Julien Pritchard interviews Sawsan Bastawy

How long have you been volunteering with BfoE?

I have been volunteering with BFoE for exactly 2 months (possibly 3 by the time this article goes out!).

What do you do here?

I’m a campaigns assistant and am primarily responsible for alliance building with local faith and community groups. I can also be found tweeting, strategising, and harassing politicians.

What do you like about working here?

I like the range of tasks I’m given every day – each day is completely different to the next. I also have the freedom to use my own initiative and develop my own strategies for how I’ll go about a project.

What have you learned from volunteering with BfoE?

I’ve learned that people are far more concerned about the environment and how it affects them than we might think. I’ve also found that younger generations, especially school age children, have a real environmental awareness, and have concerns about things like air quality in their communities and schools. The key is making sure that this environmental consciousness is not lost.

What do you think is the most important environmental issue and why?

Environmental justice is something I’m passionate about. As long as we pollute, destroy, and neglect our environment with impunity, we will continue to consider environmental destruction secondary to human destruction; or worse, as a minor or non-issue. In fact, environmental destruction is harmful to humans and so there needs to be justice both for the environment and for the people affected by its degradation. This is absolutely necessary if we want to enable a global change in consciousness by people towards their environment; and may form part of the solution to the problem of human-made environmental problems.

What’s your best green tip/advice?

Start now! Once you’ve started walking more, or driving less, for example, it’s easy to keep it up. It’s much easier to live sustainably than you might think. Also, small changes are worth making!