Transcript: Podcast with Andrea Learned | Climate Influence

Below is the transcript from the interview with Andrea Learned! This transcript was generated by AI and lightly edited. Please listen to the full episode to experience the content in its native form.

AL - Andrea Learned, AMW - Awoe Mauna-Woanya

Andrea Learned (AL): I'm always saying, if we could get more city leaders to ride an e-bike on whatever existing infrastructure that city has. HO right for a couple of blocks in downtown they would embed with why they have to make safer for infrastructure. So to your point it's you have to experience it and maybe going back to that advertising and marketing seven times thing like you experience it was then maybe you go home that weekend and you see a lime bike parked near your house and you're like, Oh, right, I'll do it again. So. We all as influencers on the street or at leadership level get loud about the stuff that's working. I find joy in the bike riding. I find joy in the plant based vegan lifestyle, I find joy. And so I'm very happy to talk about it and share whatever. I'm not going to beat you over the head with it. I am a safe space just to be a safe space for sharing your joy.

Awoe (AMW): Welcome to Fostering our Earth, a space for imagining and detailing what a sustainable future really looks like. I'm your host Awoe and in this series I interview practitioners who are working to create this future in their own fields, whether energy, mobility, food, housing, and so much more. In today's episode, we explore some of the mechanics behind social media and mobilizing for climate action. You're listening to this podcast because you care about climate or are curious about what our sustainable future could actually look like. This future won't happen on its own, and it takes intentional and collective action by all of us to make it a reality. So today we're going to talk about the idea of climate influence. And to do so, I am joined by climate media relations expert Andrea Learned. Andrea hosts Living Change A Quest for Climate Leadership. It's a podcast about the enthusiastic, hopeful and fun stories of leaders using their work or business ventures to help shift the social norms around leadership. For me, it's really cool to see folks who make the decisions practicing what they preach. Andrea has guest such as Robin Lewis, a state delegate from my home in Baltimore, Maryland, and she shares about her own experience living car free in Baltimore. In our conversation, we talk about the role individual action plays in our fight for a sustainable future. And if you're in a position of power, how you can display more climate influence in your work. I've used the term climate influence a few times already, so at the risk of losing anyone. Let's jump in and start with Andrea telling us a bit about herself, her work, and explaining what exactly climate influence is.

AL: Yeah. Well, I'll start with what motivates me, and that is that I started riding a bike for transportation in the nineties when I was living in Portland. Yeah, that song is about me living in Portland in the nineties and I started riding a bike for transportation, not for climate, not for health, but out of just practicality. And I didn't want a park and all that. Didn't think about climate at all. Fast forward, I'd gotten into sustainability and sustainability communications. I also wrote a book on marketing to women. That led me to thinking about the way people make decisions. And then it led to women as leaders, but then it led to what are the qualities about women leaders that make them really good at sustainability decisions? So it is all connected. But fast forward to 2015. I was in communication, strategy and social media engagement work and I did some work with the We mean Business Coalition during COP 21 that year leading up to that and big that year was that whole idea of cities for climate. And I was like, Well, there must be some bike angle. There wasn't. And so that was the year that I was just like, okay, I'm going to start the hashtag bikes number four climate. That was really when I was like, Oh my gosh, this thing I've been doing for forever aligns with me being in sustainability and climate which I had been for several years, and I had not made the connection. So that's where it all starts. The podcast comes about kind of after I went vegan and then and again went vegan. And I guess when you say vegan, it usually means that you did it for the animals. So I'll back up and say I went plant based for health and fitness reasons, mainly because I was like, why am I not all the way plant based? Because I'm very and as soon as I went that I was like, I understood so much more about it. And then I started understanding the animal connection. So everything that I've done in this space is sort of been backwards. It's not the way you think. But ultimately what's happened is the biking and the, you know, the veganism and then talking to these leaders more about affordable housing, especially in the L.A. area, I was like, oh, my gosh, affordable housing is climate action. So so this is this is kind of how it all kind of came about. And then because really the the interesting thing is because of the vegan ism, I met other people who were vegan and one of them was one of the founders at LARJ media, which is the studio that produces my podcast, Living Change, which the subtitle or the whatever you call it, is a quest for climate leadership. And that means I'm not going out talking to the usual suspects who are always on all the other podcasts about climate leadership. Like the same usually many, many white men on stage at cops. Right. Or during Climate Week. I'm talking to, as we were talking about earlier on, kind of surprising validators or kind of not the usual suspects. These are these local leaders. These are, you know, pretty well known streaming DJ based in Seattle who has a vegan restaurant. And that's that means every single person is a fan of his visit. Seattle is going to go there and they might have their first vegan meal. It also means, you know, interviewing Steve Vitolo, who I met through the Hollywood Climate Summit, my friends there, you know, a writer and director and entertainment industry who saw that printing scripts was ridiculous and came up with an app and script tation. So I talked with political leaders and cultural leaders and a couple of corporate leaders about how they kind of like me, right, were living change their own values. And that started to really impact their policies and their decision making for their work or their ventures. You know what they were going to, what restaurants they were going to open or the policies that they were going to forward, etc., etc.. So living change became kind of a theme for me, and that also kind of plays off of another one that I've been using for a while, which is climate influence and who has climate influence. Lots of campaigns are based on kind of consumers. You know, at that level, what I'm looking at is looking at leaders, people with influence as human beings, you know, what are they doing as human beings and how that translates. And then right how they engage more with consumers on it or how consumers at the advocacy level are also sort of supporting them to do it. So climate influence is something I think we all have, but my podcast really focuses on those who have platforms in any kind of niche sector, how they're using it and how being public about being vegan or riding a bike for local transportation, or maybe they decide to fly less or etc. etc.. Being public about those things and building community kind of engagement around it is a huge part of influence and you can like ten times it, you know, so that you had a lot of questions. I think that's a good kind of broad based answer.

