A Cooperation for the Seas: Q&A with bestselling author Katja Brandis

We love to join forces with others and to achieve greater change together. Our latest cooperation is a prime example, and we gladly want to share our success with you.

More than fantasy: Katja Brandis fights for the environment

Katja Brandis, a well-known bestselling author of the fantasy book series Woodwalkers and Seawalkers, is very passionate about environmental protection

Time and time again, the author explores the topic in her books and events. During her writing process for Seawalkers and on her dives, she witnessed marine pollution first hand. Needless to say, she also encountered the global problem of ghost nets.

“Ghost nets”, lost or discarded fishing nets, drift through the oceans and become a real danger for marine life. In her book series Seawalkers, ghost nets almost turn into a deadly trap for the protagonist, tiger shark Tiago, as well.

As Katja Brandis researched ghost nets in more depths, she quickly came across Bracenet. Only two emails and a phone call later, Katja Brandis, her publisher Arena Verlag and we were networked and ready to make a change!

Bestselling Author Katja Brandis with our Adriatic Sea Bracenet

Sustainable production of a bestseller

Almost one billion books are produced each year in Germany alone. A large proportion of these are currently printed on fresh fibre paper (paper without recycled content) and finished with UV coating and special colours. The paper production also requires large quantities of water and chemicals. All this has consequences for our environment.

For this reason, the issue of sustainability is playing an increasingly important role in the publishing industry. Fortunately, the Arena Verlag has been addressing this issue for years. They only print on FSC-certified paper, which means that they only use wood from responsible forestry.

So it was clear to us that we had found great cooperation partners in Katja Brandis and Arena Verlag with our expertise and our commitment to the sustainable use of our resources. 

On the initiative of Katja Brandis, a passionate project was born for all participants. Our extensive cooperation has led the Arena Verlag to expand its first steps towards “Blauer Engel”-certified production (after “Schneetänzer” and “You for Future”) to include all titles by Katja Brandis. For the current issue of the 3rd volume of “Seawalkers. Wilde Wellen” this means a reduction in CO2 emissions of 27 % compared to conventional production.

The complete production transition of all Katja Brandis’ titles also generate the following savings:

  • 39,123 kg CO2, which corresponds to the emissions of 4 people in Germany over one year = 19,913,607 litres in volume, as much as 7.8 million balloons!   
  • 3,480,415 l water
  • 347,247 kg wood

Quite impressive what such a seemingly small change can do, isn’t it? ☺️

In addition, the Seawalker story creates awareness of the ghost net problem. To further sensitize the readership to the topic, the new Seawalkers book is displayed with former ghost nets in the storefronts of over 50 bookstores. Afterwards, the nets will be returned to our manufactory, where we will process them into Bracenets and other products. 

8 Questions to Katja Brandis

We had the chance to interview Katja Brandis in person. Read for yourself!

How did you come to know Bracenet?

Katja Brandis: When I was researching for Seawalkers 2 on the subject of ghost nets, I came across Bracenet and immediately liked the idea. I immediately bought some bracelets and also mentioned the project in the epilogue of my novel.

How did your readers react to the topic of ghost nets?

Katja Brandis: It is a life-threatening situation when Tiago in his form as a tiger shark gets caught underwater in an old fishing net. This is an emotional scene that also made some kids think deeply and reach out to me, stating that they want to help get ghost nets out of the oceans.

What do you connect with the sea?

Katja Brandis: The sea is a place of longing for me, I miss it when I am not there. When I go swimming or diving, I find it hard to get out again and I can’t get enough of the sun rays interacting with the clear blue. I guess my second form is a sea creature, just like in my novel 🙂 I also find the diverse life in the oceans incredibly fascinating.

Your favourite marine animal?

Katja Brandis: Ever-changing. I like dolphins very much, am fascinated by sharks and especially happy when I meet parrotfish (extremely cute) or octopus (you can tell they are intelligent!) while snorkelling or diving.

Your top 3 tips for everyday sustainability?

Katja Brandis: Drive and fly less – what protects the climate also protects the seas. When shopping, make sure that you put as little disposable plastic as possible into your basket. And overall, don’t take yourself and your own wishes too seriously and consider what it means for the planet before you do or buy something.

What have you personally changed in recent years to protect the environment?

Katja Brandis: I love to travel, but our family now limits itself to one flight a year (for long trips and if it’s the only means to get there). All other trips we make by bike, car or train. I always shop with cloth bags and backpacks and take great care to buy products in returnable containers, glass, metal or paper packaging. A high recycling rate also increases the chance that I will choose a product. I put fruit and vegetables in bags and nets I have brought with me or simply buy them loose. If a product is not available in environmentally friendly packaging, I get annoyed and think: “Actually, I can live without this stuff, so I might as well leave it in the shop!”

Your favourite Bracenet?

Katja Brandis: The light blue “North Sea” Bracelet, I find it especially pretty and wear it during my Seawalkers readings!

We were able to achieve a lot in terms of sustainability for your book “Seawalkers 3”. What exactly did we do and what did you think of the implementation?

Katja Brandis: I think it’s great that we are working together to protect the sea and to make young people aware of the threats to the oceans, for example, plastic waste or ghost nets, and what they can do about it. That’s what we are trying to accomplish, and I am sure my readers will be happy to join in!

The new Seawalkers book will be published on 17 June 2020.

Many thanks to Katja Brandis and her publisher Arena Verlag! We are looking forward to everything that our cooperation will bring in the future.

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