From the foothills of the Colorado Rockies to the tip of South America to the sandy beaches of Australia, Inhabitat’s growing team spans all corners of the world. To provide some insight into the state of the environment through a global perspective, this year we’re asking all our writers and editors to tell us what they are doing for this spectacular day of green. A unique team that delivers an inimitable view to readers and one another alike day after day, they are the driving force behind Inhabitat’s mission of environmental stewardship. So what is the Inhabiteam doing for Earth Day? Read on for all the exciting details, and feel free to share your own plans in the comments below!
Jill Fehrenbacher – Founder and Editor-In-Chief – New York, New York
I think the best thing that we can do with Earth Day is to keep it as a day for reflection on about how to best tackle the most pressing environmental challenges we face (ahem – climate change). This year I think a big challenge is public interest and political will. People have become tired of green marketing, and it is hard to motivate people to get excited about environmental sustainability when economic times are tough and ‘green’ feels like sacrifice. At inhabitat, we’ll try to do our part to inspire interest in environmental sustainability by examining it through the lens that gets us passionate and fired up: design and innovation.
Mike Chino – Managing Editor – San Francisco, California
Yuka Yoneda – Senior Editor – Queens, New York
Diane Pham – Architecture and Design Editor – Brooklyn, New York
Kestrel Jenkins – Operations Assistant – New York, New York
Exactly one year ago – Earth Day 2010 – I made a conscious oath on my blog MakeFashionFair: “In honor of mother earth and her global citizens, I vow to no longer purchase ANY clothing that has been made unethically, or blatantly harmed people or the environment in its making, for the next 365 days. If the available ethical and fair trade labels cannot serve my tastes and desires (as fashion is my passion) — I pledge to only purchase apparel which is re-made or re-cycled – vintage or re-worked.”
Considering my fashion-obsessed soul, this past year has been a definite examination of how creative and resourceful I could be to reduce my social and environmental impact on the globe. On Earth Day 2011, I will be celebrating the inspiring designers out there that continue to be mindful and innovative in their designs, while surrounding myself with some of these creations at the event, “Fashioning Self and The Environment”. With an evolved fashion consumption style, I’ll be reflecting on the past year’s lessons and pondering my next personal steps for the year ahead.
Jessica Dailey – New York Editor – Brooklyn, New York
Brit Liggett – New York Editor – Brooklyn, New York
Jasmin Malik Chua – Managing Editor, Ecouterre – New York, New York
Beth Shea – Senior Editor – Portland, Oregon
Julie Knapp – Managing Editor Inhabitots – Brooklyn, New York
Andrew Michler – Green Building Writer – Off-grid in the foothills of the Colorado Rocky Mountains
Timon Singh – Tech and News Writer – Brighton, United Kingdom
As Good Friday happens to be the same day as Earth Day, we here in the U.K. get a bank holiday. Essentially, we don’t go to work. So, I’m going to do my part for the environment by not turning on an electrical device (namely my work computer), not driving to work and not making six cups of large black coffee (which is about my usual), and instead head to Cornwall for a four day week.
There I will bask in the sunshine, visit Tintagel Castle, live out my childhood dreams by pretending to be a Knight of the Round Table and then I’ll probably toast the Earth with a selection of fine ales. It’s the least I can do….
Lori Zimmer – Contributing Writer – New York, New York
Evelyn Lee – Los Angeles Editor – Los Angeles, California
Tafline Laylin – Architecture and Design Writer – South Africa
So, because my plate is pretty full with prepping for the trip, I don’t have any Earth Day plans. But I can say how I keep my trips as sustainable as possible. First of all, I don’t own a car, anywhere. And never plan to again. I love driving, but the idea of being tied to the environmental and financial costs of owning a car when I can just as easily bus and bike doesn’t appeal to me at all. Unless I absolutely have to fly (like from South Africa to Dubai), I take buses. Usually the roach coach! That might not always be so fun, but at this stage it doesn’t bother me because it also gives me a sense of the way everyday people live in each of the countries I visit.
