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Shahrzad is the founder of ‘Usetobeused’ and her Phangan story begins when she was in the South of Thailand traveling to Bangkok. She decided to check out the islands for diving and to do a collaboration with the schools here. Previously she had been introduced to Koh Phangan years ago by resident DJ friends of hers.
Shahrzad’s background is full of endless stories, she was born and raised in Iran Tehran where she achieved her higher diploma in mathematics and physics. She then left to live abroad 11 years ago…
“I have been an international model for the sake of traveling for many years on and off, I studied film and took courses on sociology”.
Although she has been passionate with many different things what has always stayed with Shahrzad was to heal the issues we have on our educational system or ‘the system itself’.
Hi Shahrzad, when did the Usedtobeused project begin and why?
When? Haha!! I started it in my head many years ago I guess but when I took my first step with that light turned on on my head was in Bali at the end of August. I was driving the motorbike and wandering around and deeply disturbed by the high amount of plastic consumption, that I said to myself this is the time!
And Why? Clearly because the plastic is bad! Harmful! We are killing ourselves with mass consumption of plastic and it is not only us getting drowned in this egregious situation but we are also dragging other beautiful harmless creatures down with us. Humans are the only ones moving towards destruction disgracefully.
What is the concept and main ethos?
Main ethos is to start again, to start from zero, with the right education on our youngsters, the kids! It can start off again with the proper righteous information which can build a happier and cleaner future.
This is primarily with children, do you believe this to be of great importance?
Anything with children is of a great importance. They are the seed we plant for the future.
What have you done so far with this project on Koh Phangan?
I have done what could have been done so far but yet there is so much that has to be done.
I have been welcomed warmly by principles of Haad Rin Primary school and we cleaned the full moon party beach together. I need to give them a visit soon to have them subscribe to Usetobeused to receive free studies.
What do you think are the main issues to do with trash and the environment?
I think there are many issues, greater ones like sewage. But dumping trash is also a huge issue we are facing. That’s not only because the trash gets into the water but its the action one can do.
Unawarely dumping trash. Think of it?! A parent dumps the trash without any respect to her/his surroundings. Its like spitting on the earth! Dishonouring the ground below our feet! That’s the greatest issue. That’s what my project wants to work on, raising awareness and making us all think before we act.
What has been the feedback from the children?
The most beautiful response you can get, not verbally but by their actions, dedication, determination and passion.
As soon as they were told they just instinctively followed, as if they already knew. Children are so much more aware than many adults before they grow up and are fed with bad habits of the society.
What are your plans with the project for the rest of the year?
To focus on providing more and more profound knowledge to share on the website and to reach out to more schools to subscribe and raise more awareness among the children.
Are you enjoying Koh Phangan?
I love Koh Phangan like I never loved anywhere else. Therefore yes, I am enjoying it and looking forward to enjoy it even more.
And leave us with the Usetobeused philosophy...
Nature holds the greatest power and we might not be able to save the world but only to save ourselves through raising awareness and compassion for all the beings on the earth at the end we are all part of the nature.
Usetobeused wants to start off planting the seeds stronger, wiser, kinder with full awareness in each individual. This way not only are we saving ourselves and others but also solving our karmic problems.