We had the good fortune of connecting with Lauren Ferree and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lauren, what matters most to you?
Sustainability, and therefore caring about people and the planet, are most important to me. I wasn’t always an activist, it’s only been about four years since I’ve really plugged into the space, but I have never found something more purposeful or directional in my life than advocating for the environment and it’s habitants. I was raised by an environmentalist mama, so there were definitely strong sustainable practices in our home growing up, and as I mature and witness the state of the world, and understand the science that proves that we humans are killing the planet (and ourselves) with our fatal choices of consumption, energy, and land use… it drives me to want to create a different world for my future children and grandchildren. I’ve always been very drawn to the principle of responsibility, and how every decision we make ultimately plays a role on the planet + people. From what we choose to eat, buy, wear, drive, read, watch, create… they’re all decisions that we give our approval to. But I find myself asking, “for what?” For my temporary feeling of satisfaction? For my own image to look good for others? To have what everyone else has only to replace it as soon as the next trend comes along? The cure to this (I’ve learned) is compassion and empathy. If we asked, “Who made my clothes? Where did my food come from? What is the impact to travel across the world?” And we truly listened to the answers with a compassionate and empathetic posture, we would NEVER continue to make those decisions. And then I think, wow… if we all showed up like that? Damn. We could really change the world!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
As a freelance producer and environmentalist, I create videos that propel the conversation of sustainability forward. I studied TV + film in school, so I knew this was a career path I was going to stay on for a long time, but the element of conservation came later once I plugged into the movement. I did this by becoming a member of our local Surfrider Foundation chapter, and then enrolling in UCLA Extension sustainability classes. If I was going to start creating content about the environment, I knew that I still had so much to learn. By plugging into the space, I found community, which I would argue is the most important part of any sort of activism. You learn that you’re not alone in your beliefs, that there’s people alongside you in the fight, and they’re going to keep you accountable to the commitments you’ve made. I worked in-house for a large CPG company for several years, where I had the amazing opportunity to have creative autonomy over the videos I produced. And although my experience was amazing, everything I created was ultimately for a product. There was a little voice in my head, about a year before I left the company, telling me to leave and invest my time and energy into the sustainability space (because at the time everything I was doing for the movement was on nights + weekends) and that’s when I learned how important it is to stay true to your “true north.” Especially for people who are in the art/media/production space. You have so much to offer to the world, let it be reflective of the things that you’re most passionate about.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Well, I lived in LA without a car, so I quickly became a creature of the West Side, so I would recommend renting an electric Jump Bike for a few hours and bop around. My favorite place to eat is Bardonna in Santa Monica, they have THE BEST vegan breakfast burrito I’ve ever had. Pair that with a nitro cold brew and you’re starting off on the right foot. Then I would bike along the (newly widened) bike path all the way up to Will Rogers and jump into the ocean for a swim. If you scheduled it right, you could attend a Surfrider beach cleanup and meet the fam. Then I would rent an electric car by the hour using GetAround and drive up to Malibu to hike and catch sunset (maybe rewarded with a mezcal cocktail on the roof of the Surfrider hotel afterwards?) And then hit the Sunday Farmer’s Market in Brentwood and get alllll of the hummus from the three brothers.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Easy, my mom. Done. She is hands down the most patient, empathetic, brilliant, imaginative, inclusive, wonderful woman on the planet. She has always, always been my champion, and I give her 1000% credit for raising my sisters and I to be who we are today. When we were kids, she would let us paint ourselves and make body prints on paper as art, she would teach us how to compost by telling us to “feed the earth,” and literally anything we said we were interested in, she signed us up for a class or bought us supplies for it the next day. Her motto is “there is always another way,” and her wild imagination is always coming up with solutions to problems. This past Thanksgiving, we were all sitting around the table, and I was nearly in tears looking at my mom saying, “how will we ever be half the woman that you are?” I am in constant awe of her, she is my forever teacher, mentor, and role model.
Other: Vimeo – https://vimeo.com/user25612677