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Living Lightly

Our Health IS Our Planet’s Health

Laurie David and Heather Reisman have changed conversations and instigated whole movements.

You know their work. An Inconvenient Truth and The Biggest Little Farm, which Laurie produced, The Writing on the Wall, one of Heather’s projects. The Social Dilemma and Fed Up, which they produced together. These films have challenged us to reevaluate everyday things we often overlook, such as the food we eat and where it comes from, the people around us and how we connect to them.

Heather, who is founder and CEO of Indigo Books and Music, Canada’s largest bookseller, has championed children’s literacy through the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation and the Canadian Children’s Literacy Foundation.

Laurie, in addition to her undaunted environmental advocacy, has written a children’s book on global warming (translated into 10 languages), as well as two cookbooks that emphasize the import of the family dinner table, a topic very close to my own heart. The solutions to so many of our personal and global ills can be found at the family dinner table.

I was looking over the topics these two have tackled, and my first thought was that they were really varied, but then I found the common thread: they all tackle ways we can either hurt or heal, whether it’s our bodies (Fed Up and cookbooks), our relationships (Social Dilemma, The Writing on the Wall, and literacy in general), or our planet (An Inconvenient Truth, The Biggest Little Farm).

I sat down with them for a Facebook Live to talk about their new book, Imagine It! A Handbook for a Happier Planet. This was supposed to be an interview, but I think they asked me just as many questions as I asked them! 

Their book tackles all of the realms I just mentioned. The subtitle calls out the happiness of the planet, but as you’ll hear, the planet’s well-being is integrally connected to our personal well-being and the well-being of our relationships to each other. They discuss how this is best done in shifts. Small, incremental changes that result in profound differences, the difference as Heather says, of ending up in New York instead of Chicago.

In this way, their book is partly for those who feel they are too busy to change or think it’s too much work. But for those ready to go deeper, it also provides a guide on how to advocate to business leaders and elected officials and how to lead a movement.

We covered a lot of ground: From kitchen sponges, to the downsides of dry cleaning, to how soap works, and why Dr. Bronner’s is making chocolate! Laurie and Heather describe Imagine It! as an approachable handbook to making small steps that come from a mindset, not of deprivation, but from abundance.

And there were so many quotable quotes!

  • As goes the health of the planet, so goes our health. As goes our health, so goes the health of the planet. – Heather
  • If you care about your health, the health of your family, you have to care about the environment, the air, the water, the products you’re using. – Laurie
  • Little changes in the right direction done day after day after day after day make a massive difference after a year. – Heather
  • The easiest place to start is in the kitchen. – Laurie

And I learned that one walk with a friend truly can change your life! May their tireless and undaunted passion rub off on me!

I hope you enjoy the video. To be informed when I’ll be doing more Facebook Lives, like the Going Green Facebook page.

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Lisa Bronner

Green means life. “Going Green” is living in such a way to promote vitality and vibrancy in every sphere of life. Grab an idea to make your days healthier, simpler, and more beautiful at their core.