Laura Wells - @Iamlaurawells
It doesn’t take long being a part of this community to realise that there are Movers & Shakers everywhere. Everyone’s on their own journey and the support from one and another makes me so damn grateful to have somehow stumbled upon a community that is absolutely full of people I admire. People who are seriously making a difference in the world, yet are still so down to earth and humble that it makes you feel like you too can make a difference without an all or nothing approach. At least, that’s what this week's Mover & Shaker has taught me.
Laura Wells is someone I admire greatly. So much so that when she agreed to do this interview I was on a high for the rest of the week. She’s a model, a presenter, an environmentalist and is someone who’s helped to ultimately teach me (along with many others I’m sure) to love the skin your in.
For those that follow Laura, you’ll likely have learned a thing or two about animal species you’ve never heard of before via her Instagram stories. Or perhaps you heard the legendary Clare Press’s first podcast interview with Laura about the sheer impact of plastic on the environment and why exactly we should all make a conscious effort to use less.
Overall, as Laura’s Instagram bio says “don’t be a dick, your actions count”, so with that piece of imparting wisdom (that is in fact, 100% correct), I hope you enjoy this weeks interview with the one and only, Laura Wells.
YOU ARE A MODEL, PRESENTER AND ENVIRONMENTALIST (ON TOP OF BEING A KICK ASS HUMAN) AND YOU HOLD DEGREES IN BOTH BIOLOGY AND LAW. HOW DID YOU GET TO WHERE YOU ARE TODAY? WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHERS THAT ARE JUST COMING OUT OF UNIVERSITY AND STARTING OFF THEIR OWN JOURNEY?
My journey has been rather unexpected but I have made the most of it and taken risks when I had to. My modeling career was not something I yearned for but rather something I fell into and so I pursued it with the intention of being a scientist when and if it didn’t work. Modelling has taken me all over the world and I have lived in London and New York, however back in Australia is where I really started to sink my teeth into the environmental space.
For anyone starting their journey just out of university, high school or starting a new career my advice would be to find our passion, find your why. It doesn’t always come straight away, and that's ok, but once you find it incorporate it into everyday life because that's what will fulfill you.
WITH A BACKGROUND IN MARINE BIOLOGY, WHAT IS SOMETHING OTHERS WOULDN’T KNOW ABOUT THE OCEAN THAT YOU THINK EVERYONE SHOULD?
The ocean provides between 50-80% of the oxygen we breathe. Most people believe the oxygen we breathe comes from terrestrial plants, but its the ocean, all of that submerged plant matter which allows us to survive, which is why its imperative to keep the ocean healthy!
YOU HAVE BEEN AN INCREDIBLE MOVER & SHAKER IN HIGHLIGHTING THE IMPORTANCE OF REFUSING AND REDUCING PLASTIC. WHY IS THIS SO IMPORTANT?
Plastic is a fantastic material, however, the way in which we use it is atrocious. Plastic lasts forever, it never actually goes away. Every piece of plastic ever created is still in existence today, which is why using plastic for disposable, single-use items such as water bottles, straws, plastic bags, cutlery is really stupid and detrimental. In order to reduce greenhouse gases, reduce the burden on our oceans and marine life, keep our water table and environment clean, remove pollutants from our food and potable water, we need to move away from the convenient plastic filled lifestyle we have become accustomed to and be the change we want to see and live.
WHAT OR WHO INSPIRES YOU TO DO WHAT YOU DO ON A DAILY BASIS?
Surrounding and immersing myself in nature, whether that be forest, ocean, river, lake, snowfields, desert, inspires me to be better. Listening to the calls of birds, seeing whales care for their young, watching a curious fish or seeing a beautiful tree rise from the earth makes me what to give a s%$*. We need all of these things to create healthy ecosystems in order for us to survive. If we manage to survive without that beauty around us it is going to be a very boring, uninspiring life. Leaving a planet in better shape than it was when I arrived is the ultimate goal so that future generations get to experience what is out there and be inspired as well.
WHAT IS THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?
Don’t worry what other people think… this is really important. If we allow other peoples expectations or assumptions of what is good/ bad/ right or wrong for us to cloud our judgment or change our thoughts because of their own insecurities or fears than we won’t follow our own dreams or desires. Not worrying about stereotypes and how we ‘should look’ what other people deem as beautiful is just as important. Be yourself and no one else and do what matters to you regardless of how others perceive it. If you are doing something good for the planet or others, giving back, then that's the most important thing.
DO YOU HAVE A MORNING ROUTINE? IF SO WHAT IS IT YOU DO TO SET YOURSELF UP FOR THE DAY AHEAD?
Every morning is different however I am really trying to start my day with a short meditation and yoga practice. I find when I actually do it my day seems to be a lot smoother, calmer and easier to navigate. Now I just need to do it everyday!
HOW DO YOU DEFINE SUCCESS?
Success is very individualistic. I don’t believe it is defined by money or awards or degrees. It ultimately comes down to the individual and if they have achieved their desires, if they are happy and healthy within themselves and if they have in some small way impacted the world around them for the better.
ONE BOOK EVERYONE SHOULD READ? WHY?
I think the book ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k’ by Sarah Knight is a great book to read for not only those who worry too much about what others think but its also great for people who may feel a little overwhelmed or not quite on the right path. Actually, this book is damn good for everyone to read because it really makes you understand just how insignificant the ‘big’ things in our lives are.
FOR THOSE READING THIS INTERVIEW WHO ARE INSPIRED TO MAKE A CHANGE TODAY IN THEIR OWN WORLD. WHAT DO YOU RECOMMEND THEY BEGIN WITH? WHERE SHOULD THEY START?
To make a change in your own world you just need to do it. It could be anything, start small, get good at that thing and then once it has become a habit add the next thing. For me, going almost plastic free has been a rewarding challenge. I started small with not using plastic water bottles, remembering my reusable and then I flowed onto not using plastic cutlery or straws or plastic bags, no disposable coffee cups. Each time I progressed I felt so good about it the endorphins released, because I knew I was doing a great thing for the environment, made me remember to do it time and time again until now, it is a habit, a good habit to have.
By you changing little things about how you live and your routine, you will automatically, subconsciously set an example for those around you, without even having to talk about it, and that's one of the most powerful things. The effect you have on others around you to do better. Your actions count, so make them seen, make them heard, just do it!
ARE THERE ANY OTHER MOVERS & SHAKERS OUT THERE IN YOUR WORLD THAT YOU THINK WE SHOULD ALL KNOW ABOUT?
There are so many fantastic people out there doing amazing things all in their own little ways, whether it be a social media presence, having their own organisation, researching etc.
Clare Press a fashion journalist with a focus on sustainability is doing great things, check out her podcast and her book, both with the same title, Wardrobe Crisis. I really admire her tenacity to educate people on change and why it is a good thing.
& there you have it! Quite possibly one of my favourite Movers & Shakers interviews to date with the incredible Laura. I hope you’ve learned a thing or two with this interview and feel like you have some actionable steps to put in place in your own world. I know I definitely do.