Women Who Inspire Us || Laura in Waterland
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Although I grew up far from the sea in Belgium from a very young age I was passionate about the Ocean and pollution. This partly started with despising the polluting villains on kid’s TV programs, then evolved over the years into diet and lifestyle changes and an overall attitude that strived to diminish my impact on the environment and the cruelty towards animals.
The more I traveled, the more I learned and the more I became aware of the importance of every choice we make. Becoming a scuba diver opened my eyes to the magnificence of the underwater world and the importance of protecting it. Indonesia is in the heart of the coral triangle, and I ended up following my diving passion to Komodo and Raja Ampat before moving to Bali for ease of living. Every step I took gradually brought me to the creation of my website and Instagram pages where I share my ongoing sustainability journey.
“Laura in Waterland” is where I inform and exchange knowledge about the different aspects of a sustainable lifestyle. My goal is to inspire and help you on your own sustainable living journey.
What is your ideal way to start the day?
I love early wake ups on a boat at sea where I can watch the sunrise and the world wake up all around. I try to wake up early every day because I really do enjoy this calm before the day starts, no matter where I am.
If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
I am a grandma and usually go to bed early. I love my sleep and don't really want to trade it. If I couldn't sleep, I would cook elaborate meals!
What is at the top of your bucket list? What has been the best thing that you’ve crossed off it?
I have been blessed with scuba diving near wild dolphins. Swimming with dolphins was a childhood dream until I realised how cruel dolphinariums are, and what goes on in the background. So swimming alongside dolphins who chose to check out this clumsy swimmer was the greatest feeling. I would love to swim with bigger whales next but only if the operator is not disturbing them.
What are you reading at the moment? What should everyone read?
Once I pick up a book I can't put it down until it's finished! I have many goals to reach at the moment and have not allowed myself the time to read lately, but I would recommend any biographies of marine biologists. I personally wish to read more of these.
What do you think is worth spending money on?
Food! My friends know I am a walking stomach. I spend most of my money on healthy, organic, vegan wholefoods. I strongly believe that the choices we make as consumers send a message to governments and corporations that can make changes to positively impact the environment. I apply this logic way beyond food but, if I am honest, food is my biggest expense.
What makes you feel the most alive?
Being in or near water. Nothing makes me feel like I do when I am scuba diving for example. The feeling of being underwater among marine creatures in this other world is incomparable and incredibly peaceful.
What is your guilty pleasure?
I am going to start sounding like a broken record but, again, food! Although I try never to feel guilty. Guilt gets in the way of enjoyment, and nothing comes between me and vegan chocolate brownies.
What would you like to be your legacy?
The smallest environmental footprint I can manage!
Who inspires you and why?
My grandfather is my greatest hero. He is an ordinary man with the biggest heart. I do not know anyone with more patience and kindness than him. He treats everyone fairly and is loved by all. He is now 92 years old.
What advice do you have for people wanting to start their journey towards a more sustainable lifestyle this Plastic Free July?
My advice to start implementing sustainable habits that stick is to assess and set realistic goals. Nobody starts at the top, it's a step by step process. Aim small, take failures as lessons and work your way up. In the case of Plastic Free July, I recommend choosing a couple of single use items which are rather easy to cut out and go from there. A refillable water bottle is a great place to start! I have written a beginner's guide to zero waste which lists the easiest plastics to
refuse, you can read it HERE.
What are you grateful for today?
Today I am grateful for the patience of the PayPal lady who spent over 30 minutes on the phone with me, although she didn't solve my problem...
Laura wears the Hudson Top + Siren Bottoms in SKY.