April 18 Questions: Danny Seo

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 connected with the multi-talented Danny Seo. We decided to feature Danny because of his eco-friendly approach to modern DIY crafts, his entrepreneurial spirit and all around green outlook. Plus, he was born on Earth Day!

1. What is your name?

Danny Seo, age 37. Earth Day is my birthday!

2. What is your occupation?

Editor in Chief of naturally, Danny Seo magazine. Also CEO of Danny Seo Media Ventures, a multi-faceted media company in publishing, TV and merchandising.

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

I remember on my 12th birthday (which is Earth Day) reading the newspaper at my parents’ kitchen table. It was all gloom and doom—-rainforests burning down, ozone layer disappearing—and I didn’t like there was so much sadness on my birthday.   So I decided to forgo gifts that day and asked for one thing: money to start my own nonprofit group. That nonprofit (called Earth 2000 in 1989 because I wanted to save the planet by the year 2000) grew from that kitchen table to over 25,000 members during my teenage years.

4. What’s your favorite meal?

I get it almost everyday at the Naturally magazine offices:  a vegan kale salad from Blossom in New York City along with a fresh pressed juice. Sometimes I’ll indulge in one of their freshly baked vegan desserts. I’m not a vegan, but I eat vegan A LOT.

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

I had two inspirations growing up:  Dr. Jane Goodall for her perseverance and—-this is a kicker—-Martha Stewart for having a very distinct outlook on lifestyle and how to live it. She inspired me to look at this green space from a place of beauty and style, not just politically.

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

Light to dark, right? I think we’re all different shades of green when you compare us to others, but I’m definitely on the darker edge. I have an electric Ford C-Max Energi plug-in car that gets the craziest mileage. I haven’t been to a gas station in months. Isn’t it normal to get your eggs yourself from a chicken coop?

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

Easy: the travel. It’s a love/hate relationship I have because I am constantly on the road all over the world for the magazine. But since it’s my namesake magazine, I have to be on location to art direct and produce our amazing stories. But when I feel utterly jetlagged and wish I could be home, in my own bed, I realize how lucky I am. Yoga with the Taj Mahal in the background….. a dance-off with the Masai in Africa…..harvesting seaweed on the coasts of Ireland. It can’t be beat.

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

My home. It’s my re-energizing and calm zone and it also recharges me to be creative and think of beautiful new ideas.

9. Where do you turn for your news?

Everywhere:  print magazines, newspapers, social media feeds. I think we all are able to quickly filter the deluge of news that comes our way and only register what is important and useful. Did Kim Kardashian get a new haircut? Who cares.

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

Cut my carbon footprint by reducing the size of my living space. I have two homes right now in Bucks County, PA and we use them for photo shoots all the time. But no person should have two homes.

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? 

Martha Stewart. When I’m juggling to hand in copy for a story for the magazine, produce a Today Show segment and approve products for our product lines, I can only imagine her day-to-day life is 10 times more intense.

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!

“Hello, my name is Danny. How is everyone doing today?” And then I’m sure the right thing will hit me. I never prepare for anything.

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!

What.  Is.  The.  Point.

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

Airline travel. If our planes could run on hopes, dreams and wishes, I would pour all of my money into making it happen. I do feel a sense of guilt flying all over the world. I realize it isn’t very green of me…. But what are the options?

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

Anything out of my comfort zone. Unfamiliar. Sensory overload.

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

I write all the time and have my 10th book coming out this year, so believe it or not, I rarely read books. I look at reading, movies and TV as outlets to zone out, so my taste tends to be a wee bit juvenile.

17. What makes you cringe?

People who don’t realize how passive aggressive they are to others.

18. What do you want your legacy to be?  

I don’t think about the future, but really live in the moment, but I hope the words “kindness” and “generous” are used.

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