AMW: Okay, so. Climate influences the idea that people can use their platform or a position of power to influence others towards making better climate decisions. Andrea's work highlights climate influence in leaders. For me, I can't help but think that leaders displaying their climate influence is the embodiment of the phrase be the change you wish to see in the world. To that, my first question is why individuals should care about our actions. Climate impacts are systemic, capitalistic and heck, there are fossil fuel companies actively polluting way more than any one individual. Why should we care about our own actions? And do we as individuals have any ability to influence climate? Let's hear what Andrea has to say about this.

AL: Yeah, I think that you do. Because if I will say, even if no one in my neighborhood knew that I was in climate, they are very much watching me e-bike back and forth wherever I'm going. And so I think a lot of them, frankly, didn't even know that I was in climate. But I have already gotten like ten more people in my neighborhood have bought an e-bike because of me. Same thing with the veganism. So I could be the first vegan, which is surprising in a city like Seattle, but I could be like the first vegan they come across, right? Who comes to a restaurant and goes, Oh dang, I have to eat like steamed spinach again because there's nothing on the menu. And then it starts a conversation so everybody can have. If you're living sort of firmly living your values and being really comfortable with it, it's a safe space for your friends or people that come across you to go, Hey, oh, you're vegan. Hey, how's that work? Or whatever I have again, given like here's a great starter cookbook or whatever to all sorts of people who are kind of vaguely interested. They know I'm not going to pressure them. I'm a safe space. I'm creating a safe space by being visible, doing these changes and being welcoming and answering questions and then sending them resources. All of us can do that.

AMW: I love that and I think I really like that. Takes this idea that our connections and our networks are powerful, you know? And like, that's how really I guess that's that's the definition of what grassroots means. You know, it's like it's starting at the local level. Like the smallest unit is one person, you know, but one person. And you see your neighbors, they see you on that e-bike. They're like, wait a minute. Like, I could also be on a bike. And I see the conversation you had with Bowen Ma and. Yes. And it's like, oh, they they see you riding your bike and going past traffic. They're like, wait a minute. Like, I could also be doing that. Like, it's that subtle influence or inspiration that you get. With each other, you know?

