A young student majoring in science at Stirling University in Scotland, Boglarka has been commitment to protecting the environment for a long time. The 24-year-old Hungarian wanted to take part in the expedition of 2041 ClimateForce to the Arctic. Discover her No Ordinary story…
It all started with Sir Robert Swan, the first man to walk on both poles, and his son, Barney, who was the first to travel through the Antarctic powered by 100% renewable energy. They brought the ClimateForce Challenge to life to raise awareness about climate change. They provide members with sustainability leadership training through the cutting-edge program “Leaders on the Edge”. The Challenge is focused on working towards goals such as establishing a new standard of carbon-neutral travelling and organising sustainability education programs. Sir Robert’s 2041 Foundation started these expeditions to inspire youth, the future leaders, and to involve them in the action for climate activism. Each year, ClimateForce teams also fight to protect wildlife and observe the animals and nature that call the Arctic their home. These expeditions involve hiking, zodiac trekking and working outdoors all day, all in the seriously extreme conditions of the Arctic environment.
Boglarka was selected to be the ambassador of the last expedition of 2041 ClimateForce to the Arctic, which took place in June 2019. This journey requires specific training to face extreme conditions. In order to be able to jump in and out of boats or kayaks or run to the bridge if a wildlife sighting or a similarly remarkable situation was reported, she had to prepare physically: running, muscular training, meditation…
Moreover, as the sun never sets at the poles in the summer months, she had an average of 2 hours of sleep a night.
To face these extreme conditions, high-quality equipment is required: the risk of sun damage in the polar summer is incredibly high due to the amount of sunlight being reflected off the snow and ice, and even more so when you have sensitive eyes like Boglarka. She never went out without her NATIVE polarized sunglasses, and wore them on hikes, boat rides and while kayaking.
Through this personal challenge, she also wants to inspire young people and tell them to believe in themselves.
“Life is short, we have limited time on this planet, and thus we should never be afraid to start a new chapter if that means positive change and a chance to improve our or other people’s lives.”
As a witness to this climate change, she hopes to create her online platform, ECON, to broadcast video excerpts of the melting icebergs, struggling fauna and other phenomena that she has witnessed and recorded. There will also be interviews with members of the ClimateForce team.
Always with the aim of raising public awareness, she also wants to visit schools and workplaces to share her experiences.
Among the highlights of her adventure, she will always remember the silence and peace felt during a kayak ride on the frozen ocean, interrupted by the disappearance of an iceberg right before her eyes.
“We were slowly pedaling in silence, listening to the knocking sound of melting icebergs around us, something that is devastating to witness but because of the purity of the landscape, the unreal blueness of the water, ice and sky, even this worrying phenomenon seemed mesmerizing at that very moment. Then, out of the blue, the iceberg in front of us collapsed and turned over which was shocking and terrifying to see.”
This expedition changed her life! She knows now that she will never again be alone in fighting against these alarming phenomena: many others are also fighting on a daily basis for a sustainable future.
“If I can do it, anyone can, and if my story will encourage just one person out there to start something new, to learn about the environment, to go for an adventure or to just realise they are capable of much more than they thought, it was all worth it.”
Today, Boglarka has returned from this expedition more determined than ever: nothing can stop her. In February 2020, she will join the ClimateForce team again to participate in a tree planting project and to climb Kilimanjaro.
In November 2020, she also plans to participate in an expedition to Antarctica to raise awareness about the impact of climate change on that region as well. In fact, the South Pole is where the story of the 2041 Foundation and the ClimateForce Challenge started.
What energizes and inspires her on a daily basis: fighting against climate change and making people aware of the importance of joining this movement.