Artist and Sustainability Advocate
Outdoor Lover, Hannah Tizedes
Can you tell us about yourself and your story
My name is Hannah! I’m a Great Lakes artist, advocate and sustainability educator focused on bringing to light our single-use society and the solutions for a less trashy earth through the intersection of arts and sciences. I’m also the founder of the Great Lakes-based nonprofit, The Cleanup Club. I love getting creative in all aspects of life whether it’s with DIYs, cooking new dishes or finding fun ways to go about a boring task. My favorite outdoor passions are swimming in the lake, long distance running, and reading a good book in my hammock with zero cell service while surrounded by pine trees.
Have you always had a passion / connection to nature and the outdoors? How did that evolve over time?
Growing up, my parents used to pack up my siblings and I for road trips and camping trips on a regular basis, so spending lots of time outside was something instilled in me at a young age. I remember running around catching grasshoppers with butterfly nets and being obsessed with watching these teeny tiny tree frogs jump from one tree to another while searching for salamanders in the summertime. While my days outside look different than they once did, I believe that enjoying and protecting nature go hand in hand. And with the reality of the world we live in today - surrounded by technology indoors - I think it’s more important now than ever to spend time reconnecting with nature on a regular basis.
How has nature inspired and supported you over the years?
Nature is an endless source of inspiration and biodiversity, and that in itself has inspired all of my work. It’s truly as simple as that for me.
What got you into collecting trash and helping preserve the Great Lakes?
While cleaning up my local beaches, I started realizing just how colorful all the tiny bits and pieces were. And similarly, when traveling, I started to notice the same cascade of rainbows washing up on shorelines across the world. So I started collecting the pieces and displaying them in glass jars around my studio space while brainstorming artsy ideas. During that time, a study was published stating that around 22 million pounds of plastic pollution were ending up in the Great Lakes every year. That was when I knew I wanted to find a unique way to use my creativity to educate others on plastic pollution and hopefully inspire them to live a little lighter.
How have you been able to use art as a vehicle for plastic pollution education and climate action?
I feel really grateful to have had the opportunity to work on some really incredible earth-centered projects & campaigns, speak on panels alongside scientists, display my art in venues I adore, teach kids the importance of taking care of the Earth through creativity, and more. The beauty of creativity is that we all have our own unique voice and you never know who it will inspire or what may bloom from sharing it with the world.
Can you talk about the importance of connecting to nature and give examples of your favorite ways to connect?
I believe connecting with nature is an essential part of learning how to take better care of nature and ourselves. I’ve noticed that in turbulent times of my life, spending more time outside is really healing. I’ve also noticed that people tend to want to take better care of their surrounding spaces when they feel connected to them. Some of my favorite ways to reconnect with nature are going for a walk outside, going barefoot outside, swimming in the lake, and exploring new corners of the world.
What’s your favorite way to connect with community and appreciate Mother Earth?
Community cleanups! I created my nonprofit, The Cleanup Club, with the intention to build community around having fun while making an impact and it has been so incredibly fulfilling to see people making new friends while doing some good for Mama Earth.
What’s one favorite thing about the Great Lakes you’d like to share to inspire our community to explore new places?
The Great Lakes are truly some of the most spectacular places on Earth. They are so vast and beautiful, they feel like the ocean, yet different for so many special reasons. There are tiny towns & islands to explore and if you haven’t been to the upper peninsula of Michigan, add that to your bucket list. So many spots are untouched with gorgeous limestone cliff sides, waterfalls, wild blueberries and fields of ferns for days. I could go on & on.
As someone who clearly sees the effects of plastic pollution how does that affect your decision to buy skincare nd personal care products?
Over the years, I've found empty bottles of skincare products, shampoo bottles and broken-off sunscreen pumps at the beach. Who knows how long they've been there while simultaneously breaking down into microplastics from the wind, waves & sun rays. It's definitely not ideal to see and has made me a lot more conscious about the products I personally choose to use. That's why I personally like to find plastic-free options that can either be refilled or responsibly recycled or disposed of, without making their way to our waters.
What’s one thing that you look for in your skincare? Ingredients, ease of use, travel friendly, clean ingredients, etc?
I love skincare that is simple, clean & effective. I’m not a product girly, so I don’t have a million products in my bathroom cabinet, instead I have my tried & true favorites, plus a couple other products I’m curiously experimenting with. It’s really important to me that I trust the brands in my cabinet as well, so you’ll tend to see more small batch brands rather than big label brands. Oh, and it’s also super important to me that I can easily travel with the items too so I love a mix of solid items and liquids with travel-friendly sizing.
What advice would you give to other individuals that may be seeking to connect more with nature, but might not know how?
Find beauty in your own backyard. Go on a walk around your neighborhood. Kick your shoes off in the grass. Plant a windowsill flower. Find a local group that does activities outside and go to an event to see what they’re all about. Do whatever you can to just get outside. It looks different for everyone, but it’s oh so important for us all.
If you had to pick one, are you team Utu Moisturizing Sunscreen or Sunscreen-Stiq?
Team Utu Moisturizing Sunscreen! A sunscreen with a boost of hydrating hyaluronic acid is a hell yes for me!
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