AL: Well, and also to your point, Bowen and Ma, who is the minister? She's a minister of, I think, climate action and something right now. But at the time I was talking to her was Infrastructure and transportation, more minister in Vancouver, British Columbia. She talked about riding around and being more accessible. Her constituents saw her right and could stop her on the street. And that is all to say that, again, the leaders, local leaders, can be seen as human beings riding their bike around town more accessible. So the leaders, by virtue of this, make themselves more accessible as humans. And then that climate influence is both in terms of impacting their peers to maybe make a difference and in on the street level conversations with constituents. Absolutely. Yeah. Sounds of great points. And one of the questions is actually going to be like, what does visibility look like? Is it just again, you go back to the idea of riding your bike down the street just because it's so, you know, on my mind, like if you're riding your bike down the street, people see you. But that's also just a small percentage of people seeing you. If you take a selfie with you riding your bike to work or to the grocery store and you post it on Twitter or on some social media, you have the potential to have thousands of people see that and normalize that. You know, so like visibility looks like many different things on different platforms and even just talking about it to, you know, just bring it up like, oh yeah, as I was walking to X whatever place or right talking, engaging in this, this whole idea of normalization. Well, what I was going to say, because you made me think a couple of points I want to make, I think there is a there is some sort of rule in advertising or messaging that a lot of advertising marketing people will know. And that is something like people have to see the message or get an indication of the message like seven times for it to get right. So what if every time they look at you or a couple of times a month, they look at your social media and they see that you've ridden a bike or whatever that adds to when they've read a story about uptake of e-bikes in Denver or whatever. It all adds to that marketing message. So you can contribute to being the seven times before that thing finally settles in for people. That's one point. My other point is the other thing we're working on is changing social norms is we need to change the perceived social norm, right? So it's not the scientific number where the social norm, the trips over or whatever, it's that. Well, all the politicians I follow seem to be riding their bikes. Right. You could be following too, but it looks like a lot of politicians ride their bikes because the ones who you're following are doing it. So I am all in favor of talking about this in terms of we need three corporate leaders to get louder about plant based. We need a couple of politicians at every level to just be seen riding a bike that switches the social norm that also makes their peers go, I want some publicity. I'm going to maybe start doing that. I mean, literally so perceived social norm and then thinking about a message and advertising or branding message being seen seven times and being a part of like the two times that add up to the seven.

AMW: So Andrea talks a lot about the perception of social norms and especially with social media. We have so much power and so much of potential and ability to carry our voices far. In addition to Andrea seven times exposure rule, there's another figure that comes to mind. Three and a half percent research by political scientist Erica Chenoweth found that nonviolent movements require the active participation of at least three and a half percent of a population in order to achieve serious political change. Now, these aren't hard and fast rules, rather, that they remind us that our influence can move the needle. And if enough of us move the needle, we can be loud and we can make a difference. Now let's get back to the conversation where I ask who is a leader and what does it mean to be a leader? So a lot of your work is with leaders, folks who are in elected positions or in, you know, CEOs of their companies or just like leadership positions in organizations. A lot of my approach, is I want everyone to think that I have a say in this. And so my next question is what qualities makes someone a climate leader? Can we all be leaders and maybe even changing our definition of what a leader is? And yeah, so let's start there.

AL: Well, I was actually going to say the thing that I use, because even the people I've interviewed, you know, I think for the first season of living change, we've got, I think maybe two or three more, three or more episodes to come out. Five or six are political leaders, the others are corporate leaders, and then a couple of cultural leaders. I use the term influencer again, to your point, redefine that. Right. So you could be a corporate leader, you know, on paper. But the point I'm looking for is, are you influencing? And so it's it's influence. So everyone can be an influencer. Anyone on the street, right? I'm an influencer. You're an influencer. You've got say you've got, you know, 20 people following you on Twitter. I don't know. Right. You can absolutely have an impact on them. Two things. One is that I think a lot of people don't use social media in a way to really engage and grow kind of conversation. And that's a key point that I make with anybody who wants to be an influencer. It is not broadcast messaging, right? So it isn't like I rode my bike today. Today I ate plant based where you just post that stuff. It's like, oh my gosh, this was such a great meal at What's a Magic Restaurant? Did anyone else eat there recently? Right. And then you pull in conversation and everyone goes on and on, right? Or I had a great bike ride to wherever has anyone else written the bike share or whatever or and this is something I think a lot of people miss in terms of building community and again, growing your influence You have to be if you're on LinkedIn, say, or Twitter or whatever platform, the point is to go to other people's posts and make comments and engage. And that's a thing that so many people miss. And and one more thing I know I'm probably the only person you're going to talk to you for your podcast. You talk so much. So this is great. So what is that? I've written in the past and I can give you this link if it helps. I wrote for Green Biz, I think in 2017 the five L's of Twitter leadership. And it will apply to any platform. So I'm sorry that Twitter has to be in the title necessarily, but one of the things is that I say you have to listen. You know, and learn. So you could just be watching your LinkedIn stream and kind of going, Oh, that's interesting. Look who's talking or whatever. Then you're taking stuff in, you're learning. The third thing I talk about is loving up, and that is not focusing on yourself but going, you know, great point, whoever or wonderful piece by this media person and making sure to tag all these people. You become a convener and a curator and everyone starts to follow you. Right. And if you're authentically engaging with other people stuff, they're going to want to follow you. So there's a real kind of love and building community aspect that makes anyone an influencer. You know, that I think a lot of people are lacking and I may say this kind of as a person who's older than 50, right, speaking with younger people like you, I think that older people have more trouble with it because they think they've got to be professional and all buttoned up. Right. Whereas younger people are more used to like cheering people on. I mean, I think the younger generation really is more inclined to cheer each other on and kind of help elevate one another. Whereas older generations, for some reason, it seems, think that it's more professional to be all buttoned up. And I that's never been my thing. Yeah. And it's proven to be the way that I do. It is pretty great because I have built some influence and I have these wonderful conversations with people doing the same thing. We're really seeing success.

