18 Questions: Christopher Gavigan

by Lauren Verini

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 connected with Christopher Gavigan, co-founder of The Honest Company, a line of eco-friendly family essentials, which he started alongside business partner Jessica Alba, he’s the former CEO/Executive Director of Healthy Child Healthy World, a national non-profit focused on protecting children’s health through sustainable lifestyles, and is the author of the book, Healthy Child, Healthy Life: Creating a Cleaner, Greener, Safer Home. Gavigan is married to actress Jessica Capshaw and together they have three children.

1. What is your name (and age)?

Christopher Gavigan, 38

 2. What is your occupation?

Author of Healthy Child Healthy World, entrepreneur and co-founder and partner for The Honest Company

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

When I was young I lived in the tri-state area and when I was 7 we moved up to the Connecticut shoreline. I remember there was a beautiful creak that my three brothers and I would go exploring. It was a huge playground for us and was a place where we could really enjoy the outdoors.

4. What’s your favorite meal? 

My favorite meal is breakfast because I know how to cook it the best!

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

I don’t know if it was one particular person or event but my grandfather was very healthy. At 80 years old he was doing pushups and sit-ups and he was always very into staying fit and eating healthy, he was a real inspiration for me. When I was older and moved out to California I started to go hiking, mountain biking and white water rafting, I really grew an affinity for the outdoors and living a natural lifestyle.

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

Dark green, which sometimes burdens me because I know too much!

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

The most rewarding part is hearing from all the moms and dads that have an impactful experience with natural and non-toxic products – whether its relieving their child’s eczema to a product they used and loved. We’re really transforming their lifestyle and that is what drives my passion. My goal is to educate and show people that simple changes really can make a big difference. The most challenging part is focusing all of the opportunities; with so much going on its important to really slow down and making strategic and smart decisions. We have a great team of well rounded people with difference view points so there are plenty of checks and balances.

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

First would be home, everything from what you bring into it, how you tend to it, and how you build it. Second would be body care including what you put on your body, in your body and the air around your body. These two are closely intertwined

 9. Where do you turn for your news?

I get most of the news from online, I turn to a variety of blogs and websites like Daily Beast, Huffington Post, Google News, The New York Times. I’ve also recently started using Twitter to get timely news by following the right people. Also, a family ritual in my house is Sunday morning breakfast with The New York Times.

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

I have three children and my oldest, who is 4 ½, is starting to really pick up on behaviors and knows what’s going on. I strongly believe that one way to educate is through leading by example. I’d also really like to engage my children in good behaviors and finding unique ways for them to do so like gardening, hiking, beach clean ups and after school programs.

 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?

Teddy Roosevelt when he went traveling with John Muir through Yosemite National Park. That trip really transformed him in a short period of time I’d love to see what that night was like and what they talked about in that 24 hour window.

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!

Child disease is rising to epidemic proportions and credible science is pointing to the fact that chemicals affect children’s health. It’s time to prioritize human healthcare at all levels and look to non-toxic solutions.

 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! 

Have more fun! Take a moment to enjoy life and stop judging yourself.

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

Automobiles – I would like to see them progress at the level that I think they should be at; the industry is blind and uses petroleum based products. The industry needs to be changed from the way that they make cars, sell them and fuel them. Transportation makes such a huge impact on the environment and we need to make a change.

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

The Rocky Mountains – Wyoming, Montana, Idaho

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

Dr. Dan Siegel’s book The Whole-Brain Child, it’s about nurturing children’s brain development

 17. What makes you cringe?

The image of biting into a dry napkin – I did it once by accident and it did in fact make me cringe

 18. What do you want your legacy to be?

That I was a generous person, a good father who loved his children, a good husband and family man who tried to improve the lives he touched to make them happier and healthier.

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