Liberty Phoenix Lord’s Secret and Solace

6 Mar 2012

This podcast is worthy of a rerun. Liberty Phoenix Lord took a deeply painful experience, the death of her baby due to toxic outgassing in his nursery, and started a green building store so no other parent would have to ever experience what she did. Ever. Liberty’s transparency and willingness to tell her story is deeply moving.

FYI: Liberty is the sister of River and Joaquin Phoenix, and this podcast is the first time she has spoken about her tragedy in public. Listen to her unbelievably moving story right here on Women Of Green.

About my guest: Liberty Phoenix Lord has been a resident of Gainesville, FL since 1989. She is married and has 3 beautiful children; and is on the Board of the United States Green Building Council (USGBC the heart of Florida chapter). Liberty owns and runs INDIGOGreen, a Green Building supply store. The mission of INDIGO is based on her commitment to the environment and the health of our planet.

Jean Houston on the role of women on the planet right now.

20 Feb 2012

Jean Houston is in the air this weekend. My friends, Jennifer and Kimberly, spent some time in the middle of a women’s locker room discussing her contributions to the planet — and the role of women today. So I thought I’d share a special moment I had with her in Boulder, CO. Below is the transcript of my interview with this icon. Here’s the link to the audio. You’ll want to hear her say this. Oh what locker rooms can unlock!

Philosopher, scholar and cultural icon, Dr. Jean Houston is one of the foremost visionary thinkers and doers of our time, and one of the principal founders of the Human Potential Movement. She has worked intensively in 40 cultures and 100 countries helping to enhance and deepen their own uniqueness while they become part of the global community.

Raising consciousness through clothing: An interview with Eileen Fisher’s Director of Social Consciousness

27 Sep 2011

Eileen Fisher’s personal core values are about helping women and girls find their voice and their personal path in life so that they can achieve what they were meant to achieve. She happens to do this this through designing and manufacturing clothing for women that are meant to unfold their inner and outer beauty. To me, this is the true purpose of business — to raise consciousness through capitalism. Imagine what the world would be if all the CEO’s of Fortune 500 companies did that same?

In this podcast, I interview Eileen’s Director of Social Consciousness (yes, social consciousness), Amy Hall. She has worked at the company for over 17 years helping Eileen and all the staff support the company’s efforts to practice business responsibly. That includes activating the leader within for women and girls. “It starts with finding your voice — and where we are with it now is what we call activating leadership. Activating that internal voice, that internal ability that everyone has to take charge, to take control of the situation, to be a leader in her own right. It doesn’t mean they have to go off and run for public office. It means leading a household, leading a community, leading a cause, leading a belief,” says Amy Hall.

We call that at Women Of Green “Being the Change”. How are you doing that in your world?

If you don’t bring it, we won’t get it. A conversation with Rha Goddess – show 50

4 Aug 2011

One of the best parts of my work with Women Of Green is I get to hang out with some of the coolest, smartest, electrifying people on the planet. Rha Goddess is at the top of that list. She is a captivating performance artist, activist and social entrepreneur who uses her artistic and motivational talents to heal, transform, and inspire. If you are an entrepreneur (or want to be) whose mission has social change at the heart of your enterprise, listen to this interview. Rha’s shares her hard-earned business savvy with her deep passion to make a difference, and shows us how to “Stay True, Get Paid and Do Good”. That’s music to my ears.

Making green meaningful to women – Show 49

27 Jul 2011

OK, we know that American women buy 85% of the products on the planet, and we know we’re the keepers of the home and hearth, so why in the world are we buying so many products laden with toxic chemicals? Why are we voluntarily bringing them into our homes? This is a big disconnect for me. So I asked my guest, Margaret McAllister, an advertising creative director with a specialty in marketing green to women, this question.

“The most important thing we, as marketers, can do is to educate women about what they’re buying, why they’re buying it, and to relate those products to her specific life,” she said in this podcast. “If you really want to bring the message home to women, show them something that she specifically cares about. And there’s probably nothing more precious to her than her children.” I would agree. This self-professed cultural anthropologist shares with me more down-to-earth insights like this in this interview. If this topic intrigues you as much as it does me, listen in and, most importantly, join in the conversation. Love to get your take on this.

