—Systemic change begins with personal change—

468: Alexandra Paul, part 2: How to Reduce Something (Wasteful) You Enjoy, to Improve Your Life


Alexandra's commitment illustrates a result I keep finding. People who have acted to live sustainably the most already find new ways to act more than people who haven't. People who haven't done much, or acted for extrinsic reasons like an article suggested "one little thing you can do for the environment" instead of intrinsic, say they can't think of anything. I conclude that reducing polluting is skills you learn, not a target you reach. As with all skills, mastery brings joy, self-awareness, satisfaction, and expectation of more success through more practice. Alexandra has been mastering these skills for decades and shows mastery in this episode. How does mastery show in sustainability? In this case, I heard her having fun, connecting with people, learning, and enjoying the process. When last we heard from her, she shared how much she loved a particular hummus. She and her husband ate a container a day. A plastic container, that is, meaning a pile of plastic that would exist for centuries, maybe millennia, before breaking down. Yet anyone can make hummus. Why not her? She could get the ingredients as well as anyone, maybe better ones. She committed to making hummus from scratch. The challenge resonated with me since avoiding packaged food started my journey of acting, which led to finding pressure cooking chick peas beat the texture and flavor of canned. Plus my mom makes amazing hummus and baba ganoush. Alexandra shares how she got advice from me and a chef friend for her results.

451: Alexandra Paul, part 1: A Genuine Celebrity Role Model


I saw a TEDx talk on population where the speaker spoke thoughtfully and persuasively on overpopulation. I consider the topic among the most important on the environment, yet nearly no one talks about it, so I had to find out who she was and invite her to the podcast. She turned out to be a huge celebrity. Most people who talk about population are academics, at least in my experience. They know the facts but tend to present them abstractly. Who was this Alexandra Paul? You could see from her bio that she's acted in movies and television. She cohosts the Switch4Good podcast on veganism with an Olympic athlete. She's also finished Iron Man triathlons and been arrested for non-violent civil disobedience. She's genuine, authentic, and mission-driven. Where others lecture or tell others what to do, she smiles and does it herself. If I hadn't met her, I wouldn't have believed she existed. She does and here's the conversation with her.

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