Introducing the CFX2020 Speaker Interview series.
Get to know the speakers before the event. First up is Mirella Ramsay, founder of The Mirella Project.
Mirella: My name is Mirella Ramsay. I am 18 years old. I am from Salmon Arm British Columbia, and currently attending Okanagan College here in Salmon Arm. Unsure of what my degree will be, but those will details will come later.
I've been going to school now for two years and working towards bringing environmental issues to the forefront of what youth and young adults talk about, but also understanding the importance of acting on our intentions rather than just talking about them and working really hard.
And so from that, I kind of started my own environmental nonprofit, which has been pretty fun.
Barry : Which you called the Mirella project.
Barry: Now we are making choices today that will influence our future generations for a long time to come.
Mirella: Totally. And so like kind of bringing it back to why the Mirella Project got started is because I kind of started to grasp that concept and I was thinking I have to do something about this.
So from there, everything that we've been doing, we came up with our mission statement, which is "building community through saving the environment." Everything that we do, at the heart of it, you are trying to bring people together.
I now work in the school systems at youth voice, which is an indigenous program and indigenous inspiring indigenous students to follow their passion, in the ways of helping our environment.
That's where I come in with it. We're also hopefully going to be holding a schoolwide, make your own t-shirt bag competition. And whoever gets the most gets a really cool gift card somewhere.
Barry: And then hopefully cool bags. I can just imagine.
Mirella: Yeah. Oh my gosh. I wish I had some to show. It's fun too, because you're reducing your waste and because you're reusing and you're also not buying a new grocery bag because. Some of the statistics on that aren't great with how they're made and processed it and made.
So if we're able to reuse what we already have because plastic never leaves our planet, then that's a really, really great resource for us to use.
I was asked also like, what do you do when people don't believe in climate change? And I explained to them that you don't have to believe in climate change to act on it living a more sustainable and less carbon emissions life makes you feel better.
When you know that what you buy was from someone who made it by hand and is now supporting their family. That makes you feel better. When you are eating food that is local and nurturing your body, you feel better. And it's these things that when you're improving yourself and being a better version yourself, that's what makes you want last. and that's what's going to be sustainable.
That's what we're trying to do with the Mirella Project is really create these, do-able habits for people to introduce in order to live with less.
Barry: At CFX 2020 conference, the theme is people taking action, which you are clearly taking and inspiring other people to do.
Barry: Another perspective on it is that there's this very important understanding of the connection between the environment and people and the economy in it. And I think although your focus is on the environment, you're well aware of the cascading effects that if you do manage to take care of that, then, and we align our economies in a different way, that we could improve the interaction of these systems.
Mirella: That's it. I think too when I'm approaching things, it's not like I'm just trying to save the world ; that's what I'm trying to do, but I understand that that's the coolest part and that's the best part about coming into these things is you've learned that there's so many people and through this stream of work that I've chosen to do.
I have met so many inspiring people that are trying to do the exact same thing that I'm trying to do and seeing that motivate you to work even harder and use your voice even louder because you understand that we're all trying to do it. And that's the best part is when people ask me, Oh, why don't you get discouraged sometimes, but I'm not alone.
If we're all willing to work together. That's what's the best thing is that you work with one another and you fix these problems and you inspire other people to join, and then you just have this really fun movement and people working together and having a grand old time. but bringing it back to the economy and things like that.
Bringing it back to the economy and things like that, I understand that you can't just completely like destroy your economy in order to save the environment, because we have to work with those things, but shifting your economy isn't impossible. You have to start and be willing to make those changes.
Barry: Yes, I agree. I think you're really pointing out a couple of really important facts. One is that we don't have to just be settling with business as usual. We can write the future that we want. We understand cause and effect, and we can put things in motion today that can create that future that we want. That's really what one of the things we're really reaching for it at the conference.
I think the other thing that, I really subscribed to that you're sharing with others so well is that the the idea that we have to be personally responsible. So we can't just shoulder this off, but we really need to look in the mirror. Take responsibility, don't we?
Mirella: Totally. And ownership.
There's consequences for your actions and sometimes they're not always great, but owning what you do, bestows that sense of responsibility. And it's all about owning who you are and owning what you do. We all make mistakes. I'm not perfect. Gosh, no, but I'm trying to be better every day.
Through that I'm able to help other people understand that you can be better every day. You don't have to just stay in that fixed mindset of only doing one thing in your life and being like, Oh, I've always done it.
If you want to be a better person and live a more eco friendly life and help save our planet, that's very exciting and you should definitely do that. I'm here to help you and we're here to help you figure out what that looks like to you. Everyone's environment change over for their lives looks differently. My sustainable life might look different than somebody else's, but they're very, very close to each other.
So if we're able to work with people and help them find out what's one thing you could do in your life just for a month. That's a great start. Then we can build on that start. As you do more and more and more and more, you can build on it. Maybe you stop at first, it's just the one cup rule, but then by the end of the year, a stretch of living, environmentally friendly, you're walking to work four days a week instead of driving and those are the things that we're here to help you with.
We're here to show you that it's not impossible because when I looked into climate change and how I can help and all that, it was hard to find things that I could do. What we're trying to do is educate, but also bring in that action step that I think is really, really important because I think that an idea without action is an idea wasted.
If we're able to take people's really good ideas and act on them in a set amount of time, we're able to really expand on those amazing ideas that people have and really grow a movement that's going to inspire people from all generations to be a part of.
Barry: I'm 150% sure you're going to inspire the delegates of the CFX 2020 conference and people are going to be doing like me.
They're going to be shaking their head and going, Okay. Wow see what the future is bringing to us is people like Marilla.
If we want to learn more about your project, you have a website, right? Yeah. So the cool thing about the Mirella Project is there's nothing else named like it, so it's very easy to find if you just Google it.
theMirellaproject.com our social media, Instagram or Facebook, our website is all coming up. If you want to get in contact with us, email us. If you have any ideas or if you'd like to be part of the movement, please let me know because we'd love to have you, and it's really about taking action and being inspired to make a difference.
Barry: I really looking forward to hearing your presentation. Of course I know you already, so I get to hear all about this and be involved.
Just a note to everybody too, that when you go to the Mirella project website, you can opt in there for a newsletter, which I have done. Those are really fun.
You can join in and be a part of the solution, right?
Mirella: Totally be the solution and help make a difference because it's up to every single one of us to do it, and it's never no one else's problem. It's our problem to fix together.
Find out more about The Mirella Project.