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[vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” column_margin=”default” column_direction=”default” column_direction_tablet=”default” column_direction_phone=”default” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” row_border_radius=”none” row_border_radius_applies=”bg” overlay_strength=”0.3″ gradient_direction=”left_to_right” shape_divider_position=”bottom” bg_image_animation=”none”][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_tablet=”inherit” column_padding_phone=”inherit” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” column_link_target=”_self” gradient_direction=”left_to_right” overlay_strength=”0.3″ width=”1/1″ tablet_width_inherit=”default” tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid” bg_image_animation=”none”][vc_column_text]The future of our Earth – the idea is something that’s always on Melaina Gasbarrino‘s mind. Why you ask, as an environmentalist and the founder of SALT to TREE, is she on a mission to create a space in which we all live with the planet? We sat down with Melaina to talk about what’s to come for her and what we can do for Earth Day while social distancing measures are still in place.

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SC: Tell us about yourself.

Melaina Gasbarrino: Having always been someone who spends endless hours outside getting lost in forests, swimming in the ocean, talking to trees and growing a beautiful garden, I continually feel this deep connection to the Earth. I have always tried to be a good steward of the Earth by recycling, cleaning up beaches, and simply becoming educated on how to live minimally, as I believe each and every action we take has either a positive or negative effect on the world.

Over 10 years ago I obtained my Masters of Teaching in Australia. My days were spent learning, exploring, and volunteering with ocean conservation projects. Amazed at how passionate Australians were (and still are) about educating communities on ways to conserve the Earth, I took my learnings and ran with them to develop my own environmental education programs for youth.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” column_margin=”default” column_direction=”default” column_direction_tablet=”default” column_direction_phone=”default” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” row_border_radius=”none” row_border_radius_applies=”bg” overlay_strength=”0.3″ gradient_direction=”left_to_right” shape_divider_position=”bottom” bg_image_animation=”none”][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_tablet=”inherit” column_padding_phone=”inherit” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” column_link_target=”_self” gradient_direction=”left_to_right” overlay_strength=”0.3″ width=”1/1″ tablet_width_inherit=”default” tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid” bg_image_animation=”none”][vc_column_text]SC: Tell us about Sustainably Ours and your business, SALT to TREE.

MG: Having just finished my masters, I wanted to do more than just be a teacher. So, I created Sustainably Ours! By designing curriculum-based environmental education workshops for youth, I was able to fold my two passions together: teaching and the environment. These workshops led children to understand their place on the Earth and we’re always filled with a little bit of fun. From painting with natural paints to making our own Earthships, elementary school children learned about simple ways to heal our Earth. My favourite part of Sustainably Ours was how impactful the programs were on students and the community alike, and it didn’t hurt that I was able to travel to Hawaii, Nicaragua, and New York City to teach kids about the Earth.

Having managed Sustainably Ours for five years, I was ready for a shift. I felt pulled to work with my innate connection to the Earth in more of a healing capacity, and so I became a yoga teacher and reiki practitioner. I shifted my energy into SALT to TREE, a wellness and conservation company that integrates the practices of movement and healing to live with the Earth. My mission to protect the Earth hasn’t changed; it’s just shifted to heal others and the Earth all at once.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” column_margin=”default” column_direction=”default” column_direction_tablet=”default” column_direction_phone=”default” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” row_border_radius=”none” row_border_radius_applies=”bg” overlay_strength=”0.3″ gradient_direction=”left_to_right” shape_divider_position=”bottom” bg_image_animation=”none”][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_tablet=”inherit” column_padding_phone=”inherit” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” column_link_target=”_self” gradient_direction=”left_to_right” overlay_strength=”0.3″ width=”1/1″ tablet_width_inherit=”default” tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid” bg_image_animation=”none”][image_with_animation image_url=”7714″ animation=”Fade In” hover_animation=”none” alignment=”center” border_radius=”none” box_shadow=”none” image_loading=”default” max_width=”100%” max_width_mobile=”default”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” column_margin=”default” column_direction=”default” column_direction_tablet=”default” column_direction_phone=”default” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” row_border_radius=”none” row_border_radius_applies=”bg” overlay_strength=”0.3″ gradient_direction=”left_to_right” shape_divider_position=”bottom” bg_image_animation=”none”][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_tablet=”inherit” column_padding_phone=”inherit” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” column_link_target=”_self” gradient_direction=”left_to_right” overlay_strength=”0.3″ width=”1/1″ tablet_width_inherit=”default” tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid” bg_image_animation=”none”][vc_column_text]

