‘The Green in…‘ Is a series of interviews with people who are nurturing green ideas within their daily lives, without giving up their day jobs.
The Green in Lauren Anderson - Q&A
What’s your personal elevator pitch/introduction?
I am Innovation Director for Collaborative Consumption, growing the global movement and working with entrepreneurs, brands and government on successfully building and scaling Collaborative Consumption platforms (businesses/initatives focused on the reinvention of sharing, exchanging, renting, trading and bartering all kinds of tangible and intangible assets!) around the world
Tell me about an interesting green initiative you’ve heard about or worked on.
At its core, the Collaborative Consumption movement is about greener ways to live our lives, while achieving the level of convenience and choice we’ve grown used to. It’s about driving a reduction in hyper-consumption and instead celebrating and advocating for ways to get access to the things we need without buying new/owning outright. To me this is the best of both worlds, and it comes jam-packed with added social and economic benefit and entrepreneurial flair to boot!
How are you green in your daily life?
For me, being green is about developing a high level of self-awareness, for without self-awareness, we can’t have action. I think I am at a stage of being quite hyper-aware of each action that I have and the environmental ramifications of those choices that I make. At this point in my life, my ‘green’ focus is on not owning a car, and walking/riding wherever possible (GoGet carshare membership helps to bridge the gap when needed), on buying majority fresh produce from independent or organic grocers (and plan to join FoodConnect very soon!), keeping ‘stuff’ purchases to a minimum and as ‘necessary’ as possible (and in the case of frivolity in the name of fashion, I try to buy good quality labels that will last!). I think the trickiest thing to reconcile is air travel but with international work and family in a different city, this is a non-negotiable for now.
How often do you think about green issues?
Green issues are something I think about everyday, as so much of my work is focused on companies who are reinventing outdated ways of doing things and coming up with better, greener solutions, so this is a huge motivator.
But for the most part I am concerned when I think about the lack of control we have over certain big issues that will affect us all (like Tar Sands mining and other deep excavation for oil… can’t we just say ‘Enough’ and think of future solutions??). For me, it’s most scary when we resist living holistically and in harmony with nature, without needing to strip it bare of all its beauty. There is so much wisdom contained in the past about how we should treat our environment, but sadly profit and behaviour gets in the way.
Despite this, the people that I talk with and meet everyday inspire a belief that there is a passionate group of changemakers out there focused on real solutions, and I believe the momentum is growing all the time!
Who inspires the green in you?
People who are able to live true subsistence lifestyles inspire me to want to learn more about basic and simple living – a recent trip to Ubud in Bali cultivated the greatest respect for their culture and way of life and it’s certainly something that I will continue to reflect on.
I also love Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage! What a beautiful place.
Even though I would find it very hard to disconnect from my current life and follow this approach more, I wonder whether it’s ever possible to blend the two without feeling like a hypocrite – one can only try haha.
Green Articles, blogs or books you recommend…
A documentary that had a really profound effect on me was The Corporation, and I definitely think it’s time for a re-watch.
I’m currently (slowly) reading The Necessary Revolution, by Peter Senge, and would love to read the Natural Advantage of Nations, Biomimicry and Business Lessons from a Radical Industrialist by the inspiring late Ray Anderson, of Interface Carpets. And of course I 120% recommend What’s Mine Is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption by my amazing mentor and boss Rachel Botsman!