ABOUT ME

I have a choice. I don’t need to buy goods which destroy my planet.

There are no other six planets when this one is gone.

If I choose well based on knowledge, I can thrive, you can thrive , we all can.

For those who still do not understand we owe it to ourselves and our next generations to change our consumer habits, then I don’t know the hell what they’re thinking.

MY STORY

I am  Karin, a single mom with a 17-year old daughter, that is in 2020.  Five years ago, end of 2015,  I left a comfortable materialistic life In Brussels, Belgium behind. We now live in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where I am still a single mom, an entrepreneur ( I own and run a small boutique hotel MARCEL in a building I fully renovated myself ), two cats and two kittens.

When not under lockdown, I dance tango in my free time. I am also a city guide when not attending to my guests.

I am an independent 55-year old woman with a pretty strong opinion.

WHY I WANT TO HELP PEOPLE

I grew up having plenty of opportunities. I studied law at the Catholic University of Leuven. Then one year in Bologna, Italy to finish my 2-years Master’s Degree in Latin American Politics & Economics at the Johns Hopkins University, alias SAIS, in Washington DC.

I stayed 2 more years in the capital to work for the World Bank on country & trade issues in Brazil.

I learned the hard way that these international institutions rarely care, less so for the environment. And for living in the USA, I became one of them: a consumer of waste paper and plastic, to use it for a few minutes and then throw it away.

When I returned to Europe the same thing was happening there. Living standards were ( and still are ) high, the consumption pattern of the haves ( as opposed to the have nots ) a disaster.

It’s not because one has not that he or she will pollute less. In Argentina, where there is hardly any waste policy, this becomes crystal clear.

We need to change, not tomorrow, not now, but yesterday.

You still do not believe in global warming? Then come & visit me in Argentina. I’ll take you to the south to watch massive icebergs melting…

‘Why Green on the Beach?’

I come from one of the wealthiest places on the planet, Flanders. That is the northern, dutch-speaking part of Belgium.

While I was growing up I watched how we went from few choices to hundreds, from newspaper wrapped to sofisticated shiny plastic. This wasn’t the case just for one item, it happened with everything. Our choices kept on growing, but I don’t think our happiness did.

When Ryanair gradually conquered the low cost airline market in Europe, people started hopping on planes like if they were taking a local bus. Just like the Americans already did.

I saw guests arriving from London for instance, just for the weekend, only to get drunk and without visiting one single place of interest, getting back on a plane to pick up their daily routine.

It all became so natural,  so easy, so finanicially accessible, to spend and waste on energy.

Then came COVID-19. And all of a sudden, the things we did no longer are done evidently.

One may wonder why. But as a fierce defender of our planet, I think it’s one of the best things happened to us, all of us.

I am aware of how many people lost their jobs, how much misery covid left behind.

But I am also of the opinion that if we embrace this difficult time to change our consumer habits in favour of eco-friendly, sustainable alternatives, we will survive… for a very long time to come.

That’s why I started Green on the Beach, to guide, teach and to learn together with all of you !

Karin
www.greenonthebeach.com

3 thoughts on “ABOUT ME”

  1. Dear Karin,

    First of all, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on-line !
    I recognize so much of what you wrote down …

    Belgium and many other European countries changed so much since the introduction of the Euro in the year 2000 (the money numbers became smaller but the greed became bigger!).
    Prices tripled and most people just accepted the heavy workload and stress environment as if it would bring you happiness and self fulfillment.
    Finding happiness in buying material goods to please people who actually don’t give a damn about your general well being, no more !

    After dedicating 12 years of my life working for a big Swedish company, I decided to quit my job in 2012, totally burned out with a double feeling of being both lost and liberated.

    I literally burned my bridges with my home country in 2012 when I went out of my comfort zone to explore new horizons and follow my real passion : photography.
    It took a lot of courage to start from scratch, however the moral satisfaction still is priceless.
    After living almost 5 years in Granada (Spain), destiny struck when ‘real love’ found a way to my heart and in my life and eventually made me move to Argentina where I now live happily married, since July 18th 2018.

    COVID 19 has shaken up our world and hopefully our way of thinking about human life in general.
    It pushes us to look for new alternative (green deal) solutions and live more in harmony with our only planet Mother Earth.

    It’s been 4 months now since I last left my village Capilla del Señor in the province of Buenos Aires because of the lockdown.
    I sincerely hope Karin that we can meet soon for a drink in your beautiful hotel Marcel.

    Warm soul regards

    Dirk Wijs

    Reply
    • Wow Dirk, What a nice ‘letter’. I remember your story from last time we spoke. I am taking this lockdown as an opportunity, a chance to do the things I never get to do, mostly because a lack of time; that is writing, writing for and about the causes I believe in.

      I can only encourage you to do the same.

      This lockdown eventually will end and I already know now I will feel nostalgic for my free moments.

      Looking forward to meet soon and have a nice organic glass of wine, or a bottle for friendship matter !

      KArin

      Reply

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