In an interview with local media, Visir, the former Pirate Party MP, refrains from air travel and mass tourism, advocating for individual actions to contribute towards environmental sustainability. Birgitta Jónsdóttir, the former Member of Parliament for Iceland’s Pirate Party, has taken a decisive stand against climate change by ceasing all air travel. She sees this as her personal contribution to the battle against global warming. The decision is driven by her belief that individual actions are crucial in promoting environmental sustainability, as much as corporate and policy reforms.
Jónsdóttir’s eco-conscious decision extends beyond refraining from air travel. Disregarding sea travel due to high emissions from ships, she humorously suggests considering sailboats for future trips. Moreover, she has stopped buying new clothes, claiming she already owns enough. When asked if she would miss travelling abroad, Jónsdóttir responded, “No. The fact is, I love Iceland. I have lived abroad and travelled extensively for work. I have never been a tourist per se; that’s not my thing. I have everything I need here in Iceland, including our breathtaking nature.”
She highlighted that while mass tourism has been seen as a boon to many countries’ economies, it has also caused several environmental issues. “Mass tourism is a significant problem we are grappling with today. It’s overwhelming everywhere, not just here in Iceland,” Jónsdóttir said.
Her shift towards an eco-friendly lifestyle is guided by her belief in the power of individual actions. Jónsdóttir shared an anecdote from her youth when she stopped eating meat at a time when vegetarianism was not expected.
Lifestyle changes have become normalised, demonstrating how individuals can influence societal norms.
While acknowledging that significant parties like oil companies, which have been aware of climate change for years, bear considerable responsibility, she still maintains that each person can make a difference. She urges people to wake up to the realities of the rapidly unfolding climate crisis.
“We can’t expect anyone to save us but ourselves. Individuals may not be able to do everything right. Still, the small things we do can add up and have a significant impact,” Jónsdóttir concluded, invoking the actions of influential figures like Nelson Mandela, who stepped up to bring change in South Africa.
Her commitment to personal actions for mitigating climate change is a rallying cry for individuals worldwide to take proactive steps in their capacities. No matter how small, every effort can contribute towards fighting this global crisis.
Photo taken from the Facebook page of Birgitta Jónsdóttir