Clear day or not, you are most likely to find her outside, as close to nature as she can get; a family habit.

Kayaking, cross-country skiing, trekking up mountain peaks in all seasons, not for the summit but for the view, “making space for me and my thoughts.” She will don ski goggles or sunglasses, bike through Arctic winter storms, breathe in the balmy, salty breezes of the Dominican coast. To her, this is peace.

Kristin Weis, peacebuilder, human security, conservationist, environment, conflict management, foreign policy, recycle, upcycle, reuse, human footprint, Roskanet, Smart Tourism, Just Governance
Photo by Kristin Weis

Kristin Weis is not a conventional peace-builder or lady. She fights for human security by putting a spotlight on our relationship with the environment. Her goal is to improve the way we use and conserve it; this is the only one we get.

“We like to forget just how dependent we are on our environment. We leave it out of our stories and our solutions when it requires a starring role.”

Kristin Weis, peacebuilder, human security, conservationist, environment, conflict management, foreign policy, recycle, upcycle, reuse, human footprint, Roskanet, Smart Tourism, Just Governance
Photo by Kristin Weis

Her journey began where most classic quests to save the world do: in Washington, D.C, studying conflict management and foreign policy.

But while the rest of her peers went on to work in government buildings and think tanks, she went her own way … to develop models for eco-tourism and waste management in Malaysia.

She founded Roskanet, a project that creates eco-tourism and design solutions that support local, coastal communities in developing countries.

One such solution, ‘Smart Tourism,’ as she calls it, involves a three simple rules of traveling:

Kristin Weis, peacebuilder, human security, conservationist, environment, conflict management, foreign policy, recycle, upcycle, reuse, human footprint, Roskanet, Smart Tourism, Just Governance
Photo by Kristin Weis

One, Respect the locals; you are their guest. The people, their culture and environment:  the plants and animals, and all living things. Interact with them mindfully. Begin by picking up your litter, and speaking of litter,

Two, Reuse, recycle, upcycle. Be aware of the trash you create; even if it goes in a bin, it is still waste you are leaving behind. So avoid single use items; use proper glasses and real plates. No plastic or Styrofoam. After all, you are on holiday.

Three, Direct the flow of your money back into your host community. Buy local, authentic products; you will help small, ethical businesses grow.

Everyone wins: travel is more enriching and local communities gain resilience. Saving the world by keeping the view beautiful for the next visit.

Kristin Weis, peacebuilder, human security, conservationist, environment, conflict management, foreign policy, recycle, upcycle, reuse, human footprint, Roskanet, Smart Tourism, Just Governance
Photo by Kristin Weis

Kristin is still on her way, now pursuing a Master’s Degree in Coastal and Marine Management. Her research focuses on social-ecological resilience and the role of tourism in Dominica.

In her free time, she trains peacebuilding professionals on environmental issues and solutions, and always finds time to trek, surf, ski. Breathe outside in nature.

Learn more about Kristin’s projects by visiting: https://www.facebook.com/roskanet/

 

 

 

Yara Zgheib

Yara is a bookworm, writer, and constant traveler and dreamer. Born in Beirut, she has lived in Glasgow, Washington, Paris, Saint Louis, and is not done exploring the world yet.

She is a Fulbright scholar with a PhD in international affairs, who writes about politics, art, culture, economics, literature, and philosophy on her blog, Aristotle at Afternoon Tea.

Yara is the author of Biography of a Little Prince, a memoir of her adventures with a little boy dear to her heart. She is also writes for The Huffington Post, The Four Seasons Magazine, The Idea List, A Woman’s Paris, Holiday Magazine, and HOME Magazine.

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Yara Zgheib

Yara is a bookworm, writer, and constant traveler and dreamer. Born in Beirut, she has...

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