Some people are so inspiring that you literally want to do just like they do. These are the kind of people we want to put in the spotlight in this series of “inspiring people & projects”. Simen Knudsen is one of those – a 32-year-old self-proclaimed corporate hippie who works for various environmental initiatives in Norway, and a dedicated surfer. We had a chat with Simen to get some insight into the life of a tall blond beach cleaner.
Tell us a bit about yourself?
I am a 32-year-old male. I was born in Nord-Jæren, and I am currently living in Oslo. I love to be outdoors playing, and surfing is my favorite activity. I work as a Business architect in Æra with an initiative for sustainable innovation called Floke. We founded Nordic Ocean Watch a couple of years ago because we thought we should get more people to take care of the ocean. I am also an ambassador for Infinitum Movement.
NORDIC OCEAN WATCH (NOW): A Nordic environmental organization which is dedicated to taking care of the ocean. The organization aims at building a culture where nobody uses the sea without giving anything back. Get involved by sending them an email or visiting their Facebook pages NOW Norway, NOW Sweden and NOW Finland. They regularly organize events such as beach cleanups, hangouts, pop-up movie screenings etc.
INFINITUM MOVEMENT: An environmental movement, which is also the owner and manager of the recycling arrangement for bottles (pant) in Norway. They have an amazing website which is a source of inspiration for various environmental engagements, and a paper magazine (printed on environmentally friendly paper) that is sold across the country.
FLOKE: An innovation program designed by Æra to solve complex societal challenges in order to put society on a more sustainable trajectory. Together with a number of organizations from private, public and volunteer sector Floke uses innovation tools to create new and more sustainable solutions.
Why do you care so much about the environment?
Because it’s essential for a happy and healthy life. And because it’s not doing to good right now, mainly due to our way of living. Especially the ocean, which actually is on the verge of collapse. Being in nature and outdoors is the key ingredient for to have a good life. And if I don’t care for my favorite playground, how can I expect others to?
What are your top five tips for living a more environmentally friendly daily life?
- Recycle (especially your plastic bottles aka pant)
- Eat more greens, less meat, and fish
- Use WWF’s seafood guide for sustainable fish choices
- Fly less, and play more in your own back-yard.
- Leave a handprint anywhere you go, e.g. pick some plastic.
In general, start looking at yourself as a contributor instead of a consumer, and magic starts to happen 😉
Who and what inspires you?
I get inspired by everyone I meet that uses their energy to leave the world in a better condition. I love all initiatives, big and small. I get a lot of inspiration from Arne Næss, Daniel Quinn, Sustainia, my colleagues in Æra and Floke, the Nordic Ocean Watch collective and the Infinitum Movement ambassadors.
What is your favorite meal?
Veggie burrito with black beans, sweet potatoes, and Midsummer hot sauce from Jæren. Mmm.
Follow Simen on Instagram to see what kind of stuff he is up to next.