Who are we?
(along with some quarantine-friendly-excursion headshots)
There is this small library in Greifswald. The huge table in the middle is always covered under maps of wetlands in Mecklenburg-Western-Pomerania. Shelves are covering every wall. And each book, being sorted by content, is about peatlands.
There is a man sitting in front of the window. It is pitch-black outside of the room, so that you can see the reflection of the chandelier in the window glass. Laughter is filling the room. The students love his Dutch. It was him who has built up this library and now, every Wednesday evening, he organizes Peatland-nights to speak about our wetlands.
There are those small moments in life that change you to an extend you would have never expected. That ignite you with a spark and suddenly there is a flame burning inside of you. This evening in the Peatland library was such a moment for me. From that night on I saw Greifswald, Germany, maybe even the world differently.
Hi, I am Mari-Liis, and Estonian girl currently studying Environmental Sciences in University of Vienna, Austria. Almost a quarter of Estonia is covered in peatlands and I grew up surrounded by their beauty. I have enjoyed sunrises, sunsets, long walks and midsummer night concerts there.
I still remember sitting in my first lecture of peatlands, learning about their importance and thinking to myself how did I not know about it before! In this moment I finally figured out the path I wanted to take in my studies. Soon after I started working on my master thesis and from there on, my appreciation, interest and love for peatlands has been flourishing.
I joined RE-PEAT, because I feel there is an urgent need to educate people about peatlands and how relevant they are in combating climate change. I am thrilled to be a part of such a driven group of young people, aiming to make a difference on how we see and treat these ecological treasures.
Hey! I’m Lanie. I joined RE-PEAT because I grew up in rural Massachusetts, USA, surrounded by peatlands. I was always mesmerized by their beauty. When I started studying environmental science at university, I also learned about the immense services they provide the environment, and began to see them as both beautiful and incredibly important to our ecosystems! I hope that one day, people across the globe come to regain the respect and awe we all once had for all things in our natural world.
Hello, I’m Ireen! I’m a biomedical sciences student in Amsterdam who recently got swept up into the peat-fanatic-stream through some friends. For a long time, I was convinced that if you wanted to witness beautiful nature, the Netherlands is really not the place to be. However, by learning more and more about the wonders of peat, I’ve started to appreciate the wonderful peatlands around me. I’m a big environmentalist, so when I heard about the incredible carbon-capturing nature of peat and saw the irresistible enthusiasm of the other team members, my decision to join re-peat was easily made. Peatlands have so much potential, and I really believe that by bringing stakeholders together, we can start writing a new and positive chapter for peat history.
I got involved with RE-PEAT after I found out about the impact that draining peatlands can have on the environment and I thought it was too much of a “big issue” for me to let it pass by without doing anything about it. So, when some friends of mine had the idea of starting the group, I immediately got on board with the project even though I didn’t know so much about the topic. After that I got to learn more about peatlands and I realised that they are actually quite cool! I don’t see myself as a very “sciency” person, nor I did any studies in environmental science, but I must say that now I am definitely fascinated and attracted to these wet carbon rich lands!
What I find the most fascinating about them –beside their amazing role as carbon sinks and natural barriers – it is their unique and almost mystical character. Having graduated from a bachelor in social sciences, I am quite interested in the cultural and social value that certain landscapes and environments can carry, and I believe that peatlands carry an amazing socio-cultural baggage with them that is often hidden in many old rural traditional practices. If I could have a “peaty” superpower, I would like to be able to literally “dive” into the peatland as if it was a pool of water and to be able to go through and experience its thousands of years of history stored into the many layers of peat.
You are what you peat.
What drew me to RE-PEAT was because I was surrounded by bogs all my life, while growing up in Knocknagoshel, in the south west of Ireland. I thought I could have a lot to offer because I came from a community living in and around peatlands. I come from a rural community, that relies on peat as a fuel source for home heating. My core aim at RE-PEAT is to figure out a fair way for locals to make the transition away from peat. This will be done through social and political collaboration.
Peatlands are Ireland's last wilderness. They are home to a vast range of ecological wildlife including rare birds and carnivorous plants. To quote a song by Christy Moore, "I'm a bog man, deep down, it's where I come from."
