A few weeks back I had the opportunity to be a guest on Authentik You, a locally produced show that has intimate conversations with local people who are living life according to their passions.
I was able to prep for the show .... so this is what I had prepared. The show will air on the Rogers Channel this coming Spring. My answers flow from these ideas but are not verbatim.
However, this post really gives you insight into me, who I am and what drives The Truth Beauty Company.
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S: You are committed to green living and giving back to the planet. What does this look like in practical terms for you?
In means operating from a place of awareness. I have always been an inquisitive person and this seems to have just grown as I have aged. I want to know where things come from and what happens to them when I am done with them. I suppose, it’s this personality trait that has brought me to my passion for environmentalism.
Practically speaking, as a consumer, I limit as much use of plastic as possible – bringing my own re-usable bags where I ever I go, opting for products that have the least amount of packaging. Or better yet, choosing glass.
Choosing eco-products for the home or Doing it Myself; so scrubs for the sinks and even my own toothpaste.
Of course, my family composts! We actually have a goal in my house to produce only one bag of garbage a month.
S: What are products we should avoid and why?
Room fresheners – made with Toxic Phthalates! There are more than 80000 chemicals in use – the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has toxicity info on about 7%. That’s it and that’s scary! The problem with all these chemicals is that the impact is cumulative, long lasting and frequently slow to reveal itself. Furthermore, the structure of these chemicals is that they are close enough molecularly to interact with us, but do not decompose in the same way.
So if you know that you are body lotion junkie then try to ensure that you are buying the cleanest lotion available.
I think we should strive to become more aware of how things get to what we know them to be. We are so abstracted from our natural surroundings that there is this entrenched acceptance of being okay with what is. For example, if we do not know which reservoir or river our water comes from, why would we be inclined to know what toxins it collects along the way. If we want to be better humans, then I think that means accepting some responsibility.
S: You have two young daughters - what are you trying to teach them about green living and how do you do this in an age appropriate way?
Really simply, as my girls are still little. They are 4. I think the easiest thing to teach kids at this age is about our food. We have a large garden and spend months working on it – starting the plants from seeds, watching them grow and then being able to harvest what we have put our hard work into. We even grow pea shoots indoors in the winter months.
They know to compost, because it feeds our worms and the worms make our soil healthy, which gives us good food – so there is the cycle – the interconnectivity. Kids can grasp that.
S: You started a new venture with your business lately - The Truth Beauty Company. What was your biggest challenge in starting a business with eco-friendly products?
I think the awareness has been my biggest challenge. People do not necessarily recognize the brands I select, in large part because they are small producers. That requires me to educate though as to why the products The Truth Beauty Company stocks are, well, better. This doesn’t necessarily simply involve discussing the efficacy of a product – we all want our anti-aging creams to work –it has to go beyond that. I have to educate regarding endocrine disruptors, for example, phthalates and discuss contamination with carcinogens, for example petroleum can be found to be contaminated with 1, 4 Dioxin which is a formaldehyde releaser.
S: You're involved with Natalie McNeil's The Conquer Club. Tell me a bit more about it and why you got involved.
I had the pleasure of meeting Natalie about a year ago. What struck me was her drive, to be something, to really be a vehicle for change so when I heard about her starting the Conquer Club, which is a meet-up for entrepreneurial women – both online and in person, I reached out to her and let her know that I wanted to be the KW Ambassador.
The Club itself gives women business mentors and resources that are needed in order to achieve success. I think in business, women and men operate differently, so it’s awesome to be connected to your peers, to those who wear very similar shoes and who have led the way, so to speak.
S: You're a fan of David Suzuki and you're a Coach for the David Suzuki Foundation. What does this mean in terms of role you play and why is this important to you?
Yes, I am a fan. I think he is one of Canada’s greatest exports. I once heard him say that we are breathing the same Argon matter that Jesus Christ & Joan of Arc breathed. That stuck with me. The interconnectivity of everything living on this planet is something we must remember. That’s why I chose to get involved with the foundation as a coach.