AMW: Yeah. What do you think is you know, I guess we're talking about the challenges of social media. what are some of the biggest challenges, you know, facing climate leaders and organizations on sustainability? And these challenges could be from your interviews with folks, you know, from your work or just like observations you've made. And these challenges could be, like institutional, you know, like this, like logistical. Well, we just can't make our we can't just switch to sustainable materials for everything. It's just it's tough. We can't do that. Or is it more of like a will to do these make these changes? Or maybe it's like the social media side of things, so I'll leave it to you.

AL: Well, I've actually learned, because I've got such a strong will that I think that everyone should just be like you as well. So just go do it right. But then when I've talked with corporate clients, they've been like, Oh, in my dreams I would make all of these changes, right? But policy and this and that and the, you know, the the board won't let us do it that fast or, you know, all of these things. So what are the what are the and it takes for a corporate leader, for example, they have to just sort of keep their eye on a really long game, right? Because all of the short games will be like up against brick walls. So they have to keep learning. Okay. If I nudge this change a little bit in transportation emissions, right? Or if I nudge this change a little bit in a food policy change, is that going to be allowable? Right. Will they will that be enough of a win for the people that decide that we can make it happen? And so they're nudging things slowly. I'm the one who's always like just, you know, bowl everyone over. So I've learned a ton from talking with corporate leaders. The other thing is I don't back to I don't think a lot of corporate leaders are actually looking up and noticing that there's some real innovation going on and people are actually moving a lot faster and they should get on the bus, you know? And I think that. So all of that is also related to this is the way it's always been done and being kind of not privately, you know, but being publicly owned like in having to deal with all that. And so just the there is the capitalism argument versus, you know, doing making greener or more sustainable decisions. And the. Most innovative kind of sustainability leaders that I've talked to or any CEO that's in this space has been able to very much make the case. So, yes, this is in our businesses best interest to move in this direction. Absolutely right. Think about clean energy. Right. So it's ABS as you look at it, if you're looking at five years from now. Hello. Right. Yeah. And so. So you I think it's getting harder to say that it's not in our shareholders best interests to move in this direction because it's just like it's a it's a total duh. You know, looking forward, it's like, yeah, I think it's probably pretty smart for companies to start really dealing with clean energy. So things are shifting, but the people inside corporations with these really great kind of jobs that have a lot of impact have to be very careful and really be strategic in how slowly and the framing and how they do stuff. Right. And then again, in corporations, I see a lot of like this is how the messaging has always been done and this is how events have always been done. And this is the kind of media we're always looking for. And there's a lot of this is the way it's always been done and this is the structure and this is the establishment and whatever. And people are not pushing back the way they should. Again, to go back and we haven't even mentioned the IPCC climate report, that's just like we're in deep trouble. We have to make these changes really fast. And so why on earth right would anyone not get bolder about, say, you have made changes? A lot of corporations are shy to say that they're on the journey because they haven't completed the journey. Right. But the communication, again, is to going to changing perceived social norms so that if you're seen at any point starting to make a change, that's fantastic. And that will get you some good press. Right. As long as you're not, you know, fossil fuel companies, you know, being sponsoring climate events and then go to digging for oil that's a whole other thing. But if you are clearly on a journey. You should be loud about the fact that you are on their journey, not trying to keep it scripted or the way you've always done things. I think you've got to break out and try and, you know, use podcast better. I could go on and on, but that brings a joy. That brings up some thoughts for you. Oh, yeah, totally. And you know, this this first idea of, not doing things the way we've always done it.

