Mermaid of the month December – Emelie Forsberg

Emelie is a great athlete and a role model, and has achieved a lot in her young years. She not only inspires people to go out and explore the nature around them, but also to take care of it. 

Tekst: Vilma Havas

Emelie talks openly about the conflict between traveling the world for her work and at the same time wanting to take care of the environment. She is always looking for ways to do her part. Emelie uses her voice to encourage others to make small changes in their everyday lives; from consuming less to eating more locally grown food. She is the Mermaid of the month in December.

1. Who?

I’m a Swedish mountain lover who loves running, skiing, farming and baking. I compete in mountain running and ski mountaineering and I live in the beautiful Romsdalen on a small farm where I grow veggies.

2. What are you doing nowadays?

I just passed all my yoga teaching exams so after one month of kind of only yoga and theory I now prepare for the Trail running World Championship in Ultra distance. In between the trainings I work in the garden, taking up the last potatoes, carrots, beetroots, apples etc, and also preparing the garden for winter! I’m also in the flow of cooking and baking more than usual so I spend more time in the kitchen too!

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

The ocean for me is something that has always been there, growing up on the Northeast coast of Sweden it’s grounded in me. I think for me the awareness, and the caring that comes with awareness, is a part of what Tavaha means. And not only only for the ocean, but for all the environmet that the Earth provides us with, as everything is connected. Earth to sea and everyhitng in between.

On a local scale I go out on the coastline and pick trash every spring. This year I had two full cars of metal and other trash that I took to recycling. Scary! I don’t use any pesticides on the veggie patches, only organic composted soil and cow dung from the neighbours.

Here’s the simple things I try to live after:

Re-use everyhing that you can: I have jeans from 15 years ago.. Almost everything at our home is second hand or from the family; glass jars- to use for jam and marmelade, Fallen trees- for heating. Those are the most common things I do to re-use.

I always give away the extra products (clothes, shoes, skis) I don’t need so they come to use.

Reduce: Waist, especially plastic! The emissions form plastic production are not good at all for the ocean. Compost all organic food, reduce the food waist.

The electricity waist: we have a pretty big house but we only have warming in a few rooms. It can sound strange, but isn’t even stranger to have 22 degrees all year around in every room..? And use energy saving light bulbs.

Reduce miles in the car, planes etc. I’m trying to connect all my races so I can reduce flight trips as much as I can.

I believe if we get aware of our ecological footprint (our footprint on the earth concerning our impact on the environment) we start thinking and acting to reduce it in a smaller or bigger scale.

I like to post my thoughts about this in my social media, and I can get negative comments, but I also believe that it can make good as it brings thoughts and awerness.

4. What do you consider the most important challenge we have to solve in order to save the ocean?

I think one of the “easiest” ways would be to reduce littering, to work a lot with reaching people that don’t know that it’s actually not good to leave trash in the nature. There are so many third world countries that don’t know about the problem, so creating awareness would be a step to the right direction. Not only in third world countries, obviously not. We need more marketing about how bad it is and how easy it actually is to NOT throw things in the nature.

Working towards better policies in fishing to make it more sustainable as well as looking at our lifestyle; how much fish we really need? Once again, awareness of how the food is created; do we want this or that from the ocean if we see how much it can impact the health of the ocean if it’s fished in an unsustainable and organic way?

Oil; this is a touchy subject as we are all more or less dependent on oil. Life would be hard without a car.. But I believe once again that the awareness about the problems and impact, for example what a big oil leak in the ocean really does, can be a start to push companies/governments to put more money into renevable energy.

Maybe to protect it more. What can be hard here is that the ocean doens’t really belong to any country, it’s in a way free for anyone

5. What are your three tavaha tips for taking care of the ocean?

  • Don’t litter!

  • Read about sustainable fishing/harvesting.

  • Only buy and eat ecological and sustainable traded fish/ocean products.

6. What is your happiest ocean moment?

When I was 16 and a devoted white water kayaker, I was at home in Sweden and there was a big storm creating big waves we could surf in! That was lovely. Such a connection to the big natural force the ocean really is.

7. Who are your everyday heroes?

Those who try to make a change, working for it, making an effort, not only talking. Those who are putting down the foot, making their voices heard. These can be anyone.

8. And finally, what do you want to thank the ocean for?

That’s a lot of things to say thank you for, I can start with one as there are too many to list! Thank you for always being there and providing the planet with everything you do.

Foto: Kilian Jornet