Deanna, BE the change you wish to see in the world!
Describe yourself in 3-5 words?
Deanna, 31, Australian, Environmentalist
How has your sustainable journey started?
Recycling was always part of my life growing up, but my real mission for change started the day they removed recycling bins from my building here in Dubai in May 2015. By January 2016 I began finding solutions for waste and never looked back!
Can you tell us more about your business?
I worked in Dubai as Cabin Crew, but my real passion was in my environment projects. In my line of work was constantly on the look out for procedures to make more sustainable. I investigated thoroughly and pushed for change wherever I could – it wasn’t easy!
What is your vision and how do you think you add value to the community?
My mission is for all people to consider their impact on the world, reduce their waste – of everything – and to be the change they wish to see, rather than wait for someone else to do it. I also wish that sustainable practices were ingrained into every aspect of large corporations.
I challenge wasteful practices and find options for people where there are none. Many people dont have cars or access to recycling nearby, so I have several communities I collect from. Other dedicated people started their own initiatives from there, taking charge of their buildings, storing for others and helping where they can.
I became a resource for others and always encourage those who care, to see what we can do here instead of what we can’t! In the future I want to transition to a role where I can make more of a difference every day, and continue to spread awareness, rather than only in my spare time.
Can you share a couple of practical examples on your sustainable living that would be useful to others?
Personally, I lead by example, trying to waste as little as possible, by reducing, reusing and making sure everything is disposed of in the best possible way. Thinking before you buy and stay away from single use plastics are a great tip! If a water filter is not for you, at least get large 18L water delivered! It’s cheaper too!
Since when do you live in the UAE? What area?
I lived in Dubai for 9.5 years – spending 9 years in Al Garhoud – a wonderful neighbourhood that served me well over the years!
Why do you love this place?
I loved it in Dubai, but as covid had other ideas I have just arrived back in Australia. I wasn’t ready to leave Dubai.
If you would get a magic stick what would you improve and make better?
To improve my area I would have had recycling in all buildings and the neighbourhood – as well as a community garden and compost!
Where do you like doing your grocery and why?
I always did my groceries in Carrefour. Shopping for 1 it’s easier to just buy what you need. I could get many products without packaging there. I also used to buy cleaning supplies in and package free soap abroad – using refillable containers.
What is your favourite eco-brand?
Truthfully I don’t have one. The most eco-friendly product is the one that you didn’t buy.
What is your favourite eco-friendly restaurant or cafe?
Anywhere that could serve me without plastic!
The best way to spend time with family and friends?
Time spent in Nature – and laughing of course!
How do you spend your free time?
I spent most of my free time on my recycling projects and initiatives. Having additional time off during COVID allowed me to spend more time with friends.
The best recent discovery in the UAE?
How much amazing nature there is just an hour away from Dubai! And yes we went in the peak of summer and survived!
Do you recycle and how?
I take my recycling very seriously and always recycle everything I can. My car was constantly used as a storage facility, and I was blessed to have glass bins from Random Global under my building. I recycled almost everything else with Ecyclex, but not everything could be recycled in Dubai. I used to use my flights and my network of crew to get items to where they can have a second shot at a new life!
Always make sure your recyclables are clean, and avoid wishcycling!
What is the best way to learn about sustainability and green living?
I find that once your interest peaks in one aspect of reducing your impact on the planet, it quickly leads into other areas. There is such a wealth of information online, answers are only an ecosia search away!
BE the change you wish to see in the world!
Read more about Deana’s Zero Waste Shopping actions