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Mermaids of the month October – Radical Broccoli

The two sisters Anette and Susanne Bastviken left their stable full time jobs, and took a chance on themselves and the environment. Now, the sisters are known under the name Radical Broccoli, and with their ever growing platform, and their book called “Jordnært”, the girls wish to inspire and share knowledge they are passionate about. For Anette and Susanne it is all about the small things we all can change in our everyday lives in orderer to help nature and the ocean, and not to mention ourselves. 

 

Who are you?

We are Anette and Susanne, two sisters who run the Instagram account and blog called Radical Broccoli. We have also written a book called ”Jordnært”, which will be called “Down to earth” in english. It is a book about easy tips for living a more sustainable lifestyle. 

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What are you doing these days?

At the moment we have a lot of different projects going on. At the same time we  are also trying to make time for creating content that can inspire people to make better choices every day. We also do collaborations with many cool companies, and we give quite a few educational talks. Soon we will also start with translating our book, and we are very excited about that. In addition, we also have a little puppy called Noah Koriander who has itchy teeth, so we have several things on our plate at the moment. 

“The ocean is the foundation of life for everything living on this earth and creates most of our oxygen, so it plays quite an important role!”

When did the ocean become important for you?

The ocean has been important for us for as long as we can remember. Our parents have been in the marine our entire childhood, and we have basically spent every summer vacation on a sailboat or close to the sea. We also learned early on about the importance of respecting the ocean and the incredible forces of nature. We have also both grown fond of surfing, and our dream is probably to later on live somewhere in the world where you can wake up to waves. To take care of the ocean feels so important and right, and the more time we spend next to it, the more motivated we become! 

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What role does the ocean play in your lives?

The ocean is the place where you can come for everything: for calmness, for playing, for understanding nature. Not to mention, it is the home of so many incredible creatures, many more than us humans have managed to map. The ocean is also the livelihood for everything living on this earth and creates the most of our oxygen, so it plays quite an important role! 

 

“We ourselves have both had a breakdown, and we know how extremely difficult it can be to do something good for the world if you do not have any energy left”

 

How has the journey of Radical Broccoli been?

To build a platform and a small business has been extremely educative. It has also required a lot of personal development, especially because we used to have quite stable and safe jobs in totally different industries. We have met many inspiring and skilled people, and we have gotten many new friends and acquaintances the last years. The best part about doing what we do is all the feedback we get. It is especially nice when people tell us that they used to be skeptical about taking sustainable choices, but now they have really changed their behavior and habits. They have done it in their own way, and they tell us that they feel strengthened, positive and that they feel better with themselves. 

The advantage of working as we do, is that we can shape our daily life and what we wish to talk about just the way we want it, based on what inspires us. It is also very nice to have a platform where we can share our opinions. The disadvantage on the other hand, is that we don’t always feel inspired to share something. We also sometimes feel more responsible of doing certain things. We are constantly challenging ourselves on not to live by what one “should” do. We would rather follow our hearts and do what is really meaningful for us. At the beginning we thought it was very hard to get criticism on what we did, especially on traveling or other things we did “wrong”. For us it is no goal to create a picture of ourselves as perfect. We rather want to show that we do the best we can. 

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What do you do to take care of the ocean? What does tavaha mean to you?

For us it is all about the daily habits, the small choices we make every day. To reduce use of plastic, to eat in a way that requires less resources to produce, being aware of white kinds of clothes one by, taking care of what we have and not at least taking care of ourselves. It is so important to remember that we have to put on our own oxygen mask before we help others. Tavaha is for us a really motivating unity about taking care of the ocean. 

 

“For us it is no goal to create a picture of ourselves as perfect. We rather want to show that we do the best we can”

 

What do you think is the biggest challenge we have to solve in order to save the ocean?

The plastic challenge is no longer an unknown problem. It threatens all life in the sea, and thereby our foundation of life. It is until now not known what consequences ingesting micro plastic through seafood will have on our health, which is rather scary to think about. Our entire eco system is connected, so it is pretty unpleasant when it starts to decline. 

The food industry is a big sinner. The huge demand for cheap proteins pushes us into farming. Fish are fed with animal feed from endangered areas, which again turn in to a big animal welfare problem. 

Another thing we talk a lot about is how young people today feel a huge pressure on doing everything perfectly – school, work, looks, friends and not at least taking care of the environment. We ourselves have both had a breakdown, and we know how extremely difficult it can be to do something good for the world if you do not have any energy left. Therefore we want to inspire people to take care of themselves.  After all, we are nature as well! Choosing better products, better food, in addition to having fewer things going on in our lives results in less stress. That is also better for the ocean and nature. Win win! 

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What are your three #tavahatips to take care of the ocean? 

  • Eat more plant based. 
  • Pick up trash you see around you – preferably every week. 
  • Praise other people for what they do! It is important to lift each other up and motivate one another. 

“It is so important to remember that we have to put on our own oxygen mask before we help others”

 

What are your happiest ocean moments?

Anette: I think it must be seeing the sunrise from the surfboard. 

Susanne: That time I surfed with a little turtle by my side in Brazil! 

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Who are your everyday heroes? 

All the inspiring people we talk to every day who feel motivated, inspired and pride of taking care of our nature. We also admire the environmental heroes that have walked the way before us, and generally creative people who follow their dreams. Lastly, we want to give a big shout out to Simen Andreas Henrik Knudsen, a really cool guy that has given us so much support along the way. And for everything he does for the ocean. 

 

And lastly, what do you want to thank the ocean for?

EVERYTHING! 

 

Photo: Marlene Sæthre