Living greener is overwhelming. There is so much information and so many choices to navigate through. Where does one start? For me, this opportunity gave me the ability to work with families in our community and provide them with the education on how to reduce, reuse, and recycle; where to take their used electronics, a good naturopath referral, where to buy organic, grass fed beef, for example.
S: Who have been your greatest supporters?
I would say of course, my friends and my family. I certainly have experienced challenging days with my dream – but there has always been someone to call, someone to listen. Beyond that though, I could certainly say my networks – Momz in Biz and the community of wellness practioners. The wellness industry in this city is very quilted.
S: What, if any, community resources did you leverage?
I think I have tried to involve myself. So when World Accord does some sort of fundraising I like to see how Truth Beauty can be involved. Same thing goes for amazing events that recognize the women of KW – so for example the WOW event. I think through this involvement there is mutual benefit. My work gets recognized but I am also supporting people and things that I think are worthy.
S: What are you most proud of?
Making a change in the world. I really try to live by the Gandhi quote “be the change you wish to see”, so the fact that my work has contributed to fewer toxins ending up in our bodies and in our water makes me feel awesome.
S: If you could give someone three tips to make good choices for the environment, what would they be?
Know where your food comes from.
Try to live more simply.
Don’t buy bottled water.
S: What advice would you give to someone who is considering choosing beauty products that don't harm the environment?
Some of my sage advice would be to read your labels – and if that is too daunting, you can do some research beforehand on the SkinDeep database, which is produced by the Environmental Working Group. They will list the product in terms of its toxicity rating so 0 to a 10, 10 being the worst.
The David Suzuki Foundation also has a downloadable wallet size pamphlet that at least lists the Dirty Dozen.
Or you can simply get to know brands / companies; sort of like food; you are after all putting these products into your body – everything you put on your skin will be absorbed into your blood stream. You should get to know where and how products are made.
S: If given the chance, what is one thing you would do differently?
Nothing. No regrets. Everything I have done has shaped me and those experiences have enriched the decisions I continue to make.
S: What is one thing you would like to do more of?
Personally travel. Career wise, I’d love to do more speaking. Encourage young women to be powerful.
S: How are you leveraging the community to get your message out about green living and eco-friendly products?
Many ways. I think KW is an engaged community – the love to participate! For that reason I love hosting workshops, educational seminars. Sometimes it is I that is the speaker but I often have guests. Naturopaths, Raw foodists, Yogis, Individuals who are passionate about conservation.
I also use social media though to get messages out. Lots of tweeting and FB posts. I also have blog where I talk about topics that are related to healthy living.
I am also a contributor for the Cord Community Paper.
S: Looking forward a year from now, what do envision for yourself?
I envision a successful business. I see the online world giving me a market that I could otherwise not reach. Maybe an E-book on Holistic Skin Care. Maybe a YouTube Channel. Perhaps even setting things up so that I could license The Truth Beauty Company.
S: What top goal have you set?
I don’t think I have a top goal. I am classic Type A – always thinking, always with an active mind. I know ultimately, I want to make a difference. I don’t have any hard and fast rules though of how I am going to get there.
S: Is there anything else you’d like to tell us that you feel would be helpful for our views to know?
Making a change doesn’t need to be overwhelming. Do it one step at a time. Next time you run out of dish detergent, look for an environmentally friendly one.
S: Who inspires you most and why?
I am inspired by the many women who are pioneering in my field – so the formulators of clean products, to the women who speak of natural skin-care. I really honour what they are doing – because it makes a difference. Also because they are taking on the huge corporations. They are really paving the way in terms of creating a shift of mindset.
S: What is your favourite eco-friendly tip?
Can I have two? Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and also Read your labels. I think if you follow those 2 tips you would be motivated to do better with every aspect of your life.