Jammy (@darlingoftheorient) lives on the beautiful island of Bohol in the Philippines where she fights against plastic pollution. She has a small business that supports her cause and lifestyle plus the livelihood of some women artisans.
What motivated you, or triggered you to take action against plastic waste?
It started in late 2015. I'm always on the beach and noticed that our beaches in Bohol are getting dirtier. One day I realized that I wasn’t making a difference just by complaining on social media. So I started walking the talk. I broke up with single use plastics, I started picking up pieces of trash every day, I read articles and watched documentaries about plastic pollution. And when I had enough knowledge and confidence, I started the Plastic Free Bohol movement in 2016 to raise awareness against plastic pollution and get our community involved by organizing beach clean ups every month.
What do you think we humans can easily do to pollute a little less and live a little more sustainable?
Follow the R's: Rethink. Refuse. Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. If you're going to buy or use a single use plastic, think over and over again if you really need it; refuse single use. Avoid plastic that you only use for a maximum of 12 minutes and then becomes trash for hundreds or thousands of years. Say NO to plastic straws, bags, water bottles, cutlery and cups. Invest in
reusables and bring them with you. Learn to recycle at home. Watch DIY videos on YouTube, there is lots you can do with your trash. Support your local farmers as well, their products are usually not wrapped in plastic.
What keeps you fit?
I try to stay healthy particularly because my family has a history of hypertension and diabetes. I am vegetarian (but I don't eat seafood and dairy products) and I try to get 7-8 hours sleep every day. I sleep and wake up early to go for a hike or swim and also try to surf as much as I can, so I travel often since we don't have surf in Bohol.
How do you live a sustainable/minimal lifestyle?
I try to live simply and be content with what I have. I became a minimalist when I moved out of the city and started traveling— backpacking made it easy for me to switch. When it comes to clothing, I have just a little and donate what I think I will no longer use. If I need something to wear for an occasion, I shop at thrift stores or I make my own (I love sewing or flipping old dresses), and sometimes I borrow. I buy brands that make their products sustainably and ethically and also give back to the community. I have a small organic vegetable garden. When there's nothing to harvest, I shop at local farmer markets where veggies are grown organically.
"to live with love,
compassion, peace and humility
is already a dream
come true for me"
How important is it to you to live close to nature and what does it bring you?
It's not rainbows and butterflies every day. Sometimes, it gets really stressful especially when you have a business and staff to manage. Nature helps me to be stable emotionally. Every time I'm in the ocean, or when I'm around trees, or on top of a mountain, I feel very calm, peaceful, and happy. Nature makes me healthy emotionally and spiritually, and also teaches me humility. Some people think I don't get upset and I have no problems because I'm very laid back and always happy. Truth is, I do have feelings and I get frustrated just like everyone else, but because I see blue and green all the time, I am more chilled and I can deal with problems better when I'm calm. So yes, it is very important for me to live close to nature, otherwise, I'll be called the baby dragon of the orient. Haha
What would you like to achieve in life?
I just want to be successful in everything that I love to do. May my small business flourish so I can help more single moms in our community. My campaign work is very challenging, but I keep my hopes high and will continue the fight even if it takes forever. Overall, to live with love, happiness, contentment, compassion, peace and humility is already a dream come true for me.