AMW: You know, according to this IPCC report, we really need to shift everything, you know, our consumption culture, the way we consume everything. We're over extractive and just everything, you know. our future for us to get to this future that we want, you know, we need to change a lot. And to do that, it requires like making the decision to take steps, you know, in the different directions. And so I'm totally with you.

AL: And like it takes individuals to do that. It takes organizations to do that. And yeah, it takes I mean, again, I'm going to go back to the leaders, the human beings who are in these corporations. They are humans. Yes. Right. So they should be listening to their values. And that's why I talk about living change. They listen to the values in there that are embedded in their DNA and go, okay, I'm going to do anything I can to help push this one little thing forward with this corporation that I work for in order to push this forward. And this is the thing. The urgency of this and the reason that I work in the leadership space more is because they can reverberate and make and kind of affect social norms of leadership, which then trickle down faster. Right. So we've been really focusing on campaigns and advocacy groups and whatever for years. Right, advocacy to get more people biking, advocacy for people to do more plant based eating that it's that it's fine and it's wonderful. It just has not worked fast enough. And that's my call now. And that's why I only want to I mean, why only why I really zero in on leaders with platforms who are visible because those maybe it's just five people, right? Those five people are the ones that we can all rally around and amplify and make it look as if it's the social norm So we don't need that many people. We need the people who are doing it to be louder and to show us what political will looks like.

AMW: Absolutely. Andrea's making a lot of really good points. And just to add on to that, for our listeners who work within corporations and companies, pay attention to how your place of work acts towards climate. What do they value? What do your leaders value? How is it integrated into your mission statement? And if you aren't the public voice for your company or your work, urge an advocate for your company to do more and to be this voice. The IPCC calls for us to make drastic changes to the way we live our lives. So it's important we advocate in all areas of our lives, whether it's our place of work to our friends and to our family with our votes. And so, yeah, we can make a difference. I want to talk a little bit about breakthrough moments. Aha moments. In your conversation with John Richards. You're talking about the language of, you know, not just vegan, but plant based. And once you start going plant based, you know, eventually it sort of it doesn't have to be this 100%. From this day forward, I'll never eat meat ever again. It's like, okay, let's cut it back. And then like, before you know you just want to transition even more, you know? And but that's something that comes through doing, you know, you experience it by doing it. If someone tells you, you're like, it's still hard, but you have to still have to do it. And that's a breakthrough moment. That's someone and you like realizing that. Are there any sort of aha or breakthrough moments that you've seen happen for leaders to leaders or organizations? And how could we, inspire more of those breakthroughs? And the reason I ask Like intentionally inspiring aha moment is because when I heard you both talking about that and it's it becomes easier my own fears of switching to a plant based video. I'm like, it will get easier. you do your meatless Monday. You know, I think that's one start. And then maybe two days a week, maybe only when you eat out, but then it just by practicing it that you get, you know, if if that makes sense.

