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Sustainable Summer: Francisca Rockey

When you think of the word Geography, thoughts of your secondary school GCSE lessons might come to mind. Perhaps coastal erosion, Richter scales and ever changing ecosystems are at the forefront of your perception of what Geography actually is. The truth is, geography is all around us, and the subject is more important than ever - ESPECIALLY with the ever impending threat of climate change on our doorsteps.

Francisca Rockey is an award-winning geographer and campaigner who is regularly involved in social campaigns, and charity fundraising. She is also a writer and public speaker featured in mainstream and online media. In April 2020, Francisca founded Black Geographers, an online community supporting the next generation of black geographers and geoscientists. The platform has grown to a community of 12k+ individuals and has collaborated with a wide range of organisations from Earth Minutes, Delta Simons, Esri UK, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Hudl Youth Development Agency, Natural Environment Research Council to Birmingham University, and The Royal Geographical Society (with IBG).

We were super excited to feature Francisca in our Sustainable Summer interview series - her work is quite frankly, groundbreaking, and we are so happy to see this amazing woman making serious moves in the world of sustainability AND diversity.

Hey Francisca! Please introduce yourself to the nuddy community and tell us a bit about your background and how it links to sustainability.

Hi Nuddy 👋🏾. I am Francisca, a Geographer, campaigner and writer 👩🏽‍🔬 My geographical interests include sustainable development, food security, conservation, biodiversity and African ecology. Currently, I am interning at Oxford University Museum of Natural History as a Public Engagement Intern 🏛 🦋 🦖 . I guess all of my work links to sustainability, either I am researching about sustainability through my role as a geographer, campaigning for corporate social responsibility through my role as a campaigner or pitching articles and writing blog posts on how to be more sustainable, resources for people who are new to sustainability or commentating on press environmental issues. 

So, when did your interest in sustainability begin?  What *exactly* was it that led you to the path you are on today?

I would say my interest in sustainability begun at the age of 14, I started a blog called ‘Fran’s World’ and made a Twitter account, which I still have today but under the name Francisca Rockey, where I would write about politics, the environment, lifestyle, travel and share petitions, campaigns, recent news on issues that were important to me. Since then, I have joined Greenpeace as a volunteer, been to local marches for climate, for example, COP Coalition 26’s Global Day of Action for Climate Justice march back in November, started my own campaign and become a climate justice trustee at Global Action Plan. What lead me to my current path is a passion for change and a better future for myself, the people around me and future generations.

In this crazy age that we live in, 'sustainability' can feel like a major minefield. What does the term mean to you?

 If you asked me this question two years ago I think I would’ve said a very different answer but since then I have completed the module at university titled Sustainability: Global Environmental Challenges and I have come to learn that sustainability is all about balance. Social, environmental and economic balance, if one of the three pillars is off then our development is unsustainable.

Who are your BIGGEST inspirations within the environmentalism sphere? Shout out your faves.

Aja Barber, Vandana Shiva, Wangari Maathai, Rosamund Kissi-Debrah, Farhana Sultana and Danny Dorling – to name a few.

News about the environment can often feel verrryyyyyy overwhelming. Where do you look for informative and reliable resources?

I get most of my resources from newsletters and workshops, for example People and Planet’s yearly Power Shift workshops are happening this week, they’re a great way to meet people with similar interests, learn useful skills for campaigning and they’re free (with the option to donate). I highly recommend subscribing to Climate in Colour’s, Shado Mag’s and Euronews Green weekly newsletters

Climate in Colour -

Shado Mag -

Euronews green -

Power Shift 2022 -

What are your top 3 tips for someone who is looking to take the plunge into a more sustainable lifestyle?

Green your finances - Divest from fossil-fuel investing banks and switch to a green bank. hubbub has lots free resources for making the switch

hubbub -

Reduce your food waste – For one week, keep a food diary of your food waste and try to meal plan to decrease your weekly wastage, create a compost heap or food bin – if you have space

Sustainable swaps – Go through your draws and cupboards and see where you can make more sustainable swaps. For example, if you wear makeup and you are constantly using cotton pads, why not switch to reusable cotton pads – they last longer, can be washed after use AND save you some money!