Environmental lifestyle expert Danny Seo calls his eco-friendly way of living "Simply Green." Through his best-selling books, television programs, products, magazine columns and his how-to lifestyle lectures, Danny Seo continues to share the creative ideas that have made him America's leading lifestyle authority on modern, eco-friendly living.
Danny has been featured in The New York Times, USA Today, and Food and Wine, among other national publications. He's also the official "Green Living Partner" for JC Penney and has partnered with Method Products, a line of environmentally-friendly cleaning and personal care supplies sold in stores nationwide -- and he's working on a new line of eco-friendly bedding (pictured on it with actress Kerry Washington).
MindBodyGreen: You started Earth 2000 when you were 12 yrs old -- what led to this? Did you have an "a-ha" moment? What inspired you to start this organization?
Danny Seo: When I was 12---gosh, more than 20 years ago!---I was both idealistic and very naive. My birthday happened to fall on Earth Day, so I believed the world was coming to end from reading the newspaper but also believed maybe I could just change it all. The mission, in 1989, was to save the planet by the year 2000. Imagine that. But I figured twice my age would be the year 2000, and I would be 24 by then, which to a 12-year-old is ancient. I never thought my early years of creating a national environmental group from scratch would become a huge learning ground for what I’m doing today.
MBG: Any tips for someone who wants to be greener but doesn't know where to start?
DS: Going green is overwhelming; it’s not like going vegetarian where you just change the way you eat. Instead, it’s about making changes to everything and anything you do, live, breathe, and even think. I always say, start with the big picture. If you drive a lot, think about cutting down your commute or finding a more fuel efficient car. If you do tons of laundry, look into energy saving machines, greener detergents and techniques to speed up the drying to save energy. What are the energy hogs in your house? The kitchen, bathroom and heating/cooling systems are good places to start. Research how to be more efficient, invest what you can afford to do and commit to trying a bit harder each day.
MBG: What's the simplest/easiest thing we can do to be greener?
DS: I think the easiest thing you can do to go greener is to go vegetarian or try to cut back on meat. Even just going meatless on Mondays is something almost anyone can do. Pound for pound, meat is one of the most energy intensive foods you can buy at the store; from factory farms to feed to waste management to spoilage and refrigeration, it all adds up. I went vegetarian at age 12 and never looked back.
MBG: Biggest misconception about being greener?
DS: The biggest misconception about going green is that it costs more. Yes, is a Lexus Hybrid a very expensive investment? Sure is. But is a barely used Toyota Prius you find on Ebay or at the dealership a good deal? It can be if you shop around. With green going mainstream, one good thing has happened: a flood of choices. You can find affordable organic fruits and veggies, organic cotton sheets, light bulbs, cleaning products and much more now at your favorite stores. You have a choice if you want to live in eco-luxury or eco-cheap chic. It’s there for the taking.