AL: Yes. Well, my whole thing is on on you know, I emphasize, you know, bikes and plant based. But I can apply this anywhere. But for bikes and plant based, it's self perpetuating. Right. So if you start to ride your bike for local trips two miles or less. On a beautiful spring day in L.A.. Right. Or I mean, I know L.A. is a whole other thing because it's a mess. But with even existing not so. People that aren't in L.A. can probably ride, figure out a route where they can ride a two mile radius or something to go to the library to do whatever. So if you start doing that and just go, you know what? This week I'm going to ride my bike to the library, right? If you start to do that, then you're going to be like, Oh my goodness, I can ride my kids to school because it's too much. You know, itself perpetuates because you feel the joy, you feel the health, you feel more connected to your community because you're riding down the street. Same thing with the veganism. And again, right, the words don't matter as much to me in this movement. I totally it's legit. You know, people come to it from animal welfare. I totally agree with that. I'm looking at people who are so resistant to this idea of plant based. If you start to eat plant based. And I will say that Alex Fish, for example, told me that after talking to me on the podcast, he was like, I'm convinced he's like, I'm going to take my family meatless Mondays. And I was like, like, that's right. That's the influence. If you start to do that and you are aware at all of your body very, very quickly, your body will be like, Hello, I am healthier. I am. I love this. Right? Right. Your workouts are better. There will be no denying that. It's really smart for you to eat less dairy. Right? There's going to be no denying that. It's really your body is going to be like, yay, when you eat less meat. It just is unbelievable. And so part of what I was saying, I think I said it to John and he's excellent. I mean, anyone listening to us talk, please listen to my podcast, sort of like Richards is the John Richards is the first one that he is a very recognized independent music DJ on KEXP, a station that's based here, but streams globally and has listeners all over that. I'm a big volunteer for that, so I could make that connection. But talking with John, it's not. And anyone who's in this, it isn't about forcing the issue. It's about getting you started. So you were talking about breakthrough moments, maybe don't see stuff as a breakthrough moment, see it as a little nudge, a little nudge nudge, right. And you just get somebody to meet you at John's Bar. Life on Mars for a plant, for fun, a plant-based happy hour. And they're like, Oh, this plant based burger isn't that bad. It would be the first time that they tried it or whatever, right? This is. Or people say something like that. Ebike is cool when I'm like unlocking it at the grocery store or something and I'll be like, Yeah, this is I'll say this, the store you should go to is at this. I'll give them exactly like 87th and whatever. Right. Or I'll say if somebody I know a little bit, I'll be like, You want to take a ride on a, you know, a real quick ride? That's the other thing is a demo. And I'm always saying, if we could get more city leaders to ride an e-bike on whatever existing infrastructure that city has. HO right for a couple of blocks in downtown they would embed with why they have to make safer for infrastructure. So to your point it's you have to experience it and maybe going back to that advertising and marketing seven times thing like you experience it was then maybe you go home that weekend and you see a lime bike parked near your house and you're like, Oh, right, I'll do it again. So. We all as influencers on the street or at leadership level get loud about the stuff that's working. I find joy in the bike riding. I find joy in the plant based vegan lifestyle, I find joy. And so I'm very happy to talk about it and share whatever. I'm not going to beat you over the head with it. I am a safe space just to be a safe space for sharing your joy. Speaking of music through KEXP and John, probably specifically his morning show, I got very familiar Idle's band, which is a band out of Bristol, UK. They had an album a couple back and the title is Joy as an Act of Resistance. And I took that in. And I want to make T-shirts, and that is my whole and I put that out there someplace. And I actually got a label kind of there was a fundraising thing for KEXP, and I put that on the thing that I put on the outside of the building. Hash tag joy is an act of resistance, because I think that that is the phrase right for right now. Think about it. All the stuff that's going down in the US, especially nightmare joy, is an act of resistance. Hang out with your buddies listening to music, right? Go for bike rides. The solidarity and joy from bike riding. The solidarity and joy from like going to see a show. The solidarity and joy from going, oh my goodness, plant based food is great. Who knew? So joy is an act of resistance is my tagline. And I got it from Idles and they are based in Bristol, UK and their music is amazing.

AMW: I love it when you get the shirts made.

AL: Let me know I like to do that because I'm just I keep saying it and I'm like, I just need to do that. Because I think that's the other reason that people I've heard feedback from my podcast and it's the energy and enthusiasm with which I'm talking to these people because they're inspiring me. I am legitimately and authentically excited about the promise of kind of what they're talking about and that what they say. And talking to me for the podcast is that they get off the call and they're like, Oh, right. They're more energized because they catch my enthusiasm as kind of an outsider. And it just, again, it self-perpetuating. So doing things like what you're doing with this podcast, we talk to each other, right? We make a little space and a little piece of content that's like, Oh, this is fun and this is change and artist people great That's going to make other people see the same and celebrate the same.

AMW: Oh, yeah, absolutely. Very last question. a lot of my listeners may not directly see themselves in the climate space. Like they're like, I am a med student, I am a doctor, I am just a lawyer. I'm a gym instructor, a yoga instructor, you know, whatever. It's like, what does climate exactly have to do with me? But they're interested. They're like their thought. Their interest is piqued and they're like. I hear about this and I was talking to folks about this the other day, too, just like and they're like, I'm just a software engineer. Like, what does this have to do with me? You know? And but I but I am interested. how can we connect climate action and sustainable living to just our everyday lives and professions like sort of regardless of what you're doing? And do you have any suggestions for listeners who want to get involved or learn more but are exactly sure where to start?