It was the stories that drew me the peatland. Those cross-temporal imprints, containing ancient memories of life and of death. Stories of wet muddy squelchy life. How could this special earth be forgotten, how could it be forgone? Being part of RE-PEAT has opened up interspersing and intersecting dialogues, perspective shifts and an excitement for some of the more underground/under-recognised systems of being.
I'm an Environmental Policy and Science student in Amsterdam, currently writing my thesis about paludiculture. I am part of RE-PEAT because I believe protecting the living world ('environmental protection') should be a holistic experience that crosses many disciplines, and that celebrates the wonder we can find in nature. I also believe in having spaces where we can explore and express the many emotions that arise in our current situation of climate crisis and ecosystem decline: grief, anger, perseverance, joy. I hope to walk the Hebridean Way very shortly and get a little lost.
I study pedagogy and practice the learned lessons by holding workshops and field trips on sustainability. In my spare time, I like to engage with NGOs and foundations that are at the forefront of protecting the environment.
Our use of fossil fuels generates greenhouse gasses, that results in higher temperature. Logging and the drainage of wetlands act as a catalyst for the changing climate. Peatlands cover 3% of the earth's surface, compared to trees that cover 30%, yet they store twice as much carbon as all the world’s forests (www.unenvironment.org). It takes thousands of years to form a delicate peatland ecosystem, and it can be destroyed within a fraction of that time by humankind. This is one of the reasons why I joined this beautiful initiative RE-PEAT. People need to become more aware of their surroundings and get to know about the importance of peatlands. Garden centers need to inform consumers about the origin of the soil and offer alternatives to peat soil.
"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." Hellen Keller
Ahoi, I am Jasmin. What drew me to RE-PEAT was the inspiring enthusiasm and creativity of its associates. I did not have a special peat connection but understood right away why peatlands need to be protected. What followed was me being a child again, in that sense, that I almost did not know anything about peatlands, and discovered the peat-tastic world with bright, big eyes, unbiased and often left to wonder. Being part of RE-PEAT is a chance to reach out and connect to fellow peatvocates as well as other people who might also just not know about their long lost love for peat jet.
Peat was a new and recent discovery for me. When I was first told of the massive role Peatland plays in climate regulation it took me a while to grasp the extent of it. How can there be this vital ecosystem that so few people know about? Why aren't we talking about it and singing in the street, have you heard of peat?
I grew up surrounded by nature in a place that 5o years before had been a barren piece of land. Chipmunks and snakes would come for regular morning visits and we would spend many afternoons up in trees. Nature has an amazing healing capacity. I think when tackling Climate Change there are a lot of overly anthropocentric tech guided solutions but such a big part of the solution is protecting the nature we still have and supporting the natural self-restoring abilities of the Earth. I love the holistic approach that Re-Peat takes and am looking forward for what's to come.
During my last years at school, I took an interest in peatlands as it continued to pop up as an epic yet greatly understated landscape. I didn’t really understand why we weren’t all talking about peatlands more. I then came to Amsterdam and within the first few weeks of being here I came across some peat fanatics and it was a combination of their inspiring energy and goals for re-peat as a group that drew me to the cult, sorry I meant re-peat.
As someone who is wholly dedicated to protecting and restoring our beautiful earth, it is the ability of peatlands to absorb and store all that carbon and methane gas I really find incredible; just wow. Peatlands are mega cool.
Hi, I am proud to engage with this amazing RE-PEAT Collective!
I am Dutch conceptual artist, curator and work with notions of time, nature-culture, landscapes, and matter to enhance public and professional climate-consciousness. I am fascinated by peat as it has a special social, spatial and ecological ‘worldmaking’ connotation in the Netherlands. During centuries of peat extraction of the natural peat land a peat colonial landscape emerged. I recently explored the genesis of a human-made peatscape in a park in Amsterdam. I wonder if we are aware of the timescale of peat and how we can learn to engage in a more affectionate and reciprocal relationship with soil?
During the '24hr Online Global Peat-Fest on May 31, I offer a 24hr online workshop called ‘Inhale. Exhale. The art of making a peat ball, an earth sphere’. I will work in my garden at home in The Hague, Netherlands and seek to engage online during 24 hours with other ball-makers around the world. I warmly invite you to join online for 10 minutes on May 31, while you make and share a ball.More: https://lxwxdxtime.world/matter-of-time-2/