#TerraChamps: Plastic Free Fridays with Meg Haywood Sullivan
Using photography as her superpower to help change the world, Meg began her fascination with an intersection of creativity and environment at the early age of 8. Her love for art and Earth made it possible for her to travel the world but she's learned to fall in love with what's in her own backyard in the past year. She encourages us to do the same because it's not only good for our health and wellbeing, but it's also better for the planet.
Hi Meg! Tell us - was there a special moment when you realized that photography would be your special super power to help change the world?
Though I don’t know exactly when photography came into my life, I know I was 8 or so when I developed my first roll of film. Since I can remember I’ve always been fascinated by the intersection of creativity and the environment, so it was a natural progression to merge my two loves of photo and science into a career.
You have traveled the world in the best way - through your craft! For other photographers and creatives, what is one place they MUST go?
Gosh this is a tough one. Pre-covid I would have had a laundry list of spectacular places that I would recommend exploring. My work has taken me from the Middle East to West Africa and the South Pacific and beyond, but this past year I’ve learned to fall in love with what’s in my own backyard. I’d encourage us all to explore what’s beneath our very noses, and it’s much better for the planet too. The best adventures come from a shift in perspective to stoke the imagination, and we certainly don’t need an airplane to do that. :)
As a sustainable brand - we find a lot of consumers think that sustainability and climate conscious practices are just a "marketing tactic," but for Terra -we truly believe that all businesses should help move the needle. What practices do you think businesses and brands should implement in the coming years?
I couldn’t agree more with this philosophy. In the near future and coming years I hope that all brands can focus on creating a more circular economy - both internally and consumer-facing. From preventing products from ending up in landfills to creating technology that minimizes waste and harvesting the power of bio-based materials like algae and mycelium, there is SO much progress happening as we speak. Collectively we have the power to create new social norms and industry standards, and the time is now to do so. I have plenty of hope in what we can and will achieve, and it’s time get to work!
If there was one change you could encourage everyone to make in their lives around climate change - what would it be, and why?
There is so much opportunity in expanding the greater environmental movement to the masses, which is why I co-founded Plastic Free Fridays back in 2019. Instead of focusing on perfection, Plastic Free Fridays creates a safe place to nurture new environmentalists and provide a stepping stone to the greater environmental movement. It’s as easy as saying NO to single-use plastics each and every Friday. Instead of shame, we focus on acknowledgement and forging community to help build a better world.
What is the one accomplishment you are most proud of why?
It’s been a life goal of mine to get into the historic Explorers Club, and a few years back I was accepted into its ranks of international explorers & scientists. Becoming a member represents a paradigm shift happening in the realm of adventure, science, and philanthropy. This shift will open even more doors to fellow women, minorities, and people from all walks of life to explore our planet and better humanity. As a new, female member I hope to use these opportunities at the Club to encourage a new generation of explorers that there is no limit to what they can achieve.
Who have been your biggest #TerraChamps aka supporters or inspirations in life?
I am extremely fortunate to have a loving and supportive family chock full of creatives and Earth-lovers. My mum, a painter, and dad, a photographer, are a constant source of inspiration to me as well as my grandmother - an avid gardener - too. I grew up being taught that it’s possible to live a life full of adventure and creativity, while giving back to the community and the world around me. Some additional inspirations are the lives + works of Georgia O’Keefe, Syliva Earle, Jane Goodall, Peter Beard, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and David Attenborough