By Rich Polt
Published October 31, 2012
Kids dressed as ghouls and goblins won’t be the only ones going green this Halloween.
Corey Colwell-Lipson is the co-founder of Green Year, LLC, and the Green Halloween movement (and sister program National Costume Swap Day), a Green America initiative dedicated to making Halloween a healthier, more earth-friendly, and sustainable holiday.
Check out this NPR interview of Corey and co-founder/mother Lynn Colwell to learn more about what you can do to make Halloween more sustainable. To find a green Halloween event near you check out this link and this link.
A marriage and family therapist by trade, Corey is proof that anyone can become an activist and fight for a cause they believe in. Just by starting conversations with other parents and Seattle vendors, Corey was able to begin a national movement. Not to mention, she proves that people can take small steps toward environmental sustainability in many different aspects of their lives.
Corey is a mother of two, and a fact lover, which allows her to help many other parents go green with minimal stress. Being a health foodie and a wool and beeswax enthusiast helps too. She also clearly takes a lot of joy from her relationships with her family and the people around her, and tries to make the world a better place for them to live any way she can, even when it may not be the easiest or most accepted.
Thanks for sharing with us Corey!
The 10 questions
IN JUST ONE SENTENCE, WHAT IS YOUR PURPOSE IN LIFE?
To love, learn, give and grow. Apparently, I’m also supposed to learn to cook.
WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU WANT TO ACCOMPLISH BEFORE YOU “EXPIRE?”
I’m imagining being 110 and sitting in my rocking chair, looking back at my life… No matter what I may have accomplished, I know I’ll feel there is always, always more that could be, should be done. But I think I’d be pretty bummed if I left the Earth without finally learning to play the guitar well enough to accompany my dad and uncles in a concert. It’s been on my to-do list for years, and I hope it doesn’t take me until I’m 110 to bring this vision to life.
IF YOU COULD MEET WITH ANYONE (ALIVE), WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHAT WOULD YOU ASK THEM?
I would meet with all of my girlfriends since childhood. The women who’ve been with me (and me with them) through good times and bad. Starting with my childhood BFF (Kelly), to my joined-at-the-hip, knows-far-too-many-secrets-about me, high-school girlfriend (Wenonah), to (Jodi) my first Mama-friend, with whom I shared the mind-blowing transition to motherhood. These beautiful women live all across the country, with children and careers and other friends. If we’re lucky we share brief moments of time on the phone, via texts, or through 140 characters on Twitter. I’d go on a Girlfriend Tour and I’d spend a day (or a week!) with each. I’d want to know how they are – how they really are – and I’d want to tell them what they mean to me.
WHAT WOULD THE TITLE OF YOUR BOOK BE?
Accidental Activism: How asking “What if?” Can Change the World.
WHO WOULD PLAY YOU, IN A MOVIE ABOUT YOUR LIFE?
Probably Jennifer Aniston. If you squint your eyes and have a glass (or two) of wine, you might think I look like her ½ sister. We have the same hair and the same, square chin. Looks aside, I think she’s a great combo of quirk and charisma. From what I’ve seen on Oprah, she’s got a tough shell, a soft heart, and a good sense of humor. I’d like to think these are some of the qualities I possess, or perhaps they are characteristics I would like to possess. In any case, I think she’s a versatile enough actress to play me in the 182+ roles I currently play in my own life.
WHAT IS A BELIEF THAT IS CORE TO YOUR BEING?
That Mother Nature knows best. We can choose to act in ways that are not in balance with Nature – and we may even get away with it for a while – but in the end, we will find that when we turn away from Nature, we turn towards an uncertain future. Staying close to nature will never fail us. (Inspired by a Frank Loyd Wright quote )
WHO ARE YOUR HEROES?
Of course, we are surrounded by Heroes. Those working tirelessly for peace, for justice, for education, for change. Those saving lives, holding hands, and solving un-solvable problems with courage, creativity and passion. If I were to answer honestly, like many people I would say my biggest heroes are my parents and my daughters (in them, I see the person I want to be). But in addition I would like to add… Organic/biodynamic farmers. Those special souls feeding the world, respecting Nature’s gifts, honoring her wisdom and ensuring that we’ll (all) have enough resources to nourish us for generations to come. Locally, Farmer Laura (Changing Seasons Farm) and Farmer Eric (Jubilee Farm) are my heroes. (Find local Farmer Heroes near you at www.LocalHarvest.org)
IF YOU WEREN’T DOING THIS, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING?
I’d be a maternal-fetal specialist/activist/actress/singer/homesteader. I’d wear just a few less hats then I do now so that I can learn to play that guitar (see above).
TELL US SOMETHING SURPRISING ABOUT YOURSELF.
I was bitten by a coyote when I was two years old. My dad was running around the high-school track and I was playing beneath the bleachers. I saw what I thought was a pack of dogs and approached to pet them. The “dog” at the head of the pack wasn’t so keen on me patting his head, so he bit me on my thigh. I don’t remember ever being scared; I do remember being so angry that they had to kill it. I’ve always thought of the moment as one in which I was “kissed” by a wild animal; something special happened, like a blessing.
WHAT QUESTION DO YOU WISH I HAD ASKED?
What are you most proud of? I’m proud of being a mom who seeks to find solutions to the issues that confront my children and their generation, even when the path has not been the easiest, most accepted, or even a respected (by some) way to go. I’m proud of being able to model for my daughters how to trust their intuitions, how to launch revolutions, and how to go against the grain, when needed. I need to work on modeling a few other qualities though: laughing and letting go are traits I’m learning from them.