AL: Well, one of the things I've learned from the podcast and from other stuff is that I can say, Go listen to my podcast, you'll love it. But really what I do is I say I kind of identify that this person I am talking to is going to be really excited by the city leaders I talk to. So I'll say a specific episode, right? So I'll say, Alex, first you have to listen. Alex, but what I would say with regard to climate is don't go. Are you interested in climate? What are you doing about climate and sustainability? Go right to a specific thing, right? Maybe for the data or the tech people, it's like, did you know that the clean energy with the data banks or whatever is is a really interesting topic. Go Google that and see who's working on that and get behind them. Right. So it's pick the thing. Did you or you've got people in L.A., right? Which is one of the reasons I've talked with a lot of people down there. I've been involved with Livable Communities Initiative, amazing group as well is is your commute you know three you know I'm going to exaggerate 3 hours to get to work and 3 hours to get back or whatever is your commute. You know, what is Climate Action Transit, right. Are you noticing transit? Are you voting for political leaders who are affording transit? So pick the topic that is really impacting their life at the moment and connect the dots to how that's climate and tell them to get involved with supporting transit because that's climate, right? And that's also the way that they'll find lots of super cool people on whatever social platform they're on and then they can have more fun on whatever social platform will still exist by the time this episode is even aired. Right? It's so don't call it climate or sustainability writ large. Call it oh, transportation. Active transportation as a phrase. Right. Or transit or affordable housing. Talk about the stuff that you know is really impacting that person one on one's life. And that's going to be their entree into learning more and getting excited about it. And then kind of their view of everything will change from there. Wow. I love it. I love it. And I honestly like what you're saying now, you know, sort of picking these words, whereas picking words but like practices here, whether it is transit or affordable housing or even food like each of these is how we connect with people because it impacts our lives and it kind of goes back to circling back to at the very top its sustainability, be climate change. This is better practices for all of us, you know, and it's not always about climate. I mean, climate action is it's the crisis. We're dealing with it, but it just makes our world a better place, you know. Yeah, well, you just the thing is, is you need everyone needs one very feeling small kind of thing that they can connect with. And so we always are doing these big statements and whatever and people are like, I can't even deal with, you know, getting out of bed in the morning. So it's just like, well, when you get out of bed, would you rather get on a bike than whatever? So shrinking it down to and again, I'm going to say that is that appeals to the humans who are supposedly air quotes, leaders or influencers. But also, I think all of us have to remember that the people that we perceive or who are supposedly by title leaders, they are human beings too. And so we need to call them to action as human beings with values. Right. And then also celebrate it when they reflect that they're human beings with values and have them keep doing that as their being a leader. So the human values like it impacts at any level, you know, at grassroots, but also as leaders. And and the thing that's going to move this needle faster is when we all dial into the one or two little things that really kind of bug us in our own lives, and then how we go out from there with our work or whatever we're up to.

AMW: I love it. I love it. I love it. Andrea, thank you so much for such a wonderful conversation. Literally, like I'm here learning so much like this is what I'm trying to do and I'm like, Well, this is great. I should be like taking notes and everything, but this is fantastic.

AL: This was a really fun conversation and I will definitely share it and I'm going to do my Plug Living Change podcast. If you look it up on any of your platforms, just kind of search on living, change, climate, and it should pop right up or you can go to Living Change podcast dot com. That's my where drop on my site and you'll see if you don't listen to podcasts, all of the links will be you can embed and just listen to it right there. Anyway, I really appreciate this and I just I'm excited for your podcast and for your community to build that. I'm really thrilled that I was one of their early guests.

AMW: Absolutely. Thank you again. All right, folks. That's it for this episode of Fostering Our Earth. I hope you enjoyed and learn something new about how you can leverage your own climate influence. For more, subscribe to our bi weekly newsletter. Where I continue our exploration of the various components for our sustainable future. You can also find fostering our Earth on Instagram. And don't forget to rate and review us wherever you're listening and feel free to hit me up if you have any thoughts. Until next time, keep fostering your earth today for a better future tomorrow.

Join the conversation

or to participate.