Maximum Green. Minimum Pain.
Lazy Environmentalist manufacturers and curates design-led, cost-effective green products. Products that lift our spirits with the elegance of their innovation. Products that easily and effortlessly enable you to maximize your contribution to a healthy and clean environment. Products that form the building blocks of a thriving, kick-ass sustainable economy. Products that reimagine and restore our relationship with nature.
We’ve got a pretty strong hunch that most people want to go green. We just remove the friction.
The Rule of 50%
We subscribe to the rule of 50%. Actually, we made up the rule of 50%. That’s why we’re so well-versed in it. Here it is:
Products made of at least 50% eco-friendly materials or improve your efficiency by at least 50% over standard choices are lazy environmentalist worthy. Such products enable you to make excellent choices for the environment. We’re not shooting for perfection. We’re shooting for way, way better than the status quo.
MADE IN ASHEVILLE
Soup to nuts to grass-fed beef, to solar-powered EV charging stations, to modern prefab homes, to the “boost” in Ford EcoBoost, to the world’s largest repository of climate data, Asheville is carving out a reputation as one of the most beautiful, creative, and sustainable cities on the planet.
Lazy Environmentalist calls Asheville home. We draw inspiration from colleagues, collaborators, and a deeply authentic local culture that is committed to fostering a thriving, sustainable economy. Our backyard is the Blue Ridge Mountains. We splash in The French Broad River as it flows through our city. Here, inspiration is easy to come by.
Lazy Environmentalist was born in a minivan. I was riding in it with Lucy, my first employee at Vivavi, the modern green furniture company I had founded earlier that year in 2004. Now it was late at night in late December. We were headed to Brooklyn. I was moving Vivavi’s headquarters from Washington DC.
Right around Trenton, I could tell something was up with Lucy. Her breathing started coming in gasps as if she were having a panic attack. When I finally got her to tell me what was wrong, she at first calmly and then with a mix of confusion and anger, tore into me for being an utterly lame environmentalist. In her eyes, I was a walking contradiction.
She was right.
Everything I owned at the time was invested in Vivavi and in our mission to bring beautiful, eco-friendly products to mainstream consumers. Yet, I possessed habits like taking preposterously long showers (consuming lots of water and energy in the process). I did my best thinking in the shower. I wasn’t about to give them up no matter how deep my fear and concerns ran about climate change and other ecological issues. Hypocritical? No denying it.
I decided to own up to it, acknowledge my less-than-stellar-save-the-planet tendencies and blog about it in a post titled The Lazy Environmentalist. I wrote about my need for green living solutions to be easy, simple, delightful, beautiful, and affordable, so I could lower my personal impact without trying very hard. Not terribly inspiring, I know, but it was the truth.
Within a year that blog post became the basis for a daily radio show on Sirius Satellite Radio. Then I expanded it into a reality TV show that I produced and hosted for two years on Sundance Channel. I wrote two books. Had some killer spokesperson gigs. Went on the Martha Stewart Show. Had lunch with Robert Redford. It took off, and it was awesome.
By 2010, at the pinnacle of Lazy Environmentalist’s success, I was completely burnt out. I had poured all my energy and creativity into simultaneously bootstrapping a green media company and a green furniture company. I wrote each of my books in a 3-month sprint. I fielded customer service calls about furniture issues while on location filming the TV show. I had turned my Brooklyn apartment in Greenpoint into my showroom and for years I had lived in it. (note: great way to get world-class sustainable designers to consign you stunning furniture. Terrible way to cultivate work-life balance.)
So when Sundance Channel did not renew our TV show for a third season, I decided to put everything in hibernation mode. I closed Vivavi and took a hiatus from the Lazy E. I went to work for others and landed some fantastic stints running marketing for GoodGuide in San Francisco, launching Vine.com for Amazon and moving to Asheville to lead our city’s startup efforts in a very beautiful locale and a place that has sustainability deeply rooted in its culture, economy, and ethos.
The time away from Lazy Environmentalist has once again lit the fire in me and given me clarity. I’m hugely excited to help people discover beautiful, innovative and cost-effective green products that easily fit into their lifestyles.
We believe that living well is congruent with living in balance with nature. That life is to be enjoyed. That guilt sucks. That together we can accomplish great things. And that increasing our consumption of green products is definitely part of the solution.
The path to greener living doesn’t happen overnight. Perfection is absolutely not the goal. This is about all of us making progress. Steadily over time in ways that we enjoy.
Because if we enjoy going green in deeply satisfying ways – even if it’s the small stuff – then we’ll want to do it again and again. Fostering these kinds of habits really can make the difference.
Josh Dorfman, Founder
Asheville, NC – June, 2017
Josh Dorfman is a green entrepreneur, author, and media personality dedicated to creating environmental solutions that easily fit people’s everyday lives. Josh is best known as creator, producer, and host of The Lazy Environmentalist, an award-winning reality TV show on Sundance Channel, radio show on Sirius Satellite Radio, book series, and digital commerce company. He and his ventures have been profiled in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and Inc. Magazine, as well as on Morning Joe, The Big Idea with Donnie Deutsch, and NPR’s Science Friday. Josh is also the only guest to have ever ridden a bicycle onto the set of The Martha Stewart Show.
Previously, Josh launched and directed Vine.com, an e-commerce business owned by Amazon, specializing in natural, organic, and sustainable products. He wrote the green product standards for other Amazon portfolio companies including Diapers.com, Soap.com, Wag.com, and Casa.com. Prior to Vine.com, Josh was Vice-President of Marketing for GoodGuide, a “Fast Company 50” and “TechCrunch 50” provider of information and tools to help consumers quickly make more sustainable shopping decisions.
Earlier, Josh was founder & CEO of Vivavi, a pioneering retail venture specializing in modern design, sustainable furniture, named to Inc. Magazine’s “Green 50” as a leading innovator accelerating the green economy.
For four years, Josh partnered with Brita as national spokesperson for its FilterForGood campaign to reduce bottled water waste, winner of a Gold CLIO award for strategic communications. His editorial commentary has been featured in Esquire, NBC’s TodayShow.com, and HuffPost. He is the author of The Lazy Environmentalist: Your Guide to Easy, Stylish, Green Living and The Lazy Environmentalist on a Budget; Save Money, Save Time, Save The Planet.
Josh is a frequent speaker on green products and innovation and the rise of the sustainable economy at places such as Salesforce, Google, The North Face, The Anthony Robbins Companies, The New York Federal Reserve Bank, PepsiCo, Yale University, Notre Dame University, and The Aspen Institute.
Josh currently leads Venture Asheville, a city-wide entrepreneurial initiative to transform one of the most beautiful locales in the world into one of its most vibrant startup cities. He is co-founder and Director of Asheville Angels, an angel investor group with over 16 portfolio companies including investments in sustainable ventures such as Atlas Organics, Brightfield, Emrgy, FarmShots, and Proterra.
In 2010, Josh was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award and inducted into the first class of the International Green Industry Hall of Fame. Josh holds an MBA from Thunderbird, The School of Global Management, and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania.