What I am Grateful For: Stephanie Moram Interview

Katie (00:00):

Hi everyone. Katie Riess here with KT Media Strategies. And for November, I am talking to people and talking about people who I am grateful for. I think it’s a great time of year to acknowledge the people around us that we’re grateful for. So this week, I have my amazing client, Stephanie Moram, who is the founder and runs Good Girl Gone Green and is the host of the Green Junkie Podcast. You guys should definitely check it out if you haven’t heard of it, and welcome Stephanie.

Stephanie (00:32):

Thank you. Thank you for having me.

Katie (00:34):

It is such an honor to work with you and to help you spread your message. I feel like sustainability and green living is so important, especially right now, as we talk about climate change issues around the world. The policymakers are trying to do their thing, but it’s really important for us at home to know what we can be doing on our level and not just waiting for everything to get better because they threw some money at it, in my opinion. I feel so grateful that we’ve been able to get your message across the country from Portland to Florida, to Texas. You know, you’ve been so amazing in telling everybody how we can live a little more green and a little more sustainably.

Stephanie (01:22):

Even before I got started living green, I recycled, you know, kind of like what everybody does, put my stuff in the recycling. And then we actually lived in the United States for about four years. It was kind of at that time when things shifted for me, I’m a social worker by trade. I was on sabbatical from work while my husband was working in the United States. We moved, when we were living in Augusta, Georgia, we were sitting on the couch and we decided to watch a documentary. And for whatever reason, we decided to watch Food, Inc. If you have not watched that movie, I recommend that you watch it. I cried and I was just watching how our food system seems so broken. Everything is processed. I eat a vegan diet now at the time I was not.

Stephanie (02:05):

It just, made me sad. It made me mad. It just made me feel so many different emotions. I said to my husband, we’re eating organic. It’s done. I ate organic a little bit before, but I didn’t know why. I didn’t know why organic was better. I just saw it on the food shelves. It was sometimes more expensive. And I was like, I think that’s better for me. I’m just going to buy it. So I would buy it here and there. But like I said, I didn’t know why, but after watching that movie, I realized why eating local, supporting local farmers, eating organic, eating sustainably. So at that point I just researched why drinking grass-fed milk is better? You know, why eating grass-fed beef is better? Why should we avoid nitrates in our soil?

Stephanie (02:48):

Like all these things I was researching. Cause like I said, I was on a sabbatical. And then I feel like once you dive into some form of sustainability, whether it’s food, clothing living zero waste whatever that is, it kind of falls into place. All the other parts of sustainability. So I entered with food and then pregnant with my daughter and I start looking at what am I going to be putting on my body while I’m pregnant? What is it going to be wearing? What is she going to sleep on? And that rabbit hole is ginormous. I just kept going down rabbit hole after rabbit hole. One example would be, I didn’t have a smartphone when we lived there. We also lived in Wichita, Kansas didn’t have a smartphone went to buy deodorant, bought like five of them, brought them home, Googled them.

Stephanie (03:42):

When I got home brought back the ones I didn’t like. So that was kind of how I started on sustainability, just like researching and looking stuff up. And then when my daughter was born and she was three months old and a friend of mine said, you should start a blog. And I said, Nope, not happening. I’m not starting a blog. I ended up starting a blog and how Good Girl Gone Green came about was I had a couple of names that I really liked for my blog. And one of them being Good Girl Gone Green and my husband for my birthday engraved it on the back of an iPad for me. So I was like, so is that the name of my blog now? It is now. So that’s kind of how Good Girl Gone Green got started. It started as a blog as a place for me to just talk about sustainability, which just led me down.

Stephanie (04:28):

You know, I’m starting a podcast, I’m talking to people about sustainability, helping people live more green, and just educating people on living a more sustainable lifestyle. I’m not perfect by any means. I’m learning all day, every day. I’m learning and it’s not easy to live sustainably, but it’s not hard. If that makes sense. It’s just sometimes taking those little steps forward, like right here. I have a tea, it’s like having this with you. When you’re leaving the house to get a coffee, it’s bringing your water bottle with you. When you leave the house versus, you know, reaching for that plastic water bottle, it’s maybe investing in some sort of straw. And if your kids use straws or you like straws, it’s investing in a reusable straw. It’s just like those small things that are going to have a big impact on the environment. So for all collectively stopping to use disposable coffee cups and we’re all collectively stopping to use straws all the time. And collectively, then that’s going to have a big impact. Sure. Big corporations can make changes and that can make changes drastically. But we also have choices to make. This is where we live. This is where our kids are going to be growing up is where our grandchildren are going to potentially be living. So I just want to leave it better than I found it if possible.

