This week we’re taking baby steps toward living a greener lifestyle with help from activists and filmmakers Laurie David and Heather Reisman. Laurie is an environmental activist and an award-winning documentary film producer, having produced the Oscar-winning An Inconvenient Truth, and Heather is the CEO of Canada’s Indigo Books & Music as well as a documentary film producer, having co-executive produced Fed Up and The Social Dilemma (available on Netflix) alongside Laurie.
Now, Laurie and Heather have published a book called Imagine It!: A Handbook for a Happier Planet, and they joined us to talk about how we can all start making small but meaningful changes to live more in-tune with the world around us—and do our part to avoid destroying our climate any further.
Listen to hear Laurie and Heather talk about practical ways to start cutting down on waste—from finding alternatives to single-use plastics to avoiding fast fashion—and discuss how to make a beneficial environmental impact even if you don’t have to finances for organic food and carbon offsets.
Highlights from this week’s episode
From the Laurie David and Heather Reisman interview
Laurie on why they wrote a handbook on living a greener lifestyle:
I think it’s not about perfection, it’s about progress. And we all know that expression perfect is the enemy of good, and it really is the enemy of good. I think that word was developed to make people feel bad. So it’s about getting on the journey. And then once you start doing some things, you’re going to do much more. And the idea with the book is that this is also a joyful practice. It’s not just about the environment, it’s about our own health.
Heather on why recycling isn’t really a solution to our waste problem:
Recycling, first of all, is fixing something at the end of the problem. It’s already been made. It’s out there. It’s affected us with the chemicals at the end of the problem. So philosophically, you want to fix the problem at source, you want to stop bringing it into your life. But the other problem with plastic is under 10 percent of all the plastic we put for recycling actually gets recycled…So one is a lot of plastic we create is not recyclable to begin with. But the second thing is at this point, the cost of repurposing the plastic is more expensive than starting with new plastic. So the economics so far are a little problematic, even on the nine percent we recycle, because you’ve got to get the plants to recycle it, that it has to go into another place…But the real ambition is stop using so much.
Heather on how to start being more green if you’re limited on funds:
[T]here was a time when I lived from paycheck to paycheck, with two children as a single mother…If I was back in that situation, knowing what I know [now], and I was picking one thing [to change to help the environment], I would give up meat as much as I could. That’s what I would do if I could do one thing and want to participate.
To hear more of Laurie and Heather’s advice on taking the first steps towards a more eco-conscious lifestyle, we recommend listening to the full episode.
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