Guðrún Arndís Tryggvadóttir, or Gunna, grew up in Reykjavík. Art was her calling and at the young age of sixteen she started her education in painting at Myndlista- og handíðaskóli Íslands. Graduating at 20, she moved to Paris to study at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, followed by a Master’s study at Akademie der Bildenden Künste, in Munich. She’s had an amazing career as an artist and is still creating. Being the environmental activist and change maker she is today started growing when she moved back to Iceland many years later. Today she combines her artistic talents and passion for the environment to have an impact.
Perhaps as a result of living long periods away from Iceland, Gunna was pulled towards the wild Icelandic nature when she moved back, and the herbs in particular fascinated her. Curious about the plants, she began researching deeper into how to grow and how to use wild herbs.
“Like with everything else, sustainability is just hard when you don’t know how to… practice makes the master”
While sitting in meadow reading about herbs, Gunna had an epiphany, a life changing vision. She saw an image of an old wise woman picking “Fjallagrös” (Icelandic moss). This ancient woman with all her traditional knowledge that is now so hard to find was the spark to a new project. Gunna decided to create a website that could tell us “city people” how to use wild herbs for food and healing.
“This would be one key to loving the country and not destroying it. This was my vision and from that moment on I was determined to make this a reality”
At the beginning she thought that herbs could be a part of the solution to create an alternative to the current trend of building heavy energy intensive industry in Iceland. But once she got started writing the concept, her idea grew and grew. Today her Náttúran.is project is a website that provides information on everything related to sustainability and sustainable living, with a focus on local and relevant information. There is a section on the home, everything relating to toxins and safety as well as sustainable solutions for the home. There is a section on gardening, growing your own food, eco labels, recycling and waste management, access points to organic farms and produce and more and more.
“The information we collect is based on the what our family needs to make our home and lives better and to have an impact. So we go look for the information and then share it on the website. We try to take complex information and present it in a clear and simple way”
“For instance, I wanted to learn how to be more practical when growing my own vegetables, and that lead me to create the “kitchen garden” part of the website that focuses on how to grow your own food”