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 Natalie Slater, a mommy, blogger, Chicagoan, cookbook author and hardcore vegan!
1.What is your name?
2. What is your occupation?
3.Do you have a “green” memory growing up?
My mom “upcycled” before that was a word. She saved small shipping boxes to use to organize her craft supplies and made her own envelopes out of magazine pages and outdated calendars. When upcycling became a trend it was like, “Oh, she’s been doing that for years and we just thought she was crazy.”
4. What’s your favorite meal?
Pasta tossed with garlic, olive oil, fresh herbs and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast.
5. Who/what inspires you to be more “green” in your life?
Our planet is a alive, nature is a living thing. My respect for all living things inspires me to care for the planet the best I can.
6. Where on the “green scale” do you fall?
I might be verging on Eco-Warrior status, at least I try to be. My house is stocked with reusable shopping bags, stainless steel straws, reusable tea filters, cloth sandwich bags… we’re pretty green.
7. What are the most rewarding and most challenging parts of your job?
Everything about growing a small business is rewarding and challenging. I’d say maintaining focus is the toughest part – there’s a lot we could do, even more we want to do, but only so much we should do. Choosing the efforts that are going to reap the greatest reward can be tough. Finding I Heart Keenwah on the shelves in grocery stores is the reward – I still get excited when I see it there.
8. Where’s your “green spot” food, body care/beauty, oceans, home or neighborhood, explain:
Starship Salon in Chicago is an absolute gem. It’s eco-friendly down to the little envelopes for stylist tips being reusable, and they carry a full line of vegan styling products so I don’t have to read labels while I get pampered.
9. Where do you turn for your news?
Chicago is home to arguably the funniest morning news team in the country – WGN’s 6am team is hilarious and I watch them every day. Then I usually read CNN online on my way to work (I take the El).
10. What is one environmental change you vow to make in the next year?
I’ve been traveling a lot this year and I’d love to find ways to cut down on how much waste traveling can create without being too crazy. Maybe remembering to pack a reusable coffee mug and a collapsible water bottle so I’m not always throwing things away in different cities.
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?
I would be Dita Von Teese. I live in t-shirts and jeans, it would be amazing to spend one day as the most glamourous woman in the world.
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!
The human population is expected to grow by more than 2 billion people by the year 2050. By feeding people the grain we currently feed to animals raised for meat we would be able to feed an additional 4 billion people. A plant-based diet is the key to a sustainable future for our planet, please urge your people to eat more plants and less animals.
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!
Take less, give more. Be nice. Eat your veggies.
14. If there were one industry/product that you could make more eco-friendly, what would it be?
Small household appliances create so much waste! I wish someone would come up with a more eco-friendly way to pack them – all the Styrofoam and plastic makes me crazy. Then when they no longer work it’s cheaper to buy a new one than to fix what you have so we just toss out coffee machines, toasters, hand mixers… so much garbage!
15. Where in the world would you most like to be right now?
I’m answering these questions on a trip for work so I really wish I was back home in my bed snuggled up with my dog.
16. What is the best book you have read recently?
I don’t read much fiction, but I read a novel called I’m Having So Much Fun Here Without You by Courtney Maum this summer and it was really lovely. Funny, sad, sweet. It’s not the sort of thing I would have chosen for myself, but someone sent it to me and it was a nice read.
17. What makes you cringe?
I make myself cringe all the time. Nothing could possibly annoy or embarrass me more than I annoy and embarrass myself.
18. What do you want your legacy to be?
My dad passed away suddenly a few years ago and there were so many people at his wake that the funeral home had to stay open late. He was a regular guy, not famous or flashy, but he was kind, and he was funny. That really touched people and I think, in the end, that’s the most anyone can really ask for.
For a chance to win a copy of Natalie’s vegan cookbook, Bake and Destroy, enter eco18’s giveaway while you still have a chance!