We had the good fortune of connecting with Erin Haley and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Erin, can you talk to us a bit about the social impact of your business?
There is so much overwhelm about climate change, and we often hear about scientific data and the negative impacts of human activities on the planet that have lead us into this crisis. It can be very easy to shut down. But in 2019, I started traveling around and meeting conservationists who are helping animals and the environment, and noticed that they all come from different backgrounds and have different skillsets.
This led to a big “aha” moment for me–that all of us can jump in and get involved in our own way. And so, I created EarthRising podcast as a forum to hear from inspired activists who share their journeys and insights about safeguarding our Earth. This may help all of us to generate ideas and get involved in climate action in our daily lives.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
The biggest lesson I’ve learned exploring the arts over the years is that it is an everchanging, evolving process, and you never truly “arrive”. There are so many opportunities to learn, pivot, connect with fellow creators, and try new forms of expression.
My journey started with studio art classes through high school, then studying art history and design at university, and becoming a graphic designer in my professional career. One main insight from being around a lot of artists, performers, and people in the “art world” is that there are people who are willing to jump in and create from a place of vulnerability and curiosity, versus people who prefer to accept only the main consensus, often critiquing from the sidelines.
This lead to a fork in the road in my own life, realizing that I’d rather dive in and try to create than safely stand by and watch others do it. It involves a lot of trial and error and failing before getting to a place you truly want to be, but it is worth it and personally is what makes me feel truly alive. This journey lead to the creation of my podcast, something I never could have envisioned without going through that process. The best outcome has been getting to combine the arts with climate activism and share inspirational stories with listeners in countries all over the world!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I am a global citizen first and foremost so it’s hard to stick to recommendations for just one city! No matter the place, a mixture of culture and nature is the way to go.
I eat a plant-based diet, so exploring restaurants in that category is always super fun. My all-time favorite is actually a vegan sushi restaurant in San Francisco called Sushi Shizen. Even my brother who is a tough critic said it was one of the best meals he’s ever had.
When visitors come to my native Colorado while I am there, I take them to my favorite hiking spots, many within 2 hours drive of Denver.
I have friends who ask about Paris when they go to visit since I’ve lived there, and the advice for there is to wander the streets and discover for yourself what you’re drawn to along the way. There are so many possibilities for little corner bistros and open air markets most days of the week.
Traveling to Kenya and seeing Nairobi is an experience I would encourage as well. One surprise was the influence of Indian cuisine there.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I have definitely benefited from learning about the journeys of conservationist Jane Goodall and ecopsychologist Betty Roszak. Both are trailblazing women who decided to dive in and take action to benefit society based on their own heart yearnings. They explore through their lived actions and writings how to be in greater sync with the environment, love and protect animals, and envision possibilities for a climate just future in the face of huge challenges.
Seeing Jane Goodall speak live at a wildlife conservation conference just before the pandemic in 2019 was a moving experience, as she radiated so much love and hope to everyone in the audience. Her book “Reason for Hope” is a great read, and listening to her narrate it on Audiobook is a true inspiration! And Betty Roszak gave an illuminating interview during season 1 of EarthRising, encouraging us to explore the magic of our relationship to the Earth.
I also have to give a big shoutout to African Impact, an organization I just volunteered with this October for a conservation trip to Kenya. Their volunteer trips give the opportunity to work on conservation projects firsthand, and the one I participated in was to collect data about animals and help heal land erosion at Naboisho Conservancy. We also learned so much about the culture and land connection there from our Maasai guides. If you are interested in discovering Africa, this is a great way to get involved!
(link to Betty’s interview:)
(Jane Goodall audiobook link:)
all image credits: copyright Erin Haley