This is It!: A conversation with Jean Houston – show 48

12 Jul 2011

“We have come to the stage where the real work of humanity begins,” says scholar, philosopher and visionary, Jean Houston. “We’re in the great ‘either/or’ of history. Either we really blow it the next 20, 30, 40 years, and stay on the same path of same ol’ same ol’, or we consciously decide to rise to the challenges, the greatest challenge in human history. Other people thought they were ‘it’. They’re wrong. This is the most critical time in history.” This is how my interview with Jean begins. Boy, am I in for a ride, I think to myself. “And critical to the turning are women,” she punctuates. I’m speechless.

There are no words to describe the power, intelligence and heart of this cultural icon. When you are in her presence, every cell in you becomes alive. It’s like they begin vibrating at a different frequency. Jean seems to know what you need to know and speaks to it, without you even saying a word. So, make yourself a nice cup of tea, turn off the cell phone, and listen to the words of this wise woman giving us a glimpse of where we’re headed next.

Are you a green parent? Green Mama shows you how – show 47

6 Jul 2011

For me, hands down, the biggest “going green” motivator was having a baby. From the moment I found out that I was pregnant, I watched what I put in my mouth like a hawk. Not to say that I didn’t cheat now and then – sneaking a really greasy French fry when no one was looking, but basically I knew whatever I put in my body, I put in my baby.

At that time, “going green” wasn’t the rage it is today, so I didn’t have all the resources parents have at their fingertips now. That’s good news for parents. I think the challenge today is how NOT to get overwhelmed by it all. Here to help parents with that is Manda Aufochs Gillespie otherwise known as The Green Mama. She is the creator of in Vancouver, Canada. A resource to inspire greener living for mamas and papas. She has put together the ten most effective green parenting habits for 2011. Listen up and see where you stand.

Is compassion the key to a truly greener world? An intelligent conversation with Dr. Renee Lertzman – Show 46

28 Jun 2011

We know plastic water bottles are overwhelming our landfills and severely clogging mother earth’s pores, yet we mindlessly grab a bottle when offered. We know pesticide-free apples are way better for us, but still we eat the heavily sprayed ones. Here’s the dilemma: We say want green products and healthy foods, but we don’t back up our words with actions. The very actions, Renee Lertzman says, “…we know from an ecological, economic, political and spiritual standpoint would do us all a lot of good.” So what’s holding us back? Why are we talking the talk, but not walking the walk?

Renee has some answers. She’s a writer, researcher and communications consultant focusing specifically on the psychological dimensions of sustainability. Her article “The Myth of Apathy” laid out some concrete truths and insights into this dilemma, so I invited her on Women Of Green to share those with me. What I uncovered is a fresh, new perspective on what it means to be green and how to engage the mainstream consumer in really caring about the environment. A very cool interview so listen in!

So how green are you, really? – show 45

1 Jun 2011

Ok, so you recycle, and yes, you buy organic when you can. You might even own a Prius. But how do you really measure up? Now there’s a way to find out. I discovered an online service that takes you through a series of eco questions and when you’re done, you know exactly where you stand. Even better, it gives you specific ideas and concrete advise on how to get even more ecologically sound and savvy in your life. The creator of this site is Susan Hunt Stevens, Founder and CEO of Practically Green. An online service that motivates you to make healthy green changes at home, at work and in your community.

From asthma to aesthetics: How Zem Joaquin created an eco fabulous life – show 44

17 May 2011

When Zem Joaquin’s two children suffered from chronic asthma, she took it in her own hands and undertook a major renovation in her home — and her life. “I was frustrated by the fact that both of my children were constantly being hospitalized. I was up so many nights with a nebulizer in hand with crying children,” she painfully remembers. “The pediatricians just kept saying that it was part of childhood, that many children have asthma.” But after they recommended putting her children on long-term steroids, she said, “Enough is enough!”

Grow a garden on your roof – show 43

5 May 2011

Amy Norquist is one of the queens of the green movement. She has worked over twenty years in environmental research and education for many non-profits. With all her deep green experience, one day she had a thought, “I want to install a green roof on my home.” And that’s exactly what she did. Little did she know what she was getting into. That great idea turned into a “hellish experience” as she puts it. So she was determined to make sure other people do not go through what she went through. Thanks to Amy, they don’t. Her company, Greensulate, is a leading edge provider of design, engineering, installation and maintenance services in green roof systems. But what exactly a green roof anyway? Find out in this podcast with Carolyn. You may be ripping up the tar before you know it.

