“When we actually take time to stop and think before we take a given action, and consider all the ramifications and opportunity costs of our decisions, it allows us to proceed from a more mindful place.”— Bret Love
Here at GreenChoice, we’re on a mission to empower people to create a healthy, just, and sustainable world through their daily food choices. Improving our food system and the health of our country depends on the action of many people. With all that is going on in the world, we understand how important it is to spotlight people who are living healthy and sustainable lives and inspiring others to do the same.
Know someone living a life of health and sustainability who deserves recognition? Submit them to be featured.
We are excited to introduce you to our inspiring Health and Sustainability Role Models, Bret Love and Mary Gabbett — a travel-loving duo fighting for conservation and cultural preservation of the world’s nature, wildlife, history, and indigenous cultures. They love to share their transformative travel experiences on their Instagram @green_global_travel.
The opinions expressed in this interview are Bret & Mary’s own and do not necessarily reflect the view of GreenChoice.
Why is sustainable living important to you? How does this impact animal welfare?
A couple of reasons. First, I’ve always loved animals, even weird creatures and creepy crawly ones others might consider ugly. Second, because I have a deeply-rooted sense of justice, and it hurts my heart to see any creature treated badly. But perhaps most importantly, because I believe in the interconnectedness of all living things, and firmly believe that whatever we do to animals within our ecosystem, we are ultimately doing to ourselves. I mean, “do unto others” is called the Golden Rule for a reason, right?
What does sustainable living mean to you?
To me, health and sustainability are all about making smart choices. Whether it’s food, exercise, how we use natural resources, or waste, all too often I think people tend to choose what’s convenient in the short term rather than taking the time to consider the long term repercussions in those choices. When we actually take time to stop and think before we take a given action, and consider all the ramifications and opportunity costs of our decisions, it allows us to proceed from a more mindful place.
What is the hardest part of sustainable living?
Well, like I said above, time is always a factor for most people. It’s almost always better for us to shop for ingredients and make our own healthy food. But sometimes the convenience of fast food, or processed food you can throw in the oven, or a Frappuccino when you’re on the go is just impossible to resist. I also think staying on top of what is healthy and sustainable takes time and sometimes seems to change overnight: Just a few years ago many of us were avoiding fat at all costs, not realizing how much worse sugar was for us!
What are you looking for when you go grocery shopping?
Even before we launched Green Global Travel in 2010, Mary and I were both huge fans of international cuisines. And because we work from home full-time, we tend to eat about 95% of our meals here. So for us, grocery shopping is often about trying new things and diversifying our meals. From Greek, Italian, and Mexican to Indian, Korean, and Ethiopian foods, we really try to switch it up regularly, so we’re always looking for products that help us do so.
Have you used GreenChoice to implement your sustainable lifestyle? What do you think of the app?
We have not. Believe it or not, I did not own a smartphone until my daughter started college last year. So I actually don’t use apps often.
What piece of advice would you share with someone who’s interested in sustainable living?
I think the #1 thing to do is educate yourself, which was one of the main reasons we started Green Global Travel. We wanted to learn and to share what we learned with others. When we first started in 2010, we recycled and composted, but didn’t really know much about sustainability. But now we have an extensive permaculture garden in our suburban backyard, grow our own gourmet mushrooms, collect rainwater, and are planning a future sustainable homestead. We believe in taking what I call baby steps to going green, and – to paraphrase Oprah – once you know better, you can do better. Hopefully, the 100+ “Go Green” stories on our site can help people find some great ways to start.
You can follow Bret & Mary on Instagram @green_global_travel and their website greenglobaltravel.com.
GreenChoice, PBC has evaluated and rated more than 340,000 food & beverage products across hundreds of attributes related to diet, health, and sustainability. Easily find the best products for you, the planet, & your budget. Download the free GreenChoice app for Apple iOS or Android!