Marie was just introduced to me by another interviewee, Eve, and I’ve loved learning about what she does. As founder of Green Heart Works in Monterey, CA, Marie specializes in green education and inspiration, writing eco-stories, developing green workshops and eco-tours, and working on her upcoming book. I can’t wait to meet her someday!
What or who inspires you most? I find the Dalai Lama to be a constant source of inspiration. His optimism, compassion and sense of humor serve as a model for all of us to follow.
What do you turn to when you need strength? Yoga is my source of strength, renewal, balance and inner peace.
How can women best support and/or empower other women? When women gather together in art circles, spiritual circles or to work together in business, they can affirm and support each other by providing feedback, encouragement and a collaborative network.
What do you love to grow? What would you like to try growing someday? I love to grow kale, heirloom tomatoes, and herbs (rosemary, sage and thyme). I have been fortunate to have had a healthy crop of apricots this past year. I would love to grow Persian cucumbers, but the gophers seems to get to them before I can.
What are your creative outlets? Is there anything you’ve always wanted to try but you haven’t? I write poetry and take photographs while hiking or enjoying a walk on the beach. I love experimenting with recycled materials and being crafty at home. I’d love to do more painting (water color) and assembling of hand-made books.
In what environment(s) do you feel most in your element? I love being at the beach or on hiking trails, especially in Big Sur or in Carmel Valley.
Who are your top three nonprofits you support and/or volunteer with and why?
Save Our Shores – They do a tremendous job of doing beach and watershed cleanups in the Monterey Bay Region
TOP – The Offset Project – This organization is for hire to make your event a zero-waste event, with recycling and composting services.
TEDxMonterey – I am helping them a fabulous event for April 2013.
What recent “green” change have you made in your own life? What’s next? I am dedicated to bringing green education to a larger audience, from curriculum I have created for the community college level, to workshops, classes and eco-tours I am developing for both locals and visitors to the Monterey Bay Region. I will be developing a larger reach through eco-stories I am writing and with an on-line presence with my web site and book, Green Heart Works, based on a philosophy of the necessity of compassion and sustainability in our world.
Where in the world do you consider a sanctuary? Why? The Monterey Bay is a Marine sanctuary, and we just celebrated 20 years of it being recognized as such. The Monterey Bay Canyon is deeper than the Grand Canyon and contains an incredibly diverse eco-system. I also love the Southwest and have spent time recently visiting some of the Native American pueblos, whose land is very sacred and is ritually honored through traditional ceremonies and festivals.
What advice would you give to your younger self? I would recommend cultivating a passion that can be developed into a professional occupation.
How can we as a society be more radical in supporting a healthy planet? We need to engage in a very deliberate, responsible way and recognize the urgency of committing to changes in our lifestyles: from how we use energy and water to our consumption and waste. I would recommend for people to look at the information available on 350.org to better understand the urgency for our collective commitment to sustainability.
What sparked your interest in environmental issues? What’s the first “eco” thing you ever did? I have always loved and respected nature, so that’s hard to say. I recall bundling and recycling newspapers as a kid, recycling cans, etc.
How do you live simply? I support my community by shopping at the local farmers’ markets. My daughter and I prefer vintage and recycled to new. We enjoy making homemade gifts, cooking from scratch, enjoying our local environment and leaving as light a footprint as possible.
Could you leave us with a favorite quote of yours? “When we come to it, We must confess that We are the possible, We are the miraculous, The true wonder of this world, That is when, and only when We come to it.” ~ Maya Angelou