This is a new feature on the JORD blog where we interview some of our favorite web personalities. First up is Starre Vartan the Co-Owner, Editor-in Chief, and Publisher of Eco-Chick.
model. We were thrilled with her
because we are big fans of the Eco-Chick blog and we think you will be too. The Eco-Chick's team of writers offers a style savvy view and perspective for everyone who is looking to soften their carbon footprint. It's worth making time for.
JORD: Starre, you have a BS in Geology but clearly enjoyed writing over rocks. How does your original degree influence your current life and work? Or does it?
It absolutely does; I majored in science because I love the rigor of work in the sciences-and the creative thinking. I enjoy the day-to-day life of being a writer, but the older I get, the more I've been writing about science, because I truly love and "miss" it when I'm covering other subjects. Looking at subjects from all angles, asking new questions, and seeing how the parts make the whole are all traits of both scientists and writers.
JORD: Eco-Chick has a true collective of writers; without playing favorites, whose knowledge base or voice do you really enjoy and learn from?
My current intern, Chrislande
, is a case in point that some people are just born to write. Her personal essay posts have blown me away.
JORD: You're reviewing and testing products all the time; what seems to be the biggest challenge with green products? What are the barriers consumers are facing in accessing or using those products?
I don't really see a challenge for green products any more in terms of perception (there's maybe still a tiny bit of "is it going to work as well?" questioning going on, but that's not the battle it used to be). Most buyers expect a green product as part of their range of choices these days, and since the price on many of them have come down to almost (or completely) match those of more harmful products, that's not the barrier it once was either.
JORD: For those who are testing the waters of a greener lifestyle - what should they be tackling first? Diet? Clothing? Beauty products? Transportation? Travel?
My advice is to tackle the area that you spend the most time and money on-because that is where you will make the biggest impact (and since you're an expert in that area, you can then pass that knowledge on to others). Like cooking? Read up on where your food comes from. Makeup addict? Check into companies (there are SO many now!) that use natural ingredients, avoid animal testing, and keep chemicals out of their formulations.
JORD: It wasn't that long ago that people were living a greener lifestyle simply because they didn't have a choice, for some of us - our Grandparents were in that group. It seems modern society has just as many opportunities to be wasteful as we do to be green. How can we tip the scales towards sustainability?
I think getting people to think about the real long-term impacts of their actions-whether that's through infographics, funny videos, articles, art, or TED Talks-is what it's all about. I'm a believer that once people know that their choices are going to basically screw people over in the future (our current non-sustainable choices are built on a foundation of using future resources today), then the next thought is: "Do I have right to do that?" People of the past left buildings and public works like sewers and energy systems behind that we are still using today-but today's people are borrowing from the future, not building for them. It's not right, and if you have kids, those who will be hardest hit due to thoughtless actions today are sitting in front of you at the breakfast table.
We also have to make doing the right thing easy. As soon as you have signs and bins, people will recycle; when you make opting into an alternative energy supplier as easy as checking a box, plenty will support it.
JORD: What do you waste your time doing?
I don't think I really "waste" any of my time as long as I'm enjoying myself; my life is about much more than just my work (as much as I love it!). But random stuff I do when I'm not working includes playing with my cat, throwing solo dance parties, trail running, reading novels, and taking pictures of natural patterns and fun travel adventures.
JORD: What do you wish you had more time for?
A couple years ago, when I was about 35, I reorganized my life so that most of the time, I have enough time to do everything I want to, and need to. I don't skimp on sleep, exercise, eating well, or daydreaming. I think all those things are incredibly important for health and longevity, and honestly, I'm a much nicer person to be around when I'm not a stress monkey.
JORD: What should humanity - as a whole - spend more time doing?
Sleeping/resting/vacationing-I honestly think it's insane how people don't take time for themselves. I earn a lot less money than I used to, but I have what most people want when they are striving for the better life-time, space and lower stress.
JORD: This person inspires you - who is the first person that's popped into your head?
Jane Goodall is just amazing on so many levels; not a week goes by when I don't think about her work.
JORD: If you were rich enough for just one luxury - the rest of your life would remain the same - what would it be?
Easy! I would have someone cook me super-healthy vegetarian meals and snacks. I don't mind cleaning my own house, or flying coach, but I love to eat, and don't love to cook. I end up eating way too many sandwiches and salads for dinner and it gets boring.
Thank you again to Starre for taking the time. For more Starre wisdom we recommend you check out the