SC: Today is Earth Day! Can you walk us through a typical Earth Day for you and tell us what we can do this year to celebrate at home?
MG: Happy Earth Day! Truly may favourite day of the year. Wherever I am in the world for Earth Day, I’m always at a beach or park cleaning it up. Over the past 10 years, I’ve hosted, co-hosted, and participated in over 20 beach clean ups and love every minute of picking up trash to clean our land. I find myself itching to pick up trash wherever I am. This year looks a lot different than a typical Earth Day, but I encourage everyone to do some good from the comfort of their home. Like…
  1. Drink tap water: Tap water is regulated and even if you’re keen on paying for a plastic water bottle, know that the water from that ‘fresh spring’ is most likely the same water coming straight from your tap.
  2. Declutter your space: Use less, live more! By decluttering, you’re being kind to the Earth by no longer buying things you don’t need.
  3. Use reusable items: From reusable water bottles to glass take-out containers, you’re helping minimize waste. Think about this: On average, you use a plastic bag for only 12 minutes, and it takes more than 500 years for it to degrade in a landfill.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” column_margin=”default” column_direction=”default” column_direction_tablet=”default” column_direction_phone=”default” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” row_border_radius=”none” row_border_radius_applies=”bg” overlay_strength=”0.3″ gradient_direction=”left_to_right” shape_divider_position=”bottom” bg_image_animation=”none”][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_tablet=”inherit” column_padding_phone=”inherit” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” column_link_target=”_self” gradient_direction=”left_to_right” overlay_strength=”0.3″ width=”1/1″ tablet_width_inherit=”default” tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid” bg_image_animation=”none”][image_with_animation image_url=”7713″ animation=”Fade In” hover_animation=”none” alignment=”center” border_radius=”none” box_shadow=”none” image_loading=”default” max_width=”100%” max_width_mobile=”default”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” column_margin=”default” column_direction=”default” column_direction_tablet=”default” column_direction_phone=”default” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” row_border_radius=”none” row_border_radius_applies=”bg” overlay_strength=”0.3″ gradient_direction=”left_to_right” shape_divider_position=”bottom” bg_image_animation=”none”][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_tablet=”inherit” column_padding_phone=”inherit” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” column_link_target=”_self” gradient_direction=”left_to_right” overlay_strength=”0.3″ width=”1/1″ tablet_width_inherit=”default” tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid” bg_image_animation=”none”][vc_column_text]SC: Tell us about your children’s book, Lola’s Beach Clean-Up. 

MG: Having hosted and participated in a whole slew of beach clean ups around the world, I wanted to shed a little light on how simple it is to start your own beach clean up. Cue becoming a children’s book author! Lola’s Beach Clean-Up is a positive narrative and creative tool designed to bring attention to the widespread environmental issue of shoreline pollution. For the book, I partnered with the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup to include a simple step-by-step guide that encourages readers to host their own local shoreline event and register it online. A portion of the book’s sales are being donated to Surf The Greats’ Freshwater Fund, a Toronto-based surf and lifestyle company that promotes conservation of the Great Lakes.

SC: What are your thoughts on the planet’s future?

MG: I love each and every person who is taking small or large steps to protect our Earth. Last year, I walked with hundreds of thousands of people for The Climate Strike and was amazed at how many people around the world came together to really show their passion for protecting our Earth.

As for the future… I believe this time was meant for us to take a step back, take stock of our footprints on the Earth, and take conscious steps to protect the land we walk on. Whether you’re an Earth activist or someone who just loves carrying around a reusable water bottle, know that all the simple actions you’re taking are making a positive impact on the world. I know it’s going to take time for whole countries and households to change their ways, (I’m still working on switching out all the plastics and recycled goods we use), but through simple actions, we’ll start to create a more sound world. It’s all about remembering that the Earth will be here long after us, so what can we do to protect it?[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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