Eco18 Questions: Ben Taylor

by Leesa Raab

Each month we will ask a new eco-maven 18 questions about his or her life, occupation and advice for other like-minded people. This month we caught up with Singer/Songwriter Ben Taylor, son of James Taylor and Carly Simon!

1. What is your name (and age)?

Benjamin Taylor, 35 years old.

2. What is your occupation?

Singer songwriter.

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

I can remember french people at the market being insulted by my asking them how to say “organic” in french. “Why would we put poison in our soil and in our food?” they wanted to know?

4. What’s your favorite meal?

I like avocado and papaya with lime, salt pepper, red onion, and stone pressed extra virgin olive oil. Apples and extra crunchy extra salty peanut butter is a very close second.

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

Oscar the grouch inspires me to be more green. Conservation is so dope!

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

On the Robert Frost scale I’d say I fall on the golden side of green, which is to say I’m quite fresh and still a little tender…

Working on it though; “nothing gold can stay”

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

The most rewarding part of my job by far is the teamwork. I have always surrounded myself with friends. I live with the same people I tour with. I laugh and cry and win and loose and look and find with them too.

Family is so deep!

The worst part is forgetting to tell someone not to flush toilet paper down the bus toilet.

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

My green focus is microcosmic, local solutions to major global problems. I believe the best way to teach is by example, so I look for ways to improve upon my community’s self sufficiency and sustainability. For instance:

I have been raising money for a local non profit organization called Island Grown Schools. We have put put organic vegetable gardens in all of the schools here on Martha’s vineyard, and have worked with the faculties and state government to find a way to fit the growing of food (for their own meals mind you) into the mandated scholastic protocol.

9. Where do you turn for your news?

There is a crazy woman who lives in the woods, who goes about naked, throwing pebbles at people and talking in tongues. One misty night a couple of summers ago I had the miss fortune of running into her as I was trying to find a shortcut I’d heard about. Luckily I had a great big economy size bag of sour-patch kid’s in my oversized cargo short’s pocket, which when she caught the scent of, she offered to trade me my future for.

My tongue is a little rusty, but I’m pretty sure that’s what she said. Anyway it seemed like a pretty good bargain (even though I had already been high-grading out the less desirable colors. saving the red’s and greens for last…), so I gave up my precious bounty and listened while she laid it down.

It seemed crazy at the time, but so far she’s been dazzlingly accurate. Thank god. Papers waste paper and I can’t afford to spend any more time than I already do, starring vacantly into windows of artificial light

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

Continuing to help local farmers set a new standard of quality with the resources that don’t get wasted transporting their goods from god only knows where.

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?

There are of course a hundred musicians who I’d trade with for the day they wrote THAT SONG! But that’s not really the same thing…

Their are many Olympic Athletes who’s spandex or snowboard boots I’m sure it would feel wonderful to take a lap in one way or another, but I’m not sure what that would be like without myself to enjoy it.

James Spader? No, f**k-it. Robert Downey JR.

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!

I want to overhaul global currency by creating alternative, local, currencies for mutually interested zones within close proximity to each other. The flow of this “current” is to be protected by demurrage, and by it’s not being worth anything outside the circumference of it’s particular locale. It is for the purpose of trading between independent local businesses and can otherwise be earned in exchange for time through community services.

Maybe schools and hospitals should have their own currencies too, which could be more like credit’s for time, which can only be redeemed in time, but they last forever and can be transferred to family members etc… sorry, was that thirty-five seconds?

Ready? On your marks, Get set, Go!

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!

The only word in any language that is what it means is “word”

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

Energy. But that’s too broad for me to wrap my head around, so more acutely I’d say agriculture. If we reduce cruelty and protect the health of our soil, we can ensure a future our music will be proud to echo through until eternity turns instantaneous.

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

At home on this very rainy day with my family and friends.

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

Animals in Translation by Temple Grandin

17. What makes you cringe?

Seeing myself or the people I love being over competitive.

18. What do you want your legacy to be?

I want my legacy to be Loyalty and responsibility.

Responsibility for my emotions. Responsibility for my choices. and most of all responsibility to my friends.

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