Anina is a role model for many young people out there. Living sustainable and conscious, eating healthy, buying local, thinking global - these are some of the values she lives by. Widely known for her Instagram-presence Anina has just last week launched a fashion-collection together with EMERALD BERLIN that aims at creating awareness for the situation of the Indonesian rainforest. In cooperation with the German NGO OroVerde Anina is fighting to protect this paradise for generations to come. How all of this came about? Read on!
EB: Dear Anina, we are so happy that you have taken the time for this interview. Thank you so much! Many of our frequent readers know you already from Instagram (@aniahimsa), your blog (www.aniahimsa.com) or the chappedlips-podcast on Spotify and Soundcloud (Check it out!) For those of us who have not had the pleasure to meet you, would you give us a short introduction?
Anina: Yes, of course! On my blog and Instagram-account it all revolves around a healthy, conscious and sustainable lifestyle. I share a whole lot of tips, recipes and inspirations by which I’d like to motivate people to question their own habit of consumption. In all of this it is very important to me to show that sustainability does not necessarily mean abstinence but much more it means broadening your own horizon. What is good for us is also good for the planet. Since I truly live what I write about and publish I know how much fun a sustainable lifestyle can be. I’ve never in my life cooked so colourfully and deliciously as I do today with regional and seasonal ingredients. While trying my best I always show that regardless of all efforts nobody is perfect. And we don’t have to be. That’s why I regularly share the plastic waste I am producing or write about how difficult it is for me to say no to air travels forever.
“With my work I’d like to motivate people to question their own habits of consumption.”
EB: As a (Sense)-Influencer and social-media-personality you do so many projects simultaneously. How did you get started doing what you do? When did you understand for yourself that you can become happy with this line of work and do so much good for the world?
Anina: Becoming a journalist has always been my dream. When I was 17 years old I was able to work as a freelancer for a local newspaper writing articles and taking photos. For more than 8 years I wrote pieces, sometimes freelance, sometimes during internships, later on as a resident editor for different outlets. Because of that it was only natural to study something along these lines. During my studies in Multimedia Production I discovered my passion for online-media and blogging. What was a hobby at first became my biggest passion along the way. I realized how much fun it was to write about topics I really care about. I would say it was a combination of diligence, continuity, enthusiasm and luck which made it possible for me to become a full-time (Sense-)influencer and blogger.
“I realized how much fun it was to write about topics I really care about.”
EB: How do you see the possibilities of social-media as a tool for good and for expanding consciousness? What do you think could make social-media even more effective for social-causes?
Anina: To me it was clear from the start that it is about the cause and not about me. To have a great audience always comes with great responsibilities. I want to take up those responsibilities and I see it as my mission to do as much good as possible. It never occurred to me to set my focus differently. Even though I stand with my name for everything I write and publish I never wanted to put Aniahimsa in the centre of things. Topics like sustainability, health or social justice are always most important. I’d wish that even more Bloggers take a clear stand and participate actively in social or even political discussions. There are by now many studies showing that especially young people trust Influencers more than big media platforms. This underlines what I mentioned before: We carry responsibilities and have great influence. Why don’t we use this for the really important issues?
“I’d wish that even more Bloggers take a clear stand and participate actively in social or even political discussions.”
EB: A conscious and sustainable lifestyle is very important to you. But seriously: many people think that this means most of the time to say no to things, be abstinent, and that it is very complicated (and expensive) to eat vegan or protect nature. But is this really true?
Anina: Let’s start with the wallet. I hear this argument all the time. It actually is lie this: I have never spend less money than today. Of course you can eat vegan and spend a lot. To live a healthy and happy life this is by no means necessary. I buy predominantly regional and organic products on the local market. At the end of the month that is cheaper than shopping in a regular supermarket. Why? Well, its simple. What’s offered on the market is seasonal. There are no fancy vegan cookies or superfood-powders. Further more: most expensive are meat and dairy products which are not part of a plant-based diet to begin with. And as far as abstinence is concerned: at first it might feel like you have to abstain from many things. That’s simply because in the beginning one has not yet gained the necessary knowledge and overview. Today I can say that I have never been so heathy and fit in my life. And there is nothing more valuable than health, right? What’s most beautiful about all this is that what is good for us is also good for the earth. So we are basically winning twice.
“I buy predominantly regional and organic products on the local market. At the end of the month that is cheaper than shopping in a regular supermarket.”
EB: That our way of life and consumption has consequences for far away places is something all of us are ware of nowadays. You decided to abstain from flying. How did you come to this decision?
Anina: It simply doesn’t feel right at the moment. I developed something like a flying-shame. And of course I want to be a good example and show that what is good is often nearby. I love to go hiking in the Suisse alps, visiting my friends in Berlin by train or renting a camper van to travel north. I have to admit though that I travelled a lot in the years before. I’ve been to south-east Asia three times in four years. And what can I say? It was awesome, expanded my horizon and gave me new insights and perspectives in term of sustainability. That’s why I do not want to demonize flying per se. I do this flying-strike just for me because it feels right. At the end of the day this as well is about being conscious and finding a good middle ground. Where this is everyone must and should decide for him- or herself.
“Travelling is great, it expanded my horizon and gave me new insights and perspectives in term of sustainability.”
EB: By supporting the Indonesia-Project of the German NGO OroVerde you personally have contributed to the protection of rainforests and endangered birds. What made you support this project in particular?
Anina: Like I said in recent years I travelled to Asia multiple times. Three times I have been to Indonesia with my boyfriend. This country with its beautiful islands, its stunning beauty and nature touched me like no other place I have ever been before. That’s why it just seemed perfect to cooperate with OroVerde and I am happy to be able to give something back to this beautiful country, to their most welcoming people and of course to the lands flora and fauna.
“This country with its beautiful islands, its stunning beauty and nature touched me like no other place I have ever been before.”
EB: Anina, thank you so much for your time, for all your efforts and your engagement. We know that this is not self-evident. We feel so honoured that you decided to partner with us.
Anina: …and I am so happy too! Thank you that I can be a part of EMERALD BERLIN. It is always a pleasure to work together with organisations that share the same values.