Sustainability with Style
How did an image-obsessed shopaholic become an environmentalist and learn to achieve sustainability with style? Former GBCA Marketing Manager, Lisa Heinze, shares her personal journey in her new book Sustainability with Style: environmental, social and cultural lessons from a fashionista turned environmentalist.
Part autobiography, part eco-guidebook and part cultural exploration, Lisa covers everything from learning the ropes of eco-fashion and natural beauty products, to understanding the best way to talk about the environment with non-greenies, as well as how she eventually found her own eco-balance.
“This book is for people who want to ‘go green’ but can’t picture themselves as tree huggers,” Lisa says.
“The book explores my transition from a materialistic fashionista working in the advertising industry to passionate environmentalist, including the trials experienced along the way.
“I found a way to embrace a sustainable lifestyle without losing my personal style – and without giving up all of life’s little luxuries. I wanted to share my story to ease the way for others interested in living sustainability,” she says.
Not simply a ‘how-to’ book, Sustainability with Style also explores barriers to taking climate change and environmental action as they relate to consumer culture, social relationships and personal identity.
“Our current environmental challenges are not just scientific – they are human, cultural, personal and collective. Understanding these barriers will help people to embrace sustainability as a lifestyle, not just as a trend,” Lisa says.
“There are various reasons why people are reluctant to make green changes: time and financial commitments, loss of convenience, uncertainty of climate change facts. These are all valid concerns, but none of these applied to me. My hesitation stemmed from a concern that I’d have to become a hippy. I’d perfected a fashionable image and I didn’t want to give this up.
“When I decided it was time to get serious about my environmental commitment, I made it my goal to find a way to be green and still be myself.
“My transition certainly didn’t come easy. In fact, I cringe every time I see an article or book with a title like ‘10 Easy Steps to Green Your Life’ because while some changes were easy, others were extremely challenging. I went through an ‘identity crisis’ and some friendships were even damaged along the way.”
Lisa stresses the importance of maintaining one’s personal identity through sustainable options and joining a green social network. Aspiring and long-term environmentalists alike will enjoy this sometimes painfully true example of learning to live sustainably.
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