you are collecting recycling, and you’re giving to other people’s homes. Is there something, you know, in regards to that, that people can do? Like, their old clothing, their old children’s toys that their child has outgrown, what do you suggest for that kind of thing?

Deanna: So, for most things I have a ‘no waste to landfill policy’ if something can have another life. So, if it’s still in good condition should definitely be donated. I usually always direct people to ‘Little People Big Hearts’.

Nick: Oh okay, cool… Casie! Yeah right…

Deanna: Yeah, because they give things to the workers, and everything… I’m sure you’ve heard…

Nick: Yeah! …just to intervene… Yeah, I interviewed her in a previous episode, and she’s doing some great things as well for the workers in Dubai,

Deanna: Yeah

Nick: …and also for the less fortunate overseas as well, it’s amazing. So, you give… you’re suggesting people give things to her.

Deanna: Yeah

Nick: Okay cool

Deanna: …so any non-recyclable items, but things that have a use… or could have a use. Most items they will take it, and someone does want it.

Nick: So, this is just the Middle East… I’m sure around the world, there are so many… whether it’s an op-shop, or if it’s some kind of recycling shop, or whatever it might be that do these kinds of things. Like, the Lion’s Club in Australia take all sorts of things.

Deanna: Salvation Army

Nick: So, people need to be, I guess, aware of, firstly for the less fortunate, but also for the people that can actually move your products on, you know to another person.

Deanna: And even consider one day maybe buying something from an op-shop or second hand...

Nick: yeah, for sure… yeah

Deanna: instead of buying brand new.

Nick: yeah, that’s it, that’s it!

So, is there a personal aim for you, like a drive of… or is it more of just ‘let’s help the environment’.

Deanna: Ultimately, I’d like transition out of being cabin crew into something more prominent. I always wish I had more time to achieve more things… but it does occupy a lot of my time currently…

Nick: Of course, I can imagine

Deanna: There’s always more things you see that you want to do, but you cannot always manage to fit everything in, so I have to choose. But, ultimately, I would like to do something in an environment filled future.

Nick: Do you see… like, okay… for example you resign from the job that you’re in, in let’s just two years approximately, so then you can’t do what you’re doing within the company that you’re at. Do you see it transitioning towards another crew? Is there someone, or people you think that you can give the responsibility to… enough that what you’re doing is carried on?

Deanna: Yeah, I have a hope that I will definitely pass on everything I know, and there’s quite a few dedicated crew out there – Hi, to the eco-community that’s out there – and that they would be able to continue to action some of the things that we see…

Nick: Yep

Deanna:  that can be changed for the better.

Nick: Yeah, okay… In regards to the education, is it maybe perhaps a generational thing, so adults are more inclined to recycle, or is it the children, what’s the story there?

Deanna: I think it’s… Adults are based on where they grew up, but I think nowadays children are educated about these things in school, so they’re more likely to be raised with the knowledge, and take action in their life. I find it’s a lot of uneducated adults who simply or… they simply don’t care, and it’s harder to change them because they’re already set in their ways.

Nick: Set in their ways, yeah

Deanna: So, the children are the voice of the future really.

Nick: Mmmm… It’s funny because my Dad is… he’s turning 80, but he is the hugest recycling king I’ve ever met…. Before you! (laugh)

Deanna: Wow! Okay yeah!

Nick: He’s shocking… if I go and visit, If I go and visit, he has a spot for compost type of stuff.

Deanna: Oh, that’s great

Nick: Just in the kitchen… He’s got a bag for paper, he’s got the normal bin, and then all sorts of stuff has to go in a certain spot. And if I come back, I’m unaware of where everything goes, so I’m having to double check every single time I have something to throw away, where I need to put something… it’s really crazy. So, he’s probably one of the old people that fits into the good category of this.

Deanna:  Yeah! I feel like our Grandparents are more aware

Nick: I think back in the day, I think they didn’t have all plastic.

Deanna: They had a more sustainable mindset, yeah…

Nick: Yeah!

Deanna: …and they used to use alternatives rather than plastic, we got too caught up in the convenience.

Nick: Of course

Deanna: But, that set up really sounds like my set up. But, I made one bag for you know, my flat mates or guests… they don’t know where to put it, just put it in that bag and I’ll sort it out later.

Nick: Yeah, yeah, okay! Do you have like a whole pile of plastic gloves ready for this kind of situation?

Deanna: Does it sound bad… I rarely wear plastic gloves because I don’t want to waste them.

Nick: True, true, true… okay, rubber gloves… I don’t know what (laugh).

Okay, finally, though, for those who are living in countries where recycling isn’t a thing, can you suggest or offer solutions for them in doing what they can to help the environment? Like is it maybe, volunteers perhaps going into schools and teaching in these schools, or is there something else they can do in these communities.

Deanna: Yeah, definitely… try to be a leader in your own community. Like, if you don’t have options, try to lobby the councils or government. If that’s not even possible, then think about what you consume… lead by example for your community. Refuse things, start like a campaign to take the bags, or speak to the shop owners or market owners to say ‘can you stop giving bags, plastic bags as an example’, so they should just… they can use less.

Nick: A great example is Thailand… I think they use banana leaf.

Deanna: I saw, that’s great… packaging

Nick: For all the shopping…packaging and so forth

Deanna: That’s a fantastic option for something that would be thrown away

Nick: Yeah, for sure… Yeah! It’s a shame that some of these more developed countries don’t use this kind of thing. It seems like such a straight forward solution. Well, it’s certainly great to hear your input, and to hear what you’re doing within this community here. And hopefully people listening can either take a leaf out of your book and start doing the same thing, or at least if they are already doing it, they can start educating on a different level with the people in their communities, that would be great… but, within this area, it’s a great thing that you’re doing, so thank you so much for leading the way I guess. And hopefully the people with the money, or the people… the leaders in charge can start actually take action for themselves, and not leaving it up to the ‘little people’.

Deanna: Yeah

Nick: So, thank you very much for coming on and spending your time in this podcast. Thank you!

Deanna: Thank you so much, it’s great to be here!

Nick: (laugh) You’re very welcome (both laugh)! Oh, and on a finally note… sorry… we should’ve included this bit. Where’s the best place to contact you if people want to learn more or hear more, or contact you about recycling or whatever?

Deanna: I’m most active on Instagram! My Instagram is bethechange_dxb

Nick: bethechange_dxb . Ah, if you’re following my page on Instagram, ellandarthur then you can also find her Instagram on there, if you can’t actually find it yourself.

Deanna: I just want to say thank you to my eco-dream team. Couldn’t do it without you. And thank you to all the security guards and laundry staff who’ve helped along the way, and the crew for their support.

Nick: Awesome, well done guys

Deanna: Thanks

Nick: Thank you again for coming on this podcast and sharing your time, and it was a pleasure to have you here with us.


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