48 Things to Know About Sustainable Living: Interview with Victoria Klein
Despite these personal struggles, she took time to answer questions for us.
1. In your latest book, you mention your eating and general consumption habits were very different a few years ago. What inspired you to change?
The initial inspiration was finally striking out on my own. Once you live on your own, you can’t help but contemplate the most affordable and healthy way to eat, get around … etc. As I read into all of the aspects of sustainable living, it struck me as simply the most logical way to live. Growing up in Indiana, I had an ingrained appreciation for all that Mother Nature had to offer and the worst thing was to find out that eating lots of processed food and smog-blasting transportation was permanently damaging the planet.
2. You have a lot of planet-friendly and informational websites listed in the book. What are your top go-to websites?
Oh wow, you’re going to ask me to pick favorites! Very tough TreeHugger is still a staple for eco-websites. Ecouterre is great for eco-fashion news. EcoSnobberySucks is a great new, humbling website to help us all keep our heads on straight. ElephantJournal is openly frank and informative at the same time. MindBodyGreen is inspiring and up-beat, yet also realistic. I know it’s mainstream, but Martha Stewart’s WholeLiving has lots of great ideas for recipes, crafts, clutter-clearing, etc.; I’m a long-time reader of the magazine and always find great new info in each issue.
3. I love that you have a section dedicated to celebrations, and gifts. I’m always looking for eco-friendly gift ideas. What’s the best earth-friendly gift you’ve ever received?
The second-hand wedding ring my husband proposed to me with. Not only was it affordable, the ring has been around for at least a few decades and features a design that isn’t replicated in modern jewelry design. Instead of ending up in a landfill, my husband used this unique ring to show his love and ask me to be his partner for life.
4. Aww…that’s really sweet. I love that. What’s the best gift you’ve given?
My love, my time, and my home-baked cookies and muffins.
5. I like that you give a shout out to Annie Leonard’s Story of Stuff Project. Her shorts are easy to understand and something everyone should watch. Have you had the chance to meet Annie? Has she inspired you as well?
I can’t say that I have had the honor of meeting Annie in-person. I lived in San Francisco for 3 years, but Story of Stuff Project was just getting started and I hadn’t heard about it yet. After leaving SF, the project really took off and made me even more proud of the Bay Area. Annie’s work has certainly inspired me a lot. She is frank, honest, and well-researched. With the release of each new video, she sparks another important, sustainable conversation that we all need to be having. She also creates some backlash, which only serves to prove the point she is trying to make.
6. Your book is an easy read, with lots of tangible tips for someone trying to lighten their carbon footprint on this planet. What do you hope people will come away with after they read your book?
I hope people realize that sustainable living isn’t an all-or-nothing prospect and it is much easier than the media makes it out to be. Start small, find the changes that work best for your lifestyle, and be willing to push slowly out of your comfort zone. Start today and never look back
7. This is your second book. What’s your next writing project?
Frankly, nothing right now. I’ve taken a bit of a hiatus from both writing & blogging to work on myself. My husband joined the Marines Corps last year and 2011 has featured a lot of traveling and relocating. Adapting to all the changes has shown me that I still have a lot of growing to do as an individual. I’m taking the time to delve into that growth (which I’m sure will also be great inspiration for writing). Currently, I plan to return to regular blogging and writing by July 2011.
I have hopes of writing a memoir of my experience with depression, anxiety, and antidepressants from my younger years – that is a personal book that I plan to write within the next decade (possibly next year!). For now, it’s time to establish who I truly am now and move forward with an objective and helpfully optimistic view that can help others via my writing.
Thanks so much for sharing your time with us, Victoria.
Best wishes for a bright, heatlhy, and eco-friendly future!