Katie (05:49):

That’s what I’ve really loved about your message. I’ve also just really loved learning from you so much because I was one of those people that recycled and, you know, bought the reusable bags for the grocery store and thought about it a little bit. You know, I have my reusable water bottles and coffee mugs and those types of things, but I never thought, oh, bring your own utensils or, you know, just some of the tips that you’ve been able to give people across the country, through all your media has been amazing. And I’ve loved learning all of this from you. And I’m just so grateful that we are able to then help you get that message out to other people to actually feel like we’re making an impact in this world, because I know a lot of people have appreciated that and have scooped up all of your stuff.

Katie (06:35):

We’ve had some really, really great topics and I’m really excited for your holiday gift list because I know I’m going to be picking out some things on that list to give people. So everybody should stay tuned for that. I’ll help you post it everywhere too. Once it comes out, we’re going to be giving people a little teaser soon. But no, I’m really excited about that and just really excited about, about the message that,  we can continue to share with people because you’re right, it’s not hard. It’s not difficult. It’s just taking the time to educate yourself. And if you can make one or two small changes at a time, that’s really all that we need. And I love that message versus it feeling very daunting.

Stephanie (07:19):

It’s the kind of message that I wanted. And my brands evolved over the last 10 years of my blog. And one thing that always stuck with me was I don’t want people to be overwhelmed. I want to show them, teach them, guide them, on how to live a little more green, how to live a little more sustainably without feeling overwhelmed. So you don’t have to do all the things, pick some things like what’s the most important to you? Like, are you a fashion guru? And you’re like, I need, I want to change how I dress. Then start with that. Start with looking at your clothing, looking at where you’re buying your clothing, look at the companies that you’re buying from. Can you buy second-hand? Can you have a capsule wardrobe, which is just like little pieces of clothing that, you know, you have per season and you mix and match them.

Stephanie (08:08):

Can you buy sustainable clothing? You know, from companies that are paying their workers fair wages and they’re made locally, those kinds of things. So it’s defined, what’s important to you. Like it started for me, food. Food was important and that was what drew me in. But it’s opened up to so many different things like, oh, okay, there’s a lot of trash when you, I didn’t really use straws before. But if I did, there’s a lot of trash that comes from straws. There’s a lot of trash that comes from those coffee mugs. There’s a lot of trash from the plastic bags, you know, like all this adds up and I just feel that start with something small. And then if you decide to move on to other parts of sustainability, great. And if you don’t and you just focus on that, cause that’s, what’s important.

Stephanie (08:54):

And that’s also great too. It’s not about being perfect, right? It’s about doing a little bit. And when I say it’s not hard, it’s not hard, but it’s not easy. I think it’s people have to get into the habit of it. It has to be a habit that you have your reusable mug. It has to be a habit that you have your water bottle or your utensils. So what can you do to remember those things? Do you leave them at the door? Do you have a spot where you have like your utensils and your water bottle and your mug and all those things, or do you leave it in your car? Do you have it in your closet with your bag, like with your reasonable bags? So it’s coming up with ideas to be like, I don’t want to forget these.

Stephanie (09:37):

If I forget it, it’s like, okay. I must’ve been in a really big rush, but it literally never happens. And if it does, I just carry stuff with my hands, no big deal. But the average person doesn’t want to carry their groceries with them. So it’s just finding out how you can support remembering those things. You know, like when you’re about to go buy something instead of running to the mall and just buying something that perhaps was made for $1 and they’re selling it for five and the person that made it lives really far away overseas and isn’t treated properly. Like people don’t think of those things, but maybe it’s to reflect and go, oh, I wonder who made that. I wonder how it was made. I wonder how much they were paid. I wonder if they were paid a living wage. I wonder if they’re treated nicely. Yeah.

Katie (10:27):

I like to be able to really research those companies and find the best ones that are right here in North America and they care about how they’re perceived. They care about how their products are made and how their people are paid and treated. It makes a big difference and it will make a big difference in the long run. And hopefully those companies that aren’t paying attention to that, just want to get it out the door. Hopefully that’s going to be looked down upon and people aren’t going to buy their stuff anymore and they will just be pushed out of the marketplace that way.

Stephanie (11:05):

I think it’s a mindset thing, right. Also when it comes to money because someone’s like, oh my gosh, I can’t believe that t-shirt was $30. And I say, yeah, it’s $30 for that, T-Shirt but just take five minutes and think how that t-shirt got on your body, the materials, the transportation, the person who made it. Profit has to come out of that somewhere for the company that made it. So if you’re buying a t-shirt for $5, reflect on how much the person was paid to make that t-shirt.

Katie (11:38):

Because there are more companies around, that are starting to pick up on this and there are a lot more options. I’m excited to hear what some of your favorites are and what some of the options are that we can share with people. So thank you. So Stephanie, I am grateful for you. I am grateful for the work that you’re doing and I just want you to know you’re one of my favorite people and we’re excited to tell anybody that I won’t tell anyone. I’m grateful that we get to be the ones to share your message with everyone else. So thank you so much.