Inspiring individual Ella Daish shares her advice for creating positive change and hopes for the future.

“It’s easy to think that your actions won’t make a difference, but trust me they do.”

Ella Daish holding the Green Heart Hero Award for Individual Inspiration in 2020.

Ella Daish began the #EndPeriodPlastic campaign in 2018 after noticing how much plastic waste there was on her postal route. After doing her research and finding out the period products contain up to 90% plastic, Ella took action.

She called on manufacturers and supermarkets to stop putting plastic in their menstrual products. The campaign gained over 234,000 signatories resulting in Sainsburys, Aldi, and Superdrug removing the plastic from their period products. Ella’s campaign also resulted in Morrisons, Lil-Lets, and Superdrug bringing out eco-friendly period products.

Ella has not only worked to create change in supermarkets, she has pushed for governmental change too. Ella’s passionate campaign drove a Welsh council to spend 100% of their period dignity funding on eco friendly period products, a first in the UK.

Ella’s hugely influential work meant she was nominated for and won last years Green Heart Hero Award for Individual Inspiration.

We spoke to her to find out what her advice is to other aspiring activists and what her hopes are for the future.

What has been the most rewarding part of your campaigning and your biggest win?

“The most rewarding part of my campaigning has been witnessing the dedication and enthusiasm of the Welsh Government and Councils to take progressive steps for the planet. I am so proud of what is happening in Wales, they’ve listened to my calls for them to spend their period poverty funding sustainably. Four Welsh councils have committed to spending 100% of their funding on eco-friendly products and the Welsh Government has stipulated 50% of funding across Wales must be spent in this way.”

Ella Daish standing next to a Giant Tampax Applicator to highlight the issue of plastic pollution associated with menstrual products.

What further changes would you like to see in 2021 to protect our planet?

“In 2019, the UK Government was the first country to declare a climate emergency, however within the first month of 2021, they have taken environmentally damaging steps with each week that has passed. They have approved plans for a new coal mine, the first of its kind in 30 years, have postponed the Environment Bill (again), and continue to export unsorted plastic waste to the global south.

They are not committing to the promises they have made. This is not good enough, we need our government to deliver on their commitments by taking the necessary steps to protect our planet.

In addition to this, I want manufacturers and brands to take the initiative when it comes to tackling unnecessary plastic usage, and to stop practices that are destroying the environment. They must put the planet before their profit.”

Is there any advice you would give to individuals who want to bring about positive change but don’t know where to start?

“It can be difficult knowing where to start as an individual and it’s easy to think that your actions won’t make a difference but trust me they do. I would encourage anyone to raise their voice and take action for a cause they care about because we really can all bring about change. Here’s some of my advice:

Don’t be afraid to ask questions and send emails even if you don’t think you’ll get a response. It has happened to me before and you may be surprised with who gets back to you, you won’t lose anything by trying.

Connect with like-minded individuals and set up regular chats with activists and campaigners that you share interests with. Having a support network you trust is invaluable and important.

Whatever you do, never give up, there will be ups and downs and you will make mistakes along the way, we all do, but persistence and passion will always pay off.”

Do you know an inspirational individual like Ella? Why not nominate them for this years Green Heart Hero Awards!

Head to https://www.theclimatecoalition.org/green-heart-hero-award-nominations-2021 to submit your nomination.

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The Climate Coalition

The Climate Coalition

The Climate Coalition is the largest group of people in the UK dedicated to tackling climate change, with our sister orgs @SCCscot and @SCCCymru