Tell us about yourself
Tamara is originally Lebanese. She was born and raised in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia for 16 years before moving to Lebanon to pursue her B.A. in Media and Communications at the American University of Beirut. Tamara is passionate about sustainability and was named a UAE Nature Ambassador in 2020 as part of the Connect With Nature program organized by ENWWF and the Environment Agency – AD. Her previous work experience includes being a Content Manager at FP7 McCann and a Production Coordinator at JoyFilms where she got the chance to work with international and local brands like McDonald’s UAE, Dubai Properties, Etisalat and Atlantis. Tamara is the Content Manager at Madar Farms, and a full-time activist for nature.
What motivated you to shift to being eco-friendly?
I was visiting my cousins in the US around 12 years ago and was introduced to their everyday recycling habits – at this point I knew absolutely nothing about recycling, climate change, sustainability …etc. After being there a couple of weeks and indulging in this lifestyle, I just couldn’t go back to the irresponsible and ignorant lifestyle that we had back home. My journey started there, I became a lot more conscious, started studying and reading more about the environment and swaps that could reduce our individual carbon footprint, and now here I am, changing the world one step at a time!
The main things you do to be eco-friendly
I always say no to plastic straws, no exceptions! I invest in sustainable alternatives that make sense, continuously raise awareness and drive change within my close friends groups and family members, and I utilize social media to raise awareness to friends and acquaintances + the general public. Whenever I have the luxury of time, I spend it all in nature, connecting with nature, appreciating every essence of it, and learning how to fight for it.
Your easiest eco -friendly swaps
- Reusable water bottle (I hate plastic!)
- Reusable coffee mug
- Reusable grocery bags
- Reusable cotton buds
- Reusable straw (this one is a bit challenging, but doable)
What makes it hard for you to be eco-friendly?
Current practices of businesses and individuals and having plastic as part of their everyday lives. Example: Being at a restaurant or ordering in, many restaurants prefer plastic as it’s the cheaper alternative, and most of this plastic isn’t even recyclable! It’s the same with visiting friends/family that tend to serve food or drinks in plastic/paper packaging.
Another aspect is shopping, we do not have enough awareness nor enough sustainable alternatives, and this is very difficult to keep up. In a nutshell, packaging, shopping, food waste, litter …etc. We have a long way to go in educating businesses, corporations, and individuals about material and their effect on the environment, sustainable swaps and lifestyles.
How do you plan on continuing your sustainability journey? What other aspects do you plan to change?
I will continue to be sustainable in everything I do and everywhere I go, regardless of how challenging it may be. I will organize and take part in more clean ups and actions towards a more sustainable tomorrow. I will continue to raise my voice through social media and one-on-one conversations, through partnerships and collaborations, and through leading by example. We have a long way to go, but we all need to start somewhere; as I always say, be the change you want to see in the world!
I’m always on the lookout for more sustainable alternatives, and will work towards making them the new normal. I will soon start composting with my family, and I’m aiming to do more from a food waste perspective. Big plans ahead, let’s see how I can translate them to actions (: