Patty has a guest today! Join her as she talks with Lynn Trotta about eco-guilt. What’s that? It’s that feeling we get as we become aware that we’re contributing to issues regarding the climate. This isn’t about blame, or shame or adding to the guilt.
It’s about learning how to relate to our world on a positive, meaningful way. Lynn shares how to be in alignment with the planet as we head into the holidays. She gives 7 tips and suggestions that anyone can do to be eco-conscious with zero guilt.
Learn the difference between making good choices instead of feelings of guilt. Lynn shares some great gift ideas that are eco-friendly (and luxurious!) Don’t miss the tips that anyone can do to take a step towards zero-waste.
Patty asks Lynn to share her definition of wealth and purpose. You’ll find her answers inspiring! Her final tip will nourish your soul and help us all feel more connected to the earth.
Welcome to the wealth and purpose podcast where people who are led by their hearts come to learn the secrets to creating wealth in a way that feels really good and live their purpose fully in the process. I’m your host, Patty Lennon. I’m an ex type-a corporate banker, turned intuitive business coach. I’m also a wife, a mom to two pre-teens, a professor, girl scout leader and well Hey, you get it. Like you I wear a lot of hats, whether you’re looking for inspiration to get started or strategies to get growing. I am here to help you create abundance in every area of your life in business. Welcome.
Hey everyone, I have a guest. I am so excited to introduce you to you today. For a few reasons. So last week I talked about holiday health for over givers and I’m continuing on that theme with this week’s guest. We’re going to talk about how to go into the holidays and navigate the holidays without having eco guilt. And my expert today is just so fantastic at speaking about this. She put a post up on social media and just said, “how many of you are suffering from eco guilt?” and that one question just like hit me in the heart and I was like, I have to have you on the podcast, Lynn. Now before I introduce Lynn, I want to tell you if you have been listening all along since this podcast started, you actually know Lynn, you just didn’t realize you know her because I’ve talked about her on different podcasts.
So if you heard the podcast where I talked about the deer dying in our yard and me seeking help from my wise friend who’s very connected to earth wisdom, that was Lynn. If you heard the episode where I finally asked for help repurposing a piece of artwork that I had done as a child that my parents loved, when was that friend that came and helped me? And if long ago you heard the podcast about my friend who became one of the most organically beautiful mothers I ever knew and yet could not agree that she was pregnant when she was pregnant and I was the one that got to tell her because I knew it well. That was Lynn too. Lynn has been so many things in my life. It’s really hard to give her a proper introduction. But what I will tell you is if you’ve ever wondered where the good people are, that are taking care of our planet. Lynn is one of them. She is trained with people in indigenous populations to learn what she knows. She has trusted her own instincts and she communes with nature in the most positive way that I’ve ever seen without any of the judgment or um, maybe personal eco terrorism that some of us experience from some of our more ecofriendly friends. With that, I just want to welcome you Lynn. Thank you so much for being here my darling.
I don’t think you’re supposed to make me cry within the first five minutes of the podcast. Thank you so much for having me here and thank you for that very sweet introduction.
Oh my goodness girl, you are one of my loves. Oh, Lynn is also one of my very first paying clients. I forgot that.
Yes, still the best investments I ever made
years and years and years ago. I think it’s 10 years now. Okay Lynn. So you know, why don’t you talk about, I’m curious what prompted you to put that post up on Facebook originally because I just thought it was such (from so many levels) it was such a good post. It was such a good like zing I think for a lot of people. You touched on a pain point, but I know you so resist strategic marketing. So I know we didn’t come from that strategic place. So tell me what prompted that.
Well, I was at a family party a couple of days beforehand and my beloved sister in law, who is not somebody who I would put in the category of very deeply nature connected or, and not in a bad way, it’s just not her, not her mojo. And she was talking about how she had just seen this documentary and she was suddenly feeling all of the emotions that come along with the climate crisis, the current climate situation. And she was saying how every time she throws something away now she feels this awful guilt. And it was a really lovely conversation that we had about how it’s really crossing all sorts of lines right now, right? It’s crossing party lines. It’s crossing religious lines where people are now feeling this emotion of not being able to pretend like everything is okay anymore. And the next day I was honestly curious to see how many people would respond to that. And I was telling somebody yesterday, I thought I invented the word eco guilt, but then after I posted it, I Googled it. And somebody else had used it about a year ago. There was two or three articles written on it, but it just seemed to really fit. And it was the most responses I had ever gotten on a single post. I think it was up to something like 175 comments and pretty rapidly. So that’s, that was the, the cause of all of that.
I love it when I saw it. So background, everyone, I just love how talented and amazing Lynn is. And I’m always pushing her to do more marketing, but she’s, she is connected to the earth. That’s what gives her, um, her juice. And so doing anything that doesn’t come from this like deeply authentic place, which I completely respect. It doesn’t work for Lynn, but there are so many times where I’m like, you gotta tell people this. You got to tell people that. When I saw that post I was like, Oh, it’s opened for you Lynn. So I wanna put my stake in the sand to say I saw it. I saw just like when I saw you were pregnant, you are about to birth, something really miraculous into the world that we all desperately need. And that’s helped navigating these feelings that are coming up around, you know, what is happening, not in the climate, because that’s been happening. It’s something has tipped where people are accepting the reality of it.
And so what do you think is affecting this climate situation?
What do I think is affecting people’s current reactions to it?
Well, I would say politically it’s being talked about in a way that it never has been. And do you think that that’s more because of the extreme occurrences are happening in the climate? Do you think it’s an energetic thing? Do you think Gaia has just risen up and is like taking over because us humans just couldn’t get it together fast enough?
I think in part it’s that when people talked about climate change, it was always something that was going to happen in the future and it was this, you know, this is important and we need to look at it because it’s going to affect our great, great grandchildren. But now it’s, it’s now, right? It’s happening currently and there’s water shortages and there’s intense weather systems and there’s, you know, billions of dollars worth of damage happening to homes and neighborhoods. And it’s not something that we can avoid anymore. And I was thinking about it yesterday. Unfortunately, the eco guilt thing is something that happens in relation to something else. So it’s like when there is a tragic shooting somewhere in the country, there is a really big surge in donations to anti-gun lobbyists and a really big surge in people making phone calls to their local officials, trying to get sensible gun laws put in place.
But then as soon as a day or two goes by, that awareness in the cause to action drops off. And I think it’s similar with what’s happening with the climate crisis, but we’re at this tipping point now. So many things are happening in rapid succession that it’s causing that drop to happen less often and less frequently. And I do think that with all of the information that’s coming and the big news organizations willing to pick it up, like that big publishing of the bird study that happened through Audubon, it hit a lot of people, like even people who aren’t birders. I heard them talking about suddenly all of our birds are in peril and they were concerned about it. So I, I think it’s a lot of different factors, but certainly the visibility of it and affecting our lives directly has a lot to do with it.
You know, I, as you were talking about it, I know the exact moment that thing shifted for me because I mean God bless Lynn. She watches me. I am like, for the longest time I felt that because I recycled that I was doing my part and I think a lot of us did, you know, did our best to like not use plastic. And I replaced all of my Tupperwares as they wore out with glass containers. You know, I thought I was really bringing it and the moment happened for me. I don’t know that I have eco guilt cause I really do work hard not to have guilt and more use an emotion to motivate an action. But it was the moment that I saw and, and I’ll probably, I don’t even have all the details to the story, but when the native American people were protecting, uh, where they wanted to drill the pipeline. That, watching that, that would change everything for me. It gave me, I don’t know what it is, but um, and I wouldn’t say that I’m the most like eco-conscious person in the, in the world, but I changed a lot of behaviors after that because it went from being something that I, before it was doing because it was the right thing and it suddenly became a desire to, not put the burden of this planet on indigenous people that seemed to understand something I didn’t.
So, um, I think for the holidays, like Lynn is so good when she, when she gives me a gift, it always comes in a reusable, uh, gift bag that’s cloth. That’s beautiful. And I think tips like those or some ideas you can give about gifting would be really, really helpful for this time of year as I think so many of the people that listen to this who are focused on creating wealth but wanting to do it by aligning with their purpose, they want to be in alignment with the planet and they want to be supporting the climate and the choices they make. What would you say are some of the things that people can do as they go into this holiday season?
So there’s a lot of different things that people can do. And I think that the very first thing that needs to happen is for people to, accept and celebrate the fact that not all gifts need to be physical. And I think people have this desire to give this very physical thing and it comes in a pretty bag and it looks beautiful and then the people can open it. And there’s this experience that happens with the physical gift giving. And the first thing is that people need to choose that it still feels good to give somebody a gift that might not be something physical. If it’s something like an experience where it’s say movie tickets or a gift certificate to a massage or a day in an escape room or something fun and pleasurable like that is remembering that you’re not just giving a gift in that moment.
You’re giving them memories and people outgrow things and they get thrown away or they get recycled and they get passed on. But what I always remember is when I give the gift of a memory or an experience, that thing they’re going to remember until they’re old and gray. They’re not going to remember the pretty scented candle that you gave them in the moment, it might feel nice and they might appreciate it when they’re using it. And I love candles. I’m not saying that I don’t, but remembering that memory lasts a lot longer than whatever physical thing you can give. And of course if people are crafty, I wouldn’t, I’m not going to go into crafty things because if you’re crafty, you know you’re crafty and you’re going to do things like make your favorite bath bombs or make your favorite cookies or make somebody a recipe book. Those are all really great things too. And those sometimes come with every physical thing in place where you can hand somebody that pretty reusable gift bag or the pretty cloth wrapped object and pass that on and it still feels like a physical gift.
And just to be clear that I love that and I think experiences are, are so valuable, especially in a time where we are so removed from experiencing each other because of technology. So, I mentioned the gift bags, but what about, you know, wrapping paper? Like what are your, like when you look at them and like must do not maybe must haves or you would love it if there was a do not and it would be these things.
So yes, there’s definitely a lot of musts in my heart in, in terms of what are really helpful for gift giving as well as what not to do. And I normally don’t like throwing out numbers because I’m not somebody who thinks that doom and gloom is excessively helpful for people when they’re making choices. But there is this one number that I saw when I was doing a little research the other day and it felt important and it’s that during the holiday season, Americans generate 25 million tons extra waste just during the holiday season. So in terms of thinking about the gifts that you’re giving in general, remember that whatever gift that you’re giving to the person, anything left over, you’re giving it to the planet. So if I give somebody a gift that’s wrapped in plastic, let’s just use the candle reference, I’m giving the candle to the person, but I’m giving the plastic to the planet, which could take between, you know, a hundred and a thousand years depending on the type of plastic for it to break down.
So in terms of overall imagining, keep that in mind when you’re giving a gift. Um, I love cloth bags. I make them myself just because I’m me and I’m not expecting anybody else really to do that. But, um, at least when you go into stores, I’ve even seen them in target and the dollar aisle where there’s these cloth bags that are reusable and I love using jute twine for my ribbon. And you can get it in any hardware store or I think even in the grocery store, they sell it there and it’s pretty, and it’s any that looks natural and it’s rustic and it biodegrades really rapidly. And then anytime I get a gift I’m also holding on to any ribbons or paper and reusing it from there because that feels really important for me to.
that’s such, I love all those points. Um, I will just say just for the listeners, cause I want to diffuse any ego guilt you’re getting just from listening to Lynn is there’s no way in hell that I am saving any wrapping paper. I get love the planet. I’m not capable of doing that. Sorry. I will just keep pushing this podcast out to all my friends and family and please no paper please. But that’s the difference, right? I think Lynn, we all get to choose at what level feels right for us because if you have guilt, you’ll stay stuck in the guilt as opposed to taking forward action with making healthy choices for the planet.
Yes. And that is something I pushed for everybody is I will never judge people for making whatever decisions that they’re making. And just know that anytime you choose an option that is healthier and happier for the planet, I will celebrate you and I will love you all of the rest of the time.
So good. So do you have any recommendations? I’m going to put you on the spot because I didn’t tell you, I was going to ask you this, but do you have any companies that find that the products they put out are just packaged in a more eco-friendly way or maybe the way the product is created or harvested is more eco-friendly and maybe costs more or doesn’t but is worth the investment?
Yes, definitely. So there are ways to give, especially if you’re giving gifts, they feel like decadent treasures when you’re giving them. So for me, bird safe coffee is something that is a really beautiful gift. And there is a company called birds and beans. And the reason it’s bird safe is because conventionally grown coffee requires farmers to wipe out large areas of forest and they grow it in full sun and they do that because the coffee grows faster and then they can, it ultimately comes down to they can generate a higher profit. But when it’s shade grown, the coffee takes a little bit longer to grow. But that shade provides habitat for birds. So birds and Beans, and then there’s also a company called Grounds for Change. If you’re going to go the coffee route too. Um, those are really great companies. And then if you’re, if you have a desire to give somebody a physical gift and you want to make sure that it’s useful and that they can, um, it can actually hold a place in their life and make it so that they’re going towards zero waste.
I don’t think any, I don’t think it’s helpful for everybody to imagine in their mind that I’m going zero waste today because it causes a lot of stress. But if we can all imagine that we are moving closer to a zero waste lifestyle, I think that’s really healthy. And there’s fun little companies out there called Zero Waste Cartel and Mighty Nest and they sell products like stainless steel straws and bamboo toothbrushes and all of them. As far as I’ve been able to see, feel like there are companies that operate with integrity and have a much lower footprint in their processing and shipping as far as I’ve been able to see.
I love that. I love that. And those are such good recommendations. So when you think about, I’m going to call them the average person, which there really are no average people I know. But when you talk, when you’re talking to people who are just, they’ve got so much going on cause you mentioned like it’s very stressful to go to zero waste. And that’s what I’ve always felt when I’ve seen these videos of, you know, on Instagram or my kids are showing me like someone who like has like a Mason jars worth of waste for the entire year. And like all I do is roll my eyes at my daughter because like, girl, if you look, you do nothing but sit upstairs and watch, you can have a zero waste lifestyle. I don’t have that luxury right now. I mean, I guess I could, but I don’t, I’m not choosing to put that level of stress on myself for other people that are listening, maybe outside the holidays, in the day to day life, whatever it is. Um, are there some tips you can give that really move people to zero waste that don’t require an entire lifestyle overhaul?
Yes, definitely. So there are certain things within the home that can be swapped out and don’t really feel like you’re doing anything different. So I totally understand if you are going from the average lifestyle into zero waste and you have to suddenly make your own bread and make your own yogurt and all that sort of stuff, that takes up a lot of space in the day. And that’s something I think would be beautiful if we all strive to move toward again. But things like cleaning products that often come in very heavy plastic containers can really easily be swapped out. So for me, the first things I switched out where my laundry detergent and my dishwashing detergent and I found a company called Clean Cult and they have all sorts of cleaning products. And so for the laundry detergent I went from a liquid laundry detergent to laundry pods, which my clothes get just as clean and it’s a much lower footprint.
And the cost is about the same. And Clean Cult ships, they’re pods and they come in a they look like a plastic individually wrapped wrapper, but it’s not plastic and it biodegrades. It just melts really quickly when it goes in the water and there’s no, no change in my lifestyle whatsoever. And it comes in a cardboard container and it’s the same thing for the dish washing pods. And since I switched over to that company I was, I also saw that they have liquid dish soap and liquid hand soap that come in milk cartons. So no plastic involved in the whole thing and it all gets shipped in one little cardboard box. And it feels like as super easy change to make and it actually makes a incredible impact both on the amount of plastic that’s going out of my home as well as on the planet.
So good. I love those recommendations cause those are, those are simple and easy and they don’t require a major change and you’re getting that stuff shipped to you. So that’s one less thing you have to get at the supermarket. So, yay. All right. So, um, I always ask my guests two questions. And before I do though, I did ask you if you had a holiday guide for, for our people and you so graciously put it together. So can you give us the URL I’m where they can get those tips that you put together to gift with the planet in mind?
Yes. So it’s lynntrotta.com/eco. And it’s two pages of ideas and reminders about how wonderful you are. And I know wonderful the planet is.
I love that. Thank you so much Lynn. So, um, and we’ll put those links in the show notes. And I’m so excited. Lynn has a brand new podcast. I know you guys will want to check out. Lynn, where can they find you and your podcast?
Well, my podcast right now is on Spotify and anchor and buzz sprout and it’s called when you know better, you do better.
Yes, exactly. Exactly. Okay, perfect. Thank you, Lynn. Thank you. So the question is, what is your definition of wealth?
my definition of wealth is an abundance of what matters most. And for me that’s time and beauty, and love and, and in abundance to the point of being able to share all of those things with others.
that’s so in alignment with what I know you to be about. And what do you believe your purpose is?
I thought about this a lot and I, I love how, while it manifests in many different ways throughout my day and my week and my year, it always comes down to the same thing. I believe my purpose is to help people fall madly in love with the planet and then themselves in the process.
Oh, Oh God, Lynn. That’s so beautiful. That’s awesome. All right, so for our listeners, when you think about them pursuing the person that’s listening right now, pursuing their definition of wealth with purpose and in the context of what you do and your own life, what advice do you have?
Going outside and finding a place to honestly sit and just breathe and to drink in the magic that is around you, I think is the best step towards that. We’re finding the time to sit and look at the beauty and probably the incredible magic of it all. I mean, the simple, incredible way that a spider makes a web. And the fact that there are rocks that are just out there that people step on and walk over and sit on top of that have been here for millions of years and it’s just incredible. And just giving yourself the time and space to do that every single day is not just helpful for the soul, but it’s also helpful for how we see each other and how we have a desire to look after this planet.
So good. Lynn, you are such a gift to the world. All right. Well, Lynn, thank you so much for being here. I’m so excited to share this with each of you. I just think Lynn is, she is a treasure. She is for me. She is. And I just think what she does, when I put my head down on the pillow at night knowing that I’ve got, you know what my purpose is and I think about the people who have picked up the purposes along the way that are not mine to carry. Lynn is always at the top of my heart and mind because does carry her purpose so beautifully through the planet? Lynn, thank you so much for being here. I love you.
Thank you for having me. I love you too.
All right, everyone, go out make this an amazing holiday for yourself. Don’t engage ego-guilt makes them eco-friendly decisions and feel good. Good about yourself doing it. Thanks everyone. Thank you.
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