Jeffrey Davis starts his day while most of us are still hours away from being woken up by the alarm clock, climbing out of bed to help other people whip themselves into shape. After his full days work as a personal trainer (and his own workout, the dude is mega-fit) is over, he pulls on his writing hat and puts in another shift as lead writer at the Fun Times Guide to Living Green, as the green tech and business editor at Greenwala, a contributing writer here on MNN, and as founder and editor-in-chief of his own site, Eco-Snobbery Sucks. I can't imagine that the guy actually has time for sleep.
I have known Jeffrey for a couple years now after stumbling on his work at the Fun Times Guide and quickly struck up a friendship with him. He is a great writer and a prolific producer of quality content. Here are seven questions answered by Jeffrey Davis.
MNN: What gets you excited about blogging?
For as long as I can remember I have loved creating things…and that is something that I consciously realized last week. Throughout the course of my life I have always seemed to have a natural affinity for creative things such as art, music, woodworking, web design, and smithing words together.
I see a blank space somewhere and am compelled to create something in it.
That’s one of the many things that excites me about blogging. Everyday I get to create something new. Whether it be editing a contributor’s piece, coding on the backend, editing images, building social media community, or crafting an article of my own, I am building something new all of the time.
Ironically, those first strokes, or initial opening tag, or first cut, or the first word of an opening sentence are the hardest ones for me to get out.
How did you find your way into working as a professional blogger?
Completely by happenstance. I’ve kept a personal blog since way before most people even knew what blogs were. That blog won a couple of fairly meaningless awards in 2006 and it lead to a connection with a lady named Lynnette. She said she loved my style and personality and wanted to know if I would be interested in helping to launch and remaining at the helm of a new site in her and her husband’s network of websites.
The 3 of us brainstormed as to what the niche of the site should be and we settled on one of my passions, living green...and The Fun Times Guide to Living Green was born.
Boom. There I was, getting paid to blog. Over the years I’ve been fortunate to write at lots of places from websites no one would even know of to a piece on Forbes.com and now to have finally launched a website that I own.
What's the deal with Eco Snobbery Sucks?
A couple of years ago I set up a meeting to interview the owner of a local “green” store in my area. The interview was going to take place on their opening day and I was looking forward at helping them generate some positive press.
I went to the store, walked around and found myself bombarded with ridiculously high prices, elitist vernacular, and an overall pious attitude…and no one spoke to me. No one. On opening day. I turned around and exited the store, never telling the owner who I was.
Not wanting to give them bad press, I simply tweeted, “Eco-snobbery sucks, that’s all I’m going to say”.
That tweet caught on like wild fire and I realized I was on to something.
It became my slogan, catchphrase, and even my email tag line, and all the while I was trying to figure out how I could turn it into its own entity.
It took a couple of years from the day of that tweet, but in December I finally launched Eco-Snobbery Sucks…and it has grown faster in a few short months than I could ever have expected.
Eco-snobbery can manifest itself in tons of different ways from big business to your next door neighbor. But instead of bitching about how bad it sucks, I (and all of the other writers at EcoSnobberySucks.com) like to talk about ways that both businesses and individuals alike can live greener while NOT being eco-snobs.
...Though we do rant on occasions (and for fun) ;-)
What's the difference between green and greener?
I talk a lot about being “greener”. I talk very little about being “green”. To me, being green seems very definitive…as if you have arrived somewhere. Living greener feels more like an emphasis on a process (not that I mean that doing one thing or taking one steps denotes doing or taking another).
I think every step matters, be it big or small. To me, living greener is more than just saving polar bears.
Does the world need saving?
I wrote an article in the first issue of Green Lifestyle Magazine that I titled, “Save Ourselves, Not the Planet!”. That article was inspired by a bit the late, great, George Carlin did. In that bit he basically explains, in all his color and humor, that the world existed before humans and will continue to exist after humans…it just may not exist in a form that can support human life -- or any life. (I would like to note that George gets a bit "out there" in the last minute or so of that video...in my opinion.) That said, the fight to “save the planet” isn’t really about the planet, it’s about saving ourselves. So does it need saving? Not really. Does humanity need saving? Without a doubt.
Who is one person doing good in the world (besides yourself) who we should know about and why?
I’ve got so many friends that do great things in the world. In the green media world, Starre Vartan, Brian Howard, Michael D’estries, and of course the always-awesome Shea Gunther are truly some of my favorite people.
Not confined to the green world, however, my good friend Sam Davidson is pretty epic. He’s CEO and co-founder of CoolPeopleCare.org and author of several books, his latest of which is cleverly called 50 Things Your Life Doesn’t Need.
Outside of the digital media space (and most importantly), my wife and our 2 best friends are some of the greatest forces for good that I personally have the pleasure of knowing.
Yeah yeah, that’s more than 1 person doing good in the world, but I couldn’t pick just one. This list is honestly the core of those people I admire most in the world…or at least in my world.
(Shea's note: I invited Jeffrey to come up with answer his own question) What's the most important thing about life to me?
The most important thing about this whisper of time that I call life is to never quit living it. I never want to wake up one day and just find myself existing. I want to always be learning and growing and changing and loving. I want to feel changed for the better (yes, that is a line from a song in the broadway show, Wicked), from every encounter with another human being and I hope that they feel the same from me.
I don't think anyone has all of the answers...least of all myself. I think if we can all work together and learn to love, appreciate, and accept each other that the world would be a much more awesome place.
I wonder why that seemingly simple reality is so difficult for us.
Are you on Twitter? Follow me (@sheagunther) there, I give good tweets.
And if you really like my writing, you can join my Facebook page.