Learning to go Green: Schneider Electric employee tells her story

Learning to go Green: Schneider Electric employee tells her story

 October 01, 2019

Bego Araez is a Campaign Creation Manager at Schneider Electric. She is an expert in Digital Marketing and User Experience with a large experience in Communications. She is passionate about working and living with a purpose, contributing to the change she would like to see in the world.

Outside Schneider Electric, Bego loves writing novels and poems, travelling with her family (husband and two daughters), and walking in the countryside.

Bego also loves doing her bit to help the planet - and she shares her steps towards being more sustainable that started many years ago with a few small actions but has now become a big part of her life.

Ordinary people can do extraordinary things for the planet

"We should have been kicked out of the planet.  We like to call this “Our Planet”, when it is not. If the planet was an apartment rented through Airbnb or any other platform, we would have been blocked by the app and not allowed to rent any other property at all. Who wants to have a guest who cannot respect the place and leaves a wrecked apartment with rubbish everywhere, unusable appliances, ruined furniture, and cracked decorations?" says Bego.

"Sometimes I think about crazy things like, we should have a very restrictive contract to live on this wonderful planet. A contract similar to the one that Sheldon Cooper (Big Bang Theory TV show) makes his flat-mate, Leonard Hofstadter sign. This is because we are reaching a point where it is critical to act. Only with real actions, can we revert this alarming situation and ensure our own survival as a species (hopefully also the survival of all the others)."

Bego used to think this is something ordinary people cannot make enough of an impact on, and so used to consider it pointless to tackle such an overwhelming issue. She also used to think this problem is so big that only governments, big companies, and large institutions like the United Nations can handle or solve.

"We all know they can make a huge impact and do a lot of things. Unfortunately, they are not doing everything they can, despite some of them, like Schneider Electric, the company I’m proud to work for, are fully committed to sustainability and are actively working towards it," she explains.

But Bego shares the good news: that every single person on Earth can do quite a few things to live in a more sustainable manner. Moreover, as ordinary people in this extraordinary home, and being the “smarter” species in the world, Bego wants to encourage everyone to act - she believes we owe that to this home we all share.

"Otherwise, how could we defend ourselves from our exceptional host, Mother Earth when she reviews our contract in the near future? Will we have answers to her arguments for moving us away from the planet?" she adds. 

Inspired by a campaign to boycott plastic

Bego shares how she started to make some little adjustments in her life to contribute to a cleaner, greener and everlasting planet to inspire others and help them set their own way to be part of the change as well.

Bego has been aware of the need to take care of the planet for a long time. She bought a hybrid car a while ago and uses public transportation as much as I can. She has been taking reusable bags when going grocery shopping for years, and using a reusable bottle for water. Until her teenager daughter encouraged her, her husband and her sister to take a step forward.

Inspired by a Spanish initiative called boycott to plastic, #boicotalplástico, from Zero Waste España organization, supported by organizations like Greenpeace, Bego and her daughter followed the campaign's simple proposal: one week with no plastic. 

Bego was initially apprehensive and, although she admits it wasn't easy, beyond all the difficulties she faced, she learned a lot from this experience.

Sharing her efforts to inspire others to act

This is what Bego learnt on her sustainable journey:

  • the use of plastic is extremely abusive and it is not possible to get rid of it completely. But we can reduce a lot!
  • small shops rather than big food chains were willing to serve the fresh products (meat, fish, fruits, vegetables) using her own reusable containers. "This new way of shopping only requires time to organize your weekly menu and the shopping list, and maybe some more time to visit the small shops in your neighborhood (if you are lucky as me and you have them)," says Bego
  • Bego and her family decided to bring back the fantastic experience of using a traditional Italian coffee maker with coffee that is ground at home every morning
  • her refrigerator is now full of healthier, fresh food, and if packaged, always with reusable materials like crystal or carton
  • she replaced liquid soaps with ecological solid ones, including shampoo. "In the beginning it’s weird, but soon you get used to it, and you feel much happier because you realize you’re saving money and cutting down waste at the same time. One solid soap can last 3 times longer than the liquid soap in plastic bottles," she explains
  • she started incorporating fabric napkins to avoid plastic and paper waste. Water is needed to wash the napkins, but it is not significant since she finds the space for them in the washing machine when she washes her clothes
  • Bego adds that wrapping gifts using fabric scarves is something very cool and fun - and you don't need to struggle with sticky tape anymore

"I cannot calculate the exact reduction of waste at home since I started putting all the above into practice. I also cannot calculate the impact I am making on the planet. It will be interesting to see the comparison between before and after. I should try the footprint calculator to discover," she says.

"I encourage all of you to try at least one of the seven points mentioned. There is a lot more we can do, and I will probably add more actions into my life. But it is much better to start step by step. Who knows if someday I (or you!) will be as Bea Johnson (precursor of the zero waste lifestyle movement) and I am (you are) able to generate no waste at all? Our planet is worth the effort."

Make a difference in your career at Schneider Electric

Schneider Electric is a company committed to sustainability, and it encourages all its employees to work towards the cause of a more green future.

If you want to make a difference in your career at Schneider Electric, search and apply for jobs today.


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