I have just returned from an amazing day out at the Palace of Westminster, where I was named as runner-up in the 'Lifestyle Hero' category at the annual WWF Earth Hour Hero Awards. My blog, www.hungrycityhippy.co.uk, is the reason I picked up the runner-up prize at a prestigious awards ceremony at the Houses of Parliament.
The event was organised by the WWF to tie in with Earth Hour 2017, and saw all of the finalists gathered in front of an esteemed audience of MPs, climate experts, and international media. It was a fantastic, yet surreal, afternoon, and I have only just stopped grinning; I still I can't quite believe that my blog - something I started as an after-work hobby over three years ago - could attract such esteemed attention. But I guess what all of this just goes to show is that when you write about something you are passionate about, big things can happen.
The reason I have been plugging away at it for so long is because the topics I write about really matter to me; because of that, it has never been a chore. When I first started the blog, I wrote anonymously and came up with the name HungryCityHippy as I didn't have the confidence to put my day-to-day self 'out there' online.
Over the last few years my confidence has grown along with my audience - slowly, but genuinely. One of the best feelings is when a reader gets in touch to thank me for drawing their attention to an environmental issue they weren't aware of, or a veggie restaurant they hadn't heard of, or an eco-lifestyle hack they'd not considered. It's then that I realise that the blog is working. To be shortlisted for the UK Blog Awards in the 'Green & Eco' category against a group of bloggers who I really look up to feels amazing, and also reminds me how far it has all come! I can't wait to meet all of the other finalists in April.
If there is one piece of advice I can offer anyone with a cause, charity, issue or subject they are passionate about - it is to start a blog. You never know where it could lead you, or how much of a difference you could really make in the world. Go - start now. You won't regret it!
In a nutshell, HungryCityHippy is a Cardiff-based food and lifestyle blog with ‘an eco-friendly twist’, championing ethical lifestyle choices and encouraging people to eat, travel and shop more sustainably.