One of my greatest joys as an entrepreneur is supporting other entrepreneurs. It's the reason we don't private label where so many others do. We have a story to tell for sure, but so do the makers and small business that we select for What's Good. Stories that should be lifted and shared.
It's especially gratifying to be highlighting someone I've known for 25 years.
So without further ado, let me introduce you to this month's featured maker, Sherri Hamilton.
Sherri is a wife, mom, sister, daughter, friend, and entrepreneur who juggles a ton: She's a designer, illustrator, design educator + founder of EcoBlue Design Co. — a design studio dedicated to sustainability and a healthy planet. Most recently, she's also the illustrator behind a newly released children's book: Moonlight Pancakes.
We recently caught up with her long enough to ask her a few questions. Here's what she had to say:
What's Good: What does being eco-friendly mean to you? Sherri: One of my favorite quotes from Thich Nhat Hanh says it best: Walk as if you are kissing the earth with your feet. To me, it means having as little impact on the planet as possible. Whether that's in the things we buy or in our day to day activities. It also means being educated about issues related to the environment and sustainability. Education is a really important piece of it for me. There are a lot of things we do that we “think” are ok for the planet, but really are not and we just don’t know it. Keeping our minds open to learning will help impact change toward “eco-friendlier” behaviors. I speak from total experience on this.
What's Good: What’s your biggest climate change fear/concern?
Sherri: I have two: one is that as climate change progresses, weather is getting crazier and unstable and delivers some big punches to people and communities. It’s really painful to watch the devastation caused by severe weather, fire, drought, and destruction to people’s homes and lives. My 2nd fear is that we won’t correct our current course fast enough to do better for the planet or to keep people safe. We’re operating in a deficit right now with our resources, taking more than can be replenished, and there’s a lot to be determined over the next few years. That means we gotta start breaking up with bad habits now. More on that in question 4 below :)
What's Good: If our readers could only do one green thing, what would it be and why?
Sherri: Embrace education around sustainability topics and stay informed with what's happening around us, including politics and policies, as well as equity and accessibility for all people. Every single person can do a small part to make sure we're collectively treating the planet and her people with love and care and respect.
What's Good: What’s the biggest ‘bad habit' YOU have as it relates to eco/sustainable lifestyle that is a challenge for you?
Sherri: I am nowhere close to living a net-zero lifestyle, but aspire to someday. I do love the convenience of takeout food or pre-packaged meals (about once a week) and using Ziplock bags (SUPER sparingly). Anything that’s deemed single-use, I keep, clean, and reuse as much as possible for as long as possible. There are other bad habits, too… but can I tell you about some changes I’m putting in place this year to kick those habits?! These include home improvement projects to make our house more energy efficient, trading in my gas-powered car for an EV, terminating our trash pickup service (we feel that having to personally deal with any waste we generate will help us intentionally reduce it), and getting involved with my local chapter of the Color Your Community Green volunteer organization.
What's Good: What started you on your eco-journey?
Sherri: It's been in my blood forever. My parents raised my sisters and I to value and respect nature, to be frugal and not wasteful, to see every person and creature as equals, and to appreciate the little things. I grew up in a small country town surrounded by lots of trees, fields, and wildlife. I learned to explore and be curious. I'm very grateful for that, and it’s only magnified as I’ve gotten older. Now, I’m determined to bring it into my creative work as well.
What's Good: What was your favorite part of the Moonlight Pancakes project?
Sherri: Illustrating this book was an absolute dream of a creative project under normal circumstances, in the way that Jean (the author) gave me complete autonomy on every aspect of how the world and the characters would look, as well as the pacing from page to page. That kind of trust was priceless. But, more importantly I think, was that this project emerged during the heart of the pandemic. I won't lie — that time carried a lot of darkness for me, as I know it did for so many others. This project was a bright spot. Creating something so colorful and magical, bringing little Annie to life, and shepherding her through her own fears and to be brave was meaningful and personal therapy for me. I really want this book to bring that same color and magic to others, to both children and adults alike.
Our thanks to Sherri for sharing her bright smile and for being candid about her eco learning, including her challenges. As I always say, there are many shades of green, which means we're all at different phases of our journey. If we all start with or add one green thing to our world, I believe that we'll start to see big changes. :) Don't you?
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