BPA in my soup? Mmmm goodness! A conversation with MomsRising’s Joan Blades – show 42

19 Apr 2011

Joan Blades is the President and Co-founder of, a five-year-old organization that champions core motherhood and family issues. A million members strong, MomsRising works to support policies that help with family economic security like health care, paid maternity, family and sick leave, fair pay, early learning, and flexible work. One of the big issues that MomsRising takes on in a big way is toxins in our homes. In my interview with her, we talk about BPA in our canned goods (and ultimately in our blood stream) and flame retardants in our furniture (another toxic fabrication from the Big 3 chemical companies).

Is it “Tilt: Game Over”? A Sobering Conversation with Hunter Lovins – show 41

23 Mar 2011

Hunter Lovins has been a vocal citizen of the planet for over 40 years – teaching, educating, consulting scores of businesses from start-ups all the way to conglomerates like Wal-Mart on sustainability and the bottom line. Right out of the gate in my interview with her she says, “We are very near a tipping point in which it comes to be recognized that behaving in ways that are responsible to people and to the planet are simply better business.” In her next breath, she qualifies this with a sobering smack, “At the same time, we’re losing every major eco system on the planet.”

Hunter believes that our current economic collapse was caused by the “fundamental unsustainability of the way in which we do business.” I would agree. So is it “Tilt: Game Over?” Or are we as a species going to collectively rise up and meet the enormous challenges in front of us? Listen to this podcast and you decide.

Are You Strong Enough To Be Vulnerable? with Birute Regine – show 40

9 Mar 2011

“The key to personal and social transformation is to see our vulnerabilities in a different light,” says the author of Iron Butterflies, Birute Regine. It takes “profound openness” she says to be strong enough to be vulnerable. Don’t you love that? Strong enough to be vulnerable.

“Soft is the new hard,” Birute playfully puts it. Her mission is to transform the meaning of vulnerability. “Our vulnerabilities will be our spiritual guides. They will show us and lead us to new strengths.” I couldn’t agree with her more.

In my own personal life, it took me years of peeling off the layers of ego to be vulnerable enough to be truly human. Vulnerability has nothing to do with weakness. In fact, it takes a strong, courageous woman to let her hair down, and her defenses, and be open to what’s present in any given moment. That is a leadership quality I want to practice more, to master. I believe this very quality is key to a peaceful and prosperous world. What other “soft” qualities do you think are needed?

Women Fast-forwarding the Green Economy with Kathleen Rogers – show 39

15 Feb 2011

“It is essential that our most talented and driven women come together to fast forward the green economy,” says Kathleen Rogers, President of Earth Day Network, the organization that is widely viewed as the birth of the modern environmental movement with over 22,000 partners in 192 countries. “We think that women will look at it differently, build it differently, and at the very least, should have a major seat at the table in a major way around the world.” But the fact is we don’t. Women hold less than 20% of the top tier position across the board in corporations and in the political arena. “We are conspicuously absent from the power broker positions,” says Rogers.

The Earth Day Network, under Rogers leadership, has launched a campaign to change all of that. Their WAGE (Women and the Green Economy) campaign’s purpose is to accelerate and provide the new thinking and creative power for a global post-carbon economy by engaging women business, government and NGO leaders. Its goal is to create a policy agenda for Rio+20 and relevant generate national initiatives that will promote the green economy, secure educational and job training opportunities for women and channel green investment to benefit women.

“The idea behind WAGE is as we create a global green economy,” says Rogers, “women need to be at the table.” Kathleen Rogers certainly is. Are you? Listen to this podcast now. It’s a rally call to all women everywhere to turn up the volume of our leadership right in the very communities we live. The time is now. Let’s seize it.

The Psychological Barriers to Green with Simran Sethi – show 38

25 Jan 2011

How do you get people to care about green? Hint: It’s not talking about the polar bear, rising sea levels or carbon emissions. According to Simran Sethi, it’s about meeting people where they are and reframing these issues within the context of issues they care about. So instead of “organics” being an environmental issue, reframe it as a public health issue so that “everyone can understand it,” she says.

Simran is right in the middle of co-authoring a book about the psychological barriers to environmental engagement and I was fortunate enough to pull her away from her computer to talk to me about this important subject. Weighing in on this topic in her book are public figures such as Robert Redford and Newt Gingrich, along with a number of behavioral psychologists have helped her uncover why widespread information has not resulted in widespread engagement. If you think this topic is juicy, just wait until you hear Simran speak about it.