Liv Lo Golding: Journey in Sustainability
Liv, do you remember the first time you heard about sustainability?
I call it a rude-awakening because it really was a huge shift in my conscious behavior. Watching Before the Flood. I went through a whole spectrum of emotions. First – a shock of how compromised our planet is and how urgent the need for a change is.
The full documentary is free to watch on Youtube: Before The Flood
The information is still as relevant today as it was when it came out. My take away from the documentary is that everything that comes from the natural world is cyclical. The natural cycle would be completely organic but overconsumption, capitalism, and the rate of growth have overridden nature with modern materials that are no longer natural in their elements.
Next guilt – for not knowing thereby being complicit through my consumption behaviour. Without my knowing I was buying takeaway tea, coffee, or bottled water and drinks every day and creating mountains of trash that would out-live myself and my great-grandchildren. Then horror – at the idea of the world we are becoming. Finally inspiration and action – that there is another world than the one that we know that we can live in. Getting inspired I immediately reached out to my Sphere of Influence to see who was being proactive in our local community that I could support. I was extremely nervous of course telling my agents, clients, and partner that I am making this personal shift, but the support was tremendous, and taking a stand on things simplified and made things a lot easier for me. I found that less choice is a positive thing. It feels powerful to be able to choose where to spend your money, what brands to support, and to be able to speak passionately about the things you love.
What is the meaning of living consciously and sustainably for you?
Living consciously is living in awareness. Living sustainably means that our consumption is sustainable for the environment and that we are giving back as much as we are taking. The science has proven global warming is real, so educate yourself and get behind it in every single way that you can. It’s all about not turning a blind eye to doing better.
What I realized: Every single one of us is here for a purpose and we all can make an impact. I want to give one small example: for those of you who don’t know, I started a company called FitSphere which streams fitness videos, programs, and live stream workouts to your home. Through FitSphere my mission is to provide health and happiness to my customers but what I realized is that by strengthening their mind-body I could have another layer and contribute it through my own CSR. Not only is working out at home more sustainable, but I made the products we provide like weights eco-friendly as well. To this day I have still not heard of eco-friendly weights before.
In 2018 you raised awareness by launching an anti-plastic petition in Singapore. What sparked this idea and what did you learn from this initiative?
2018 Earth Day theme was End Plastic Pollution – I asked my professional writer friend to craft a message around my ideas and brought it to WWF to get approved and endorsed. The day the campaign launched on Earth Day in August, I texted a few hundred friends out of the blue to sign the petition. The first few hours I thought “a few hundred signatures, I am happy with that”, but in the next few days, weeks, months, and years it snowballed. Even in 2020, this issue is as pressing as ever and I hope individuals are taking steps to reduce, reuse, refuse and recycle and business are switching to reusable, biodegradable, and compostable plastic alternatives.
If you are reading this please sign the petition.
In 2019, you were appointed as National Geographic’s #PlanetorPlastic Travel Ambassador. Can you tell us more about your role and mission?
I took it on to educate people that everything in our environment is cyclical. It was amazing to work with Nat Geo and Donnie Yen on that initiative. In our campaign video, we are sitting down to have a friendly meal of plastic fish – exposing that millions of microplastics, from our clothing, from our waste, is being broken down into micro-plastics that we are consuming through seafood, from the ocean, from our water, salt, and so forth.
What are the main challenges nowadays in terms of sustainability?
In my opinion – Capitalism, the big oil companies, and the money behind it. People are confused and overwhelmed about climate change because of many pressing issues around the world, but mainly because of Oil companies like ExxonMobil, Shell, BP, Chevron, and Total have known about climate change for over 40 years, but instead of using their data to prevent a climate crisis, they decided instead to lie and profit from billions and trillions of dollars by making our society reliant on fossil fuels in our transport, food supply, and plastic products. They spent at least 3.6 billion dollars on climate denial and our governments and banks are in on the action. Since the 2015 Paris agreement, they have spent at least 2 trillion dollars to finance gas, oil, and coal and subsidizing at least 400 billion dollars per year. With so much cash flying around no wonder, we are up against a huge challenge.
An explanatory video to watch: Why are people still confused about Climate Change? ft. Liv Lo
Can you tell us about your business and how it is connected to your green commitments?
For me keeping students working out at home means no transport, access to their water, so not creating plastic waste. I reinvented the dumbbell to be a fitness ball. A FitSphere that is made of natural rubber, iron, and sand and completely without plastic packaging means that my students can also live a holistic lifestyle without bringing toxins into their homes.
Do me a favor – if anyone is googling FitSphere right now, please use a browser called Ecosia Ecosia – the search engine that plants trees
You are named as “Green Carpet Queen”. What do you think about that? What are your roles and mission as Green Queen?
Did I? had no idea. The green movement is not about me. This is not the “Liv show”. I serve the greater collective that we are all part of. What I do is do my best to lead by example and do my part and what I can.
There are so many great brands doing amazing things and being part of the green movement to also know that there are options on what to wear other than buying something new. Eco-friendly brands like Stella McCartney often loan for events, atelier, vintage, local, handmade, remade, rental, which are excellent options for the red carpet. This is a challenge that I have given myself
Can you please share your “Top 5 tips for a better conscious lifestyle”?
We are all fully capable of making a difference and a change and leaving a legacy on this earth no matter what it looks like. It varies from person to person and everyone will have a unique way of doing that, so I would ask for the people tuning in to:
-Find an intersection between the environment and your personal privileges.
-speak about it with friends and family and effecting change in your sphere of influence.
-support businesses that are in line with what you believe in
-take responsibility by doing what you can
An environmental experience is key to opening our eyes. Mine was Before the Flood, but for others it could be a beach clean up, picking up trash on a hiking route, or a simple act of seeing someone litter their cigarette butt. It’s important for us to not just make observations, but let them sink in and let them affect us. Acknowledgment is a powerful tool for understanding.