What work do you do? What’s your job title?
I’m the founder and CEO of Portovert Magazine.
How does it relate to the environment?
Portovert is the first and only eco-savvy wedding magazine. We share inspirational tips and ideas on ways to have a stylish and sustainable event. You’ll find a mix of DIY projects reusing found objects, information on new “green” products, and ways to reduce overall consumption.
Portovert.com is more than a magazine — it’s a comprehensive event resource. We recently partnered with NativeEnergy to launch the exclusive wedding carbon calculator, which you’ll find on our homepage. We feature a Responsible Resource guide of sustainable vendors in the United States. You’ll find that list expanding globally over the next few months. We’ll soon be offering a free classifieds service where people can recycle their wedding dresses, bridesmaid dresses, wedding props, and more. We’re most excited about the chat room, which will be launching next month, where readers can exchange their own ideas on ways to go green.
Portovert is a faux French word that means “gateway to green.” In many cultures, a bride and groom must pass under an arch to symbolize the new path the couple is embarking on together. Portovert helps couples make that path a little greener.
What are you working on at the moment? Any major projects?
Our next big project celebrates World Environment Day (WED) in June. June is, arguably, the most popular month to tie the knot among U.S. couples. We’ll be sharing ways June brides (and grooms) can reduce their global impact. Among the festivities: free carbon-neutral rides for brides and grooms in New York City. We’ve partnered with the Manhattan Rickshaw Company to make tux-clad pedicabbies available for N.Y. couples looking to reduce their carbon footprint.
How do you get to work?
I work from home — and I advocate telecommuting. Everyone that works on Portovert Magazine works from their little corner of the world.
Photo: Conrad Erb Photography
What environmental offense has infuriated you the most?
Greenwashing. Right now there is an increased awareness about our environmental crisis fueled by films like An Inconvenient Truth. Based on public interest, there is currently a media frenzy to find “green” stories, and businesses are responding in full force by generating press releases based on nothing more than creative spin. Press releases are being published as news without any substantial investigation into the environmental impacts of these products or services.
Who is your environmental hero?
Probably not one you’ve heard here before: Walt Disney. I was fascinated by Disney World as a child — and not by the roller coasters or the flume ride. It was the monorail and people mover that sparked my imagination. I was seven when Epcot opened, but I remember my grandmother fervently talking about Disney’s original vision for a planned community with no cars. The Epcot I enjoyed was a theme park — a far cry from Disney’s original vision — but Listen to the Land, a ride through the future of hydroponics, still managed to do for me what Disney’s concept did for my grandmother. I was fascinated by science and by “smart” living, and it was Disney World that fueled that fascination.
How do you spend your free time (if you have any)?
Evening walks with my husband and my two rescue dogs, Lulu Belle (a Lab mix) and Charlie (a 90-pound Aussie mix) are the highlight of my day.
What’s your favorite meal?
I strongly believe in eating on a local level. Recently, I’ve found myself longing for a simple favorite from Vancouver: fish and chips — and salted sea asparagus!
Which stereotype about environmentalists most fits you?
I dig solar power.
What’s your favorite place or ecosystem?
If you could institute by fiat one environmental reform, what would it be?
Enforcing the 100-mile diet. Most food in North America travels 1,500 miles or more. A recent study by Alex Murray, a professor of environmental studies at York University, concluded that imported vegetables have almost three times the ecological impact of locally grown hothouse vegetables, even when added energy costs are factored in. And there are other benefits to eating locally: food that is eaten shortly after being picked packs more nutrients. And eating on a local level supports rural economies.
What’s your favorite TV show?
Men in Trees.
If you could have every InterActivist reader do one thing, what would it be?
Brake for abandoned animals. I keep dog treats, spare collars, and leashes in my car.