Our Changemaker Hub is a platform where we showcase individuals or organizations from anywhere in the world who are actively working on something that creates a positive impact in the world: On our environment, animals and wildlife, to other people or society at large, to people’s fitness, health and wellbeing (physically, mentally, spiritually). It’s someone who lives the Tripulse “Be Better” spirit and inspires others through their actions to do so too.
By featuring their stories and lifting their voices, we want to share what inspires us to "be better” and hopefully motivate many more people. Feel free to share these stories! Everyone can make a positive difference, big or small, but if we are many we are stronger.
One such changemaker is Julia Beyer who is the co-founder of the Swedish natural sunscreen brand Suntribe. She has a vision to change the sunscreen industry for the better by offering natural and toxin-free sunscreens that are also planet-friendly and coral-safe. We love that! Julia answered our questions:
What’s your name?
My name is Julia Beyer.
Where do you live?
I gave up my last apartment almost exactly four years ago and have been traveling ever since, working remotely from places such as Costa Rica, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Germany. Oftentimes in my van, sometimes renting places for a short while.
How old are you?
I'm 29 years old.
What do you do that creates a positive impact, what’s your mission?
My mission is to help people make the switch from chemical to mineral sunscreens.
Why do you do it?
Because I know about the negative side effects of chemical sunscreens on our health and our planet. It is proven by now that especially chemical UV-filters are linked to skin irritations, allergies, hormonal disruptions in humans and nature, and coral reef bleaching. That's enough for me to convince myself that we need to use safe mineral sunscreens instead that are completely natural and just as effective.
What’s the biggest challenge in doing what you do?
The biggest challenge is greenwashing. A lot of companies have started offering "reef-safe" sunscreens. However since that is not an official or verified label, they still use ingredients that we know are not safe. Other companies claim their products are suitable for sensitive skin or kids and still they do use known allergens and skin irritants. It's worth it to use independent apps to double-check whether the sunscreen is actually worry-free.
At Suntribe have compiled a lot of information about which ingredients to avoid, what the difference between mineral and chemical sunscreens is on our website, Social Media and in our blog.
How do you keep motivated when things get tough?
Meeting up with my friends and family as well as doing sports every day is what keeps me going. Sharing a dinner or enjoying a great surf session always helps me to put things back into perspective and realize that I'll be able to handle whatever challenge I'm facing.
Sustainability for you is…(please complete the sentence)
What’s your favorite way to stay active and healthy?
There's many! I really enjoy cooking plant-based food (and deserts!), and more than anything I love surfing, boxing and swimming. Especially with surfing it fills me with joy for many hours in a row, and a deep sense of peace and relaxation. For me it's the perfect combination of being challenged by the elements, being physically active and sharing some happy hours with friends.
Where can we educate ourselves more on the mission or topic you’re working on (digital platforms, magazines, books, documentaries, movies, podcasts, websites etc)?
I can recommend a documentary called "Toxic Beauty" which makes it painfully clear how unregulated the skincare industry is. To figure out whether the ingredients in your sunscreen and cosmetics are safe, I highly recommend downloading any of the following three apps: Think Dirty, INCI Beauty or Yuka. With these apps you simply scan the barcode of your skincare product and you'll see the safety rating of the product overall as well as of each ingredient.
Where can we find more of you and the great work you do (Social Media, website, blog, etc)?
You can visit our website to read more about safe sun protection and order our worry-free natural sunscreens: www.suntribesunscreen.com
We're also on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/suntribesunscreen/
And you can find us on Facebook as well: https://www.facebook.com/suntribesunscreen
What is your personal motto?
One of my favourite quotes by Voltaire summarises my personal motto quite well: “I have chosen to be happy because it is good for my health.”
I believe that being happy and seeing the bright side of everything is a question of habit. Staying positive helps to feel that you can actually change things. I believe we can!
Who is a person who inspires you to live a more active and/or sustainable life?
One person that inspires me to live a more sustainable life is my grandmother. She never owned a car and went shopping about once a year. She grew her own vegetables and fruits and loved to sit outside to enjoy the last rays of the evening sun. She lived in a sustainable way without ever labelling it. When I think of her it's a great reminder for me that most of the climate-threatening consumption habits that we have these days are a very recent phenomenon, and are not actually needed to make us happy. We don't need to wear new clothes all the time. Other people don't really care as much about what we wear as we think they do. We don't need to travel to a new place every second month either. It can be nice to explore a place at a slower pace.
Of course I do want different things in life than my grandmother - mostly, I do want to travel a lot more than she ever did. I try to find ways to travel that are environmentally-friendly, for example by taking trains and by sharing rides.
What’s your definition of “be better”?
My definition of "be better" is to always be open to learning about better ways to do things, and try to live a sustainable life step by step. There's certain things that we know for sure will help us mitigate climate change - for example to reduce the amount of meat that we consume, to fly less and to buy high-quality clothes that are durable - and it's important to try and avoid these climate-damaging behaviours.
However I believe that the main point is to continue educating yourself and continue having open discussions about what we can actually do to keep our planet healthy.
Which question do you wish we’d ask you but haven’t?
I really enjoyed your questions! One additional question that I would have loved to answer would have been: "What's the next planet-friendly switch that you want to implement to become more sustainable?"
Wanna get inspired by yet another changemaker? Check out Nele Dörk from Runnerfeelings who inspires people to get running, and Daan, who inspires people to clean up waste and plastic through plogging.
Know a changemaker we should get in touch with?
If you identify yourself as a changemaker or know someone who does, please reach out to us on firstname.lastname@example.org - we’d love to connect and are always interested in featuring inspiring people who are making our world a better place.