And then, apart from a storage unit in Colorado, where I keep my books and artwork, and a small “winter” case that I’ll leave in South Africa, all of my belongings weigh about 12.5kg. This is sometimes hard, especially as I have to be presentable at business meetings, but mostly it gives me enormous freedom from the impulse to buy. I have chosen my clothing very carefully so that I can mix and match a lot and so that I will be comfortable in almost any season (save northern climates.) To avoid having to buy plastic bottles when I travel, the bane of my existence, I have my super duper non-BPA Laken water bottle, and tablets that I use to filter potentially unclean water. I also carry a coffee thermos and a reusable shopping bag.
I have a lot of friends throughout the Middle East because of my work through www.greenprophet.com and through www.couchsurfing.org. But it’s nice to be independent, so I often stay in low-budget hostels. Last year, while researching stories in Kenya, I camped out in a tent for a couple of months along the shore of Lake Naivasha. The hippos and monkeys made a racket, but for me, nothing beats that real connectedness to nature.
Of course, I can’t deny that flights pretty much wipe out all of my year round hard work to keep a low carbon footprint, so I really do try to keep them to an absolute minimum. This is why I stay places for extended periods. This doesn’t work for everyone, but at the moment I’m lucky to be flexible enough to live this way. For me, every day is Earth Day, though I do think that mobilizing people’s attention a few times a year is very valuable.
Moe Beitiks – Contributing Writer – San Francisco, California
Lea Bogdan – Contributing Writer – Chicago, Illinois
My dad is a master of home repair and has been working with me on a total bath remodel in a Philly row home that I left when moving to Chicago last year. Even though the house will be put on the market after the remodel, it was still important to use sustainable products. We were able to find some unqiue and eco-friendly materials, like my dad’s suggestion to use Mohawk’s Concreto laminate, that uses 74% recycled content and is really easy to install. I selected WaterSense certified fixtures from Delta Faucet. I’m also scoping out EcoUrban, a Chicago based manufacturer of light-weight sustainable concrete countertops.
Later on I’ll be carpooling an hour west of Philadelphia, where my good friend and her fiancee have been spending the past year living and working to help restore a farm. They are also getting ready for their wedding on the farm this summer, and have been tackling many creative DIY projects in preparation. I’ve missed out on some of their recent punch tin making parties, where friends gather to make repurposed tin can lanterns for holding LED candles during their reception, so I’m excited to lend a hand this weekend!
Laura Cowan – Transportation Editor – Ann Arbor, Michigan
This Earth Day, I will be helping to moderate the Great Cloth Diaper Change at my local green baby boutique The Little Seedling. This event aims to set a world record for most diapers changed simultaneously (eco-friendly ones that don’t clog up the landfills!) and will be hosted in many locations across the country. The Little Seedling will be raffling off several green prizes to attendees, including 3 copies of my book EcoFrugal Baby: How To Save 70% Off Baby’s First Year, a book all about how to raise a green baby on a budget. This Earth Day, I’m reflecting on the ways my life has changed and the ways it still needs to change in order to leave a green inheritance for my daughter—the earth itself.
Jenny Tranter – Contributing Writer – Melbourne, Australia
Ana Lisa Alperovich – Contributing Writer – Buenos Aires, Argentina
Helen Morgan – Contributing Writer – Buenos Aires, Argentina
Daniel Jones – Contributing Writer – London, United Kingdom
On the Earth Day eve I was invited to an editorial lunch hosted by sustainability software company, CloudApps in London’s Soho. The lunch was to mark the launch of their new product, SuMo, a cool piece of software that allows a company’s employees to monitor their own carbon footprint in real time in an effort to encourage employee engagement ‘from the bottom up’ when it comes to making businesses more sustainable. I walked to the meeting (obviously – as I do for as many of my journeys around London as possible) and as I write this I’m on the train back to Bristol (my home town). As well as writing about ways other people can reduce their impact on the environment I also make sure I keep my own carbon footprint in check! On Earth Day itself my girlfriend and I are trying out a vegan diet for 48 hours. Let’s see how the other half live! Happy Earth Day! .
Krista Leahy – Inhabitat Intern – New York, New York
Malik Betton – Inhabitat Intern – New York, New York