April 18 Questions: Corinna Basler

by Lauren Verini

Each month we ask a new eco-maven 18 questions about his or her life, occupation and advice for other like-minded people. This month we were able to sit down with Dr. Corinna Basler, President of Green Festivals. New York City Green Festival will launch its third year April 26-27 at Pier 94.

1. What is your name (and age)?

Corinna Basler. I am 34.

2.  What is your occupation?

I am the President of Green Festivals, America’s largest and longest-running sustainability and green living event.

3.  Do you have a “green” memory growing up?

Absolutely. I have very fond memories of spending time at my grandparents’ farm in Germany and I remember always feeling very passionately about farm animals, especially cows. Every time I see a documentary about the treatment of animals, I think about the injustices done to those who cannot protect themselves and this inspires me to make a difference in the world.

4.  What’s your favorite meal? 

I love all types of vegan food. Spicy Thai Curry ranks at the top of my list.

5. Who/What inspires you to be more “green” in your life?

I admire the fact that nature has been designed so aesthetically, and the beauty and diversity in nature inspires me. I think we all need to be involved in protecting the gift of nature for future generations.

6.  Where on the “green scale” do you fall? 

From zero to ten, ten being the greenest, I would say I am an eight. I am a strict vegan and I try to be sustainable in all parts of my life from what I eat to how I work. One downside, though is that my work requires a great deal of flying and air travel has a high carbon footprint.

7. What are the most rewarding and most challenging parts of your job?

I truly believe that nearly anything you set your mind to can be achieved. So, at times, it is challenging to accept the things that cannot be changed. However, it is extremely rewarding to see people change their behaviors to become more sustainable. It is encouraging to know we can inspire people to be green by making an effort to listen to their concerns and by sharing the deeper meaning of sustainability, responsibility and making a true difference in our communities.

8. Where’s your “greenspot”: food, bodycare/beauty, oceans, home or neighborhood, explain:

Food is definitely the number one greenspot in my life. I am vegan and it is great to see there are so many good sustainable food options popping up everywhere. I enjoy home cooking. It’s something that allows me to be creative and fun. I also believe that home is where the heart is. Nature is an important greenspot for me, and I love being by the Pacific Ocean. I believe everyone can find a greenspot in every aspect of your life.

9. Where do you turn for your news?

I travel a lot and I am often on the go. I get most of my news from the Internet on my phone. I regularly turn to n-tv (http://www.n-tv.de), a German news station, so that I can read-up on stories happening in the country where I am from, as well as CNN.

10. What is one environmental change you vow to make in the next year?

My goal for next year is a personal and professional one. I would like to see ‘green’ becoming more mainstream in America. I would like Green Festivals in New York, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco, to contribute to this and to be a key component of promoting ways to be green that are practical, viable and accessible for anyone.

11. If you could trade places with one person from any time in history (past or present) for one day—who would it be and why?

It’s ambitious, but I’d like to trade places with Barack Obama, the President of the United States. I would like to learn what it takes to implement sustainable changes on at level of leadership and influence.

12. You have a meeting with the leader of every country in the world. You have 30 seconds to tell them anything you want. Go!

To ensure our future, we urgently need to protect our natural resources. This should be your number one priority and as a world leader and role model, this starts with how you live your life. We are all born with the desire to live a healthy, happy life, but it is time to acknowledge that in many countries, a happy day means a bowl of food. You have the power to help change that by addressing our interconnectedness and encouraging environmental sustainability and responsibility across all sectors, starting with industries which are producing harmful greenhouse gases and consuming our limited natural resources at an unsustainable rate.

13. You have the chance to send one tweet to all the tweeps in the world. Let’s hear it in 140 characters, or less! 

We are only guests on this planet. Let’s respect and learn from all living creatures and nature, not exploit them.

14. If there was one industry/product that you could make more eco-friendly, what would it be?

I would focus on the meat industry, because the resources required to keep this industry going are limited and we have to change in order for these resources to be there for future generations.

15. Where in the world would you most like to be right now?

I would like to be right here, which is Asheville, North Carolina.

16. What is the best book you have read recently? 

The Fifth Agreement, by Don Miguel Ruiz

17. What makes you cringe?

1. Ignorance

2. Ambivalence

18. What do you want your legacy to be?

I would like my legacy to be that I inspired people to make the world a better place by promoting sustainable consumption and production, and providing more sustainable, green choices for everyday people.

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