• Apr 27, 2020
David Stover, co-founder of Bureo and ‘advocate of non-extractable materials’; Cindy Lin, former EPA scientist and founder of ‘social-tech company’ Hove Social Good; Stacy Sinclair, who works in the environmental department for the LA Metro and Transit Authority and is ‘heavily involved within wastes diversion and management.’
These three pioneers joined our host Jenny Silbert and Stephanie Choi for our second conversation to open up a ‘window for holistic and sustainable change.’
‘From an environmental perspective, this [pandemic] is a huge experiment we would never be able to conduct. We are seeing what happens when there is less transit, less consumerism, and unfortunately we are all going to feel some sort of pain from this. On a positive note, the world has to and will drastically change. Let’s use this downtime to reimagine and reconstruct what our future will look like.’
Fortunately, there is some clarity of purpose, as evident when Stacy informed us that, ‘last week GM reached out to their supply chain, asking if they could make ventilators instead of cars. There is a lot of opportunity that has been left on the table.’ It is pretty extraordinary to think that GM is doing something for the common good, highlighting that within this pandemic, the world as we know it - which revolved around money - is being challenged. ‘People don’t change very quickly unless there is a shock to the system . . . We don’t have to bring it all back. I think this is a unique opportunity to raise awareness to make conscious choices from the individual to the corporate level....marketing has an unbelievable opportunity to craft message that we haven’t seen for decades.’
It is a priority to inform rather than consume. Marketing has an unbelievable opportunity to craft a message of sustainability. Big industry giants are now need to be responsible as they get nervous about being exposed as doing wrong, or not enough. Things are more visible now, and it’s time to capitalize on that language, focus and purpose.
‘We need to tie in the environment and humanize this issue. If we make the consumer feel empowered that they are contributing to solutions, we’ll see a movement.’ David, who takes end of life plastics and gives them a new lease for life, affirmatively believes the general public need to work cohesively for there to be dramatic change.
Interestingly, Stacy refers to the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles; ‘That was the first time we started staggering work schedules - a mayor-driven, city-wide effort to reduce traffic. It was a huge media campaign to encourage companies to reduce transit.’
As a community we have the power to change drastically, but the battle of protecting our environment has always been made third party.
Cindy, who is well-accustomed in aligning her thoughts to the general public gives a solution that we need to play with the nation’s heartstrings: ‘I tell people: if you don’t drive one day a week, or carpool, you will reduce asthma rates in children. Reduced emission relates directly to your health. We need to make it emotional for people to understand the effects.’
‘Climate Change awareness needs to be linked to human health. It‘s the only way people will change for the better.’
In a time of uncertainty, the most valuable possession we have is our health. As our life-force, marketing and influencing needs to take a new directive. The influence of the media has enabled millions of U.S. citizens to stay at home in order to protect our health.
As a reader, don’t you think the earth needs as much coverage too?
Cindy believes unification is the step forward; ’There’s 18 million businesses in the United States, in order to create a voice, we need to partner and create groups and push the same message and policy in a unified way.’
As an individual, it is instinctive to put our health first, get your loved ones to face the facts that an unhappy earth means an unhappy body. Be appreciative that you have the powerful knowledge to make action whether corporate or individually.
  1. It is important to recognize the human aspect of climate change, because how we treat the planet eventually treats us the same way. This is becoming especially apparent with the COVID crisis, as air quality is affecting how serious the virus can be for some people, and we are seeing how clear and clean the outdoors feel now. We should not talk about the planet as a separate entity -- it is, and always has been, completely intertwined with us, and we must talk about how it impacts us, personally.
  2. Right now, there is a huge opening for us to push sustainability into the lives of others. Because companies are being scrutinized closely right now, and are being exposed for how unethical or wasteful their practices are, they want to do better. They are nervous to be seen in a negative light. We must capitalize on this opportunity.
  3. One of the positive outcomes that we would all like to hold on from this time is the quality of conversation. We are all blown away, constantly, at how insightful and considerate we are, now, when slowing down and really speaking to people. When we are forced to slow down, we notice more, we observe, and we think.
  4. When educating others and spreading awareness, we must make sure to not try to spread guilt. That can make it difficult for certain audiences to want to move forward and not feel stuck. We must emphasize the possibility for change, and how imperative it is that we begin now.
  5. More than ever before, sustainable companies have the chance to come together, continue this path, and build upon each other to be heard and seen in ways that seemed impossible before. The power, now, is truly in the people and their strength in numbers.
Stay tuned and be ready for CHANGE. Our final virtual conversation will be with:
Ali Ames Director of Sustainability Three Squares Inc
Kari Ann Frerichs Executive Director Circular Fashion LA
Kestrel Jenkins Producer + Host The Conscious Chatter Podcast Alyssa Seibert Social Impact & Sustainability Manager Imperfect Foods
What do you think? We want to hear your ideas and thoughts in the comments below, or by email.
  • Imogen Heald

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