Live modern. Tread lightly.
Lazy Environmentalist makes going green a breeze. We feature green products that are clever, convenient, and easy to make part of your life.
We love solutions that are deeply intelligent. Solutions that make us feel good because they fit how we want to live and reduce our environmental impact.
We also believe going green can actually be fun and definitely doesn’t have to be a drag. Sure, the topic is serious, but that doesn’t mean we have to guilt-trip you or roll our eyes every G*ddamn time you ask for “plastic” at the grocery store. We would never do that.
Products we feature are either made in the first place with lower environmental impact – like organic cotton apparel and reclaimed wood furniture – or lower your environmental impact the more you use them – like solar chargers, low-flow showerheads and commuter bikes.
We view these products as solutions, shortcuts, if you will, to help you live delightfully well, on your terms, and in greater balance with nature.
On a macro level, we also view green products as the answer to creating and obtaining great work. The more we integrate these solutions into our lives, the more the designers and entrepreneurs behind them expand their companies to meet growing demand.
Whether you work in finance, accounting, marketing, or operations, this means more green jobs that pay well, require your skill set, and make heading to work all the more meaningful.
We’re passionate about this kind of environmentalism. It’s human-centered. It recognizes that what’s better for the planet is, on many levels, awesome for those of us who live on it.
Our Green Philosophy
Combining great design with environmental consciousness is incredibly inspiring and exciting to us. Yet, we know the world is not perfect, so we don’t limit ourselves to perfect green solutions. Many companies are making massive strides to offer green products and services that substantively outperform the competition on their environmental merits.
Our qualifying environmental threshold for products is 50%. This means products we feature are at least 50% better for the planet than standard products.
In our view, 50% signifies a serious commitment to a cleaner, healthier planet. 50% is challenging. 50% means companies have to change a lot about how they do business – source raw materials, design their manufacturing, etc.
50% constitutes exciting progress toward an economy operating in balance with nature. We’re all about getting to at least 50%. Here’s how that breaks down:
Products that surround you (like clothes, furniture, houses and cars):
- Are made of at least 50% environmentally friendly materials (think organic cotton, hemp, recycled materials, sustainably harvested wood, etc.) or
- Deliver at least 50% energy savings compared to standard, more conventional products
Products that go in or on you (like food, drinks, toothpaste and other personal care items):
- Are made of natural ingredients (no synthetics including fragrance) or
- Are certified USDA organic
Every company has a founding story. Ours began in a minivan. Specifically, an old one heading north on the New Jersey Turnpike bound for Brooklyn. It was late December, 2004. I was moving the HQ of Vivavi, the modern green furniture company I had started a few months earlier in Washington DC.
Somewhere around Cherry Hill, my first employee, on this, her final day working for me, tore into me for being an utterly lame environmentalist in my personal life. In her eyes, I was a walking contradiction.
She was right.
Everything I had was invested in bringing beautiful, eco-friendly products to mainstream consumers. Yet, I had entrenched 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 a radio show on Sirius Satellite Radio. Then it expanded into a reality TV show that I hosted for two years on Sundance Channel. I wrote books. Had some killer spokesperson gigs. Went on the Martha Stewart Show. It took off.
By 2010, at the pinnacle of Lazy Environmentalist’s success, I was completely burnt out. That furniture company I mentioned? I was so passionate about its mission and so committed to bootstrapping it to success that I had turned my Brooklyn apartment in Greenpoint into my showroom and for years I lived in it.
Great way to get world-class sustainable designers to consign you stunning furniture. Terrible way to cultivate work-life balance.
So I 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 again lit the fire in me. I’m excited to help people discover beautiful, innovative and affordable 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 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. Forging these kinds of habits makes the difference.
Josh Dorfman, Founder
June, 2017, Asheville, NC