4. You are active in many areas. Can you tell us about your concerns and causes?
Presently, I cook and serve the homeless for the non-profit Food Not Bombs every Thursday evening. I speak in schools about human overpopulation and have a TED talk on the subject online.
I also support an organization called Center for Responsible Science (CenterforResponsibleScience.org) which is working to change FDA rules that mandate animal testing.
5. Can you explain your philosophy of simple living and why it works for you?
Less is more! My husband Ian and I buy things used (like our furniture, car, microwave, dishware, radio) or refurbished (like my ipad and laptop), but the most important thing is not to purchase things in the first place. I keep my closet small. I go to the library instead of buying books. When I give gifts, I like to give experiences (a massage, manicure) or give my friends a gift card to Kiva.org, which allows them to make loans to poor people and when they are repaid to loan out the money again, and again. It’s the gift that keeps on giving! TreePeople.org plants a tree in my friends’ names.
Having fewer possessions in my life means I treasure the things I do own, and I spend less time dealing with “stuff.” I only keep things I really love and only buy things I really, really want.
6. You encourage everyone to use the individual power of the vote. Can you explain how voting is an important way for us to help save the environment?
When Americans vote for representatives that will take care of the environment, then they win and can make vital policy changes. Voting on the local level is incredibly important, so it always amazes me how low the turnout is at midterm elections. If you do not vote, you do not have the right to complain. Russell Brand says he does not vote, and that irritates me. It is easy to go on a soapbox and whine about corruption, but much harder (and less glamorous) to actually make change by participating in the democratic process, no matter how flawed it is. I registered voters once a week for 18 years and never take it for granted that I can go to the polls freely and safely.