MISS SWEDEN : Camilla Hansson
What environmental project will you create to promote the protection of Mother Earth and why?
My environmental project "Healthy You. Healthy Planet" is about encouraging people to think about what they eat and where the food has been sourced from. We should try to eat local and seasonal food wherever possible and increase our intake of fruit and vegetable, avoid processed food, eat sustainably sourced food and buy products with recyclable packing or as little packaging as possible to help the planet. The good news is that food that's healthy for us is generally healthy for the planet to eat too. I am encouraging people to have a diet that's good for health reasons as well as environmental reasons. The other big issue with our food consumption is food waste, which has a big negative impact on the environment because of the methane gas it releases when the food rots, so I'm raising awareness and educating people on how to waste less. This will benefit our planet as well as our own pockets if we can waste less food. By giving practical advice on how to reduce food waste and choose our food responsibly I am hoping to inspire other people to make a difference as well. I have volunteered for the Swedish church collecting leftover food from coffee shops in Stockholm which they haven't been able to sell which we then give to homeless people. That's one way we can reduce food waste by giving it away to the people that need it instead of wasting it.
What makes you proud of your country and what can you promote about it?
What makes me proud of Sweden is that there is a sense of equality among everyone whether you are a man or a woman and regardless of your class you are treated with the same respect and have the same opportunities in the society. We have one of the best welfare systems in the world with public healthcare and schools being free. We are also one of the healthiest countries in the world where eating healthy and exercising comes naturally to many people. We have vast recycling programs in place where we encourage people to recycle and reward them for doing so, which in turn makes recycling accessible and easy in Sweden. Conscious about protecting our environment almost half of the energy we are using in Sweden is renewable, and few other countries have as high goals in renewable energy consumption as Sweden.
Describe your childhood/growing years:
I grew up in Stockholm, Sweden's capital city, a beautiful place with water all around it and astonishing architecture and nature. I felt very safe growing up there as a child and the quality of life we had there as a family was very good. I went to a private school and my parents were strict with teaching me good mannerism and how to behave with respect towards other people. Apart from getting a lot of love from my parents they also gave me a lot of freedom when I was growing up which made me very independent and I learned from an early age how to take care of myself without depending on anyone else. On weekends my father used to take me away from the city and we'd go to the countryside where we'd go fishing and long walks in the woods, spending most of our time outside which is where I grew to love and appreciate the beauty of our nature and the environment which we live in.
What lessons did you learn from your childhood/growing years?
I learned that family is the most important thing in life. That no matter what happens you always have your family to get love and strength from. Strong families encourage each other in life and support each other. Because we were a family of 5 I also learned that you have to share with other people and not be selfish and to look after one another. And even today in one's hectic schedule I always prioritize my family first and take time off to spend quality time. I also saw that the mother is the one who keeps a family together; she is the heart of a family. And I learned that the best way to raise your children as a parent is by leading by example and to be a role model whom your children can look up to which is what I intend to be the day I have my own children. But the most important thing which I learned is how to practice the Christian faith which is where I get all my strength from.
What is your most memorable moment?
When I went to Senegal, Africa when I was 18, I remember I hadn't seen such poverty before and it was really an eye opener to see how some people live in difficulties and struggle throughout their lives. It made the small problems that I had in my life feel insignificant. And also, I saw how some very poor families still looked happy even though they didn't have much so I believe it's all about how you feel inside that matters and creates your happiness, not the worldly things and possessions.
What is your environmental advocacy and why did you choose it?
I want to encourage people to start thinking and take responsibility for the food that we consume. The way we eat has a massive impact on the planet. One of the problems we face today is that we waste too much food in the western world and food waste has a serious negative impact on the environment. The other issue I want to raise awareness about is for people to think about where the food we consume comes from. The good thing is that generally what is healthy for us people to eat is also healthy for the planet. It helps the environment if we buy food that is both local and seasonal wherever possible, as well as thinking about cutting down on processed food, and buy certified and sustainable produce with recyclable packaging. By doing some easy practical things in our daily lives we can waste less and eat more healthily which will benefit the planet's health as well as our own health.
What tip can you share to promote sustainable energy for all?
Our population is becoming bigger and bigger and we require more resources and more energy. But the way we are using our energy resources today is not sustainable for the planet. We need to find alternatives for cleaner energy. The first thing we should do is to stop wasting energy. When we start to use energy more wisely it will be easier to create a more renewable energy system. It is also a political issue to make sure we put up goals and take actions for our own country to make it cleaner and better for the planet. Renewable energy is our planet's future.
Height: 5 feet 7 1/2 inches
Weight: 117 lbs
Profession: Real Estate Broker