Nadya Hutagalung

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NADYA HUTAGALUNG

INSPIRED BY A GREENER TODAY

Nominated alongside George Clooney and Penelope Cruz as ‘Most Responsible International Celebrity’ 2012, Singapore’s favorite environmental advocate is passionate about living life in the green lane.

Asia Dreams: You are currently involved in several projects that focus on living?green and preserving the environment. Is there one cause in particular that?you couldn’t imagine your life without?

Nadya: Well, I used to try to focus on one or two causes but given the rapid degradation of our eco system, it’s hard to stick to one. The most important would of course be education. If we as parents and educators can instill ‘living green’ in a child while young, I strongly believe that no matter where they go in life they will carry a certain form of global consciousness with them.

Asia Dreams: You recently added yet another position to an already full plate as a?board member at the Green School in Bali. What is it about this school that?inspired you to get involved?

Nadya: It was a great honor to be asked to join the board of the Green School, which happens to be the greenest school on earth as awarded by the U.S. Green Building council! I am moved by the school’s commitment to not only overturn the physical ideals of what a school is but also how we are tailoring our curriculum to be a child centered curriculum that will hopefully help to guide our future leaders with entrepreneurial skills and a broad global mindset. What is also great about the school is our scholarship program offered to the local Indonesian community.

Asia Dreams: You live in an eco-friendly home that you and your husband built from?scratch. What is the best memory you have from that experience as well as?something you’d rather forget?

Nadya: Being one of the first few homes to build with such guidelines, building codes and budget were not the easiest things to follow. There are various treatments and fundamental elements that have worked really well like the mineral water swimming pool, thermal heating, and architecture of the house that keeps it cool. We have successfully built a passive house that needs very little heating or cooling and as a result we happily live without air conditioning. The only thing that has not worked very well at all has been the coconut wood flooring, both indoor and outdoor.

Asia Dreams: The words ‘living green’ are on the tip of everyone’s tongue, yet not?everyone knows where to begin. What is one simple step we can do to start?living a more eco-friendly life?

Nadya: The most important thing we can do is to educate ourselves to the realities of the world we are living in. Great resources are available online including greenkampong.com, Ted.com and karmatube.com, and of course all the wonderful courses you can access via iTunesU. Without this understanding we will have no reason to change, and if we have no basic sense of compassion, we will also find it hard to generate the correct motivation to do so.

Asia Dreams: What is the most important issue today that we should all be aware of?in terms of protecting Mother Earth at a local level?

Nadya: The most important thing we can do is look at the way we eat. The easiest way we can adjust our carbon footprint is to adjust our diet and the biggest issues we humans will face are those related to food and water security. Think about how the food you eat gets to you, how many miles does it fly? How much refrigeration does it need? How much feed, grain and water does it need? This is how we need to think about not only food, but how we consume in general.

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