On Sunday, February 11th, I head an interview with Debbie Levin, the head of Environmental Media Association (EMA). EMA is a non-profit that uses celebrities in media to promote environmental progress. Here is my interview with Debbie Levin, head of EMA
Q:What exactly do you do at EMA?
A: What I do is I run president and CEO of EMA. Our mission is get all the environmental messages and stories (the storytellers for the environment). We work with the entertainment industry to send out the messages and be the role models for the environment and its sustainability. We are also very positive and focus on the what we can do not talking about the scary bad stuff.
Q: How did you start being in the EMA?
A: I was a mom and I was very active in my kids school. Someone at the school invited me to an environmental event, a luncheon for the EMA. She happen to be sitting next to the chairman of EMA at the time. I asked him a lot of questions and he invited me to lunch the next day. At the lunch, he asked me to be the head of the organization. Honestly, the organization was having trouble with the leadership. I was asking enough questions to have him notice I was intrigued with the environment. That was 20 years ago. And I learned everything and it became everything in my life.
Q: How does being part of EMA affect your daily life?
A: It affects everything in my daily life. I had an electric car 18 years ago when there were barely any electric cars. I had an EV1. Then they took it away and I did a whole protest in Griffith Park. Then I met Toyota and they were coming out with the Prius. I was so excited that they were coming out with that car that we have been partners with them for 18 years. We made all the celebrities ride the Prius to spread the word. We are working on the Toyota Mirai right now which uses hydrogen fuel cell technology to power it. In fact, we have the technology to put it in large trucks which what they are doing at the L.A Harbor. The reason that all cars are not hydrogen fuel right now because gas stations are just starting to sell hydrogen at the pump. Its very hard to find a gas station that sells hydrogen. As soon as hydrogen becomes more available at the pump, Toyota will sell more hydrogen fuel cell powered cars. And some people are afraid of hydrogen because they think it will blow up. But hydrogen is actually made out of agro waste and electricity and its waste is only pure water pure enough to drink. I also always recycle. I don't bring plastic containers into the house. We have been using renewable straws and someone told me about bamboo straws which I am researching now. We don't want to be using plastic straws ever. My grandkids take all reusable containers in their lunch. We turn off all the lights when we leave a room. Don't brush your teeth with water running. I never run the dishwasher unless it is really full. I only use non-toxic and organic cleaning products. These are all things you can do that are very powerful.
Q: How is your organization helped the environment and what are your future goals for helping the environment?
A: I think that what our organization has done best has been to tell people all around the world that they have say in what happens about changing the environment and that they can help the environment in their every day lives. They can decide what they are going to buy to help the environment like an energy efficient car. They can decide in they are going to buy healthy, and safe non-toxic cleaning products. I think what we have taught the global community is that these things are important. Always read labels. If you go to the supermarket, you should always read labels to see what is in inside the products. The fewer ingredients the better. And if you can't read the ingredients you probably know that is not okay. And we have also helped publicize new innovations, like when Elon Musk invented the Tesla. We have lots of events and people that follow us. And we have 250 million followers on social media. And what we do is that every Sunday we send on social media an uplifting message on the environment. It could be about cities going carbon neutral, it could be about trees being planted.
Q: Why do you personally think it is important to help the environment?
A: Its because I am a mom and a grandmother and I want to save all the natural resources and have a healthy planet for the next generation and the generation after that. One of the board members is from the Oneida Indian tribe and they have a philosophy that you are supposed to care for the earth for the next 7 generations and that I think that is very beautiful and very important. And I think that is what everyone should be thinking because everybody has a family. And I think we are very lucky age because we are in an age where there are a lot of tech innovations that I think will save the planet.
Q: What are more things I can post to have people see to help the environment?
A: I think it would be good if you followed us and would re-post everything that we posted. So maybe you can have a special instagram page that posts environmental things. And you can follow us and our social handle is @green4ema. If you follow us, we post things every day, sometimes more than once a day. And now with social media booming sometimes posting things on a platform is very powerful. So we have really embraced social media. Posting all the time is a great way to motivate your friends on helping the environment.
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