Written by : Transcript – Embrace Earth Day With Casey Johnson 

Transcript – Embrace Earth Day With Casey Johnson

Follow along with the transcript below for episode: Embrace Earth Day With Casey Johnson




[00:00:02] PF: Thank you for joining us for episode 464 of Live Happy Now. This week, we’re celebrating Earth Day, and that makes it the perfect time to talk about what we can do for our planet. I’m your host, Paula Felps. Today, I’m sitting down with Live Happy Marketing Manager, Casey Johnson, who created this year’s Earth Day #HappyActs campaign. As you’re about to find out, that campaign grew out of her passion for the planet. So she sat down with me to talk about how we can all take small steps to create big changes. Let’s have a listen.




[00:00:33] PF: Casey, thank you for joining me on the show today.


[00:00:35] CJ: Thank you. It’s great to be here.


[00:00:38] PF: Well, Earth Day is coming up.


[00:00:40] CJ: It is.


[00:00:41] PF: There are so many ways to think about it, celebrate it, and talk about it. People probably don’t know that that is one thing that you and I have in common. We like animals. We like the planet. We have a lot of things in common. I wanted to bring you on and talk about it because over the years that I’ve known you, I’ve just seen how intentional you are with your life and with taking care of the planet and taking care –


[00:01:04] CJ: Thank you.


[00:01:05] PF: Well, I wanted to talk. What do you do in your daily life? Let’s forget about Earth Day for a second. What do you do for the planet just on a day-to-day basis?


[00:01:14] CJ: This is one of my favorite topics, so happy to share. I’ll start off with this. I mean, people might find this interesting, but I limit my plastic consumption, which is no shock. But I have not bought Ziploc bags in over five years. I will not buy them.


[00:01:30] PF: Oh, my gosh.


[00:01:31] CJ: I know. I haven’t bought them in over five years.


[00:01:34] PF: Yes, because I have wanted to cut out that kind of plastic consumption, and it is so hard. How did you do that, and what do you do instead because they’re a staple?


[00:01:44] CJ: I know. It was honestly really difficult at first. But I’ve replaced all of it with Stasher bags. That’s the brand, Stasher. I mean, they’re basically Ziploc bags. They’re dishwasher-safe. You can even put them in your oven to a certain temperature, and they won’t melt. They’re safe. If they get warm, they won’t get chemicals on your food or whatever. That’s what I do.


[00:02:06] PF: You’re not going to have a BPA sandwich.


[00:02:08] CJ: Exactly, yes. No chemicals. That’s what I’ve used in replacement of Ziploc bags, and it’s made it just so easy, and they sell them in different sizes. I feel like I should be sponsored right now. Sponsor me, Stasher. Please. But I have them in so many different sizes. I have really large ones to even super small ones where I can even hold ChapStick and small little makeup items. You can repurpose them. They’re not just for food. You can use them however you’d like, but that’s what’s made the transition away from Ziploc bags work for me.


[00:02:40] PF: How did you do that? This is incredible.


[00:02:42] CJ: I know. People are so shocked when I tell them I don’t buy Ziploc bags.


[00:02:45] PF: I know. What made you decide like, “I’m not going to do that anymore.”?


[00:02:49] CJ: Yes. I mean, I just see all of this pollution and plastic waste, single-use plastic. I just thought, one, and I won’t request plastic ware when ordering takeout. That’s another simple thing. But, two, Ziploc bags. I’d go to family gatherings, and they’d give me leftovers, and they would give me 10 different Ziploc bags. Then I would just throw it away. So if you add that up every day, it’s hundreds of Ziploc bags per household each month. Just eliminating that alone I feel like makes a big difference.


[00:03:20] PF: That’s amazing. What are other areas where you’ve cut out? Because I cut out plastic but not as well as you have. I haven’t –


[00:03:28] CJ: I know.


[00:03:28] PF: Done the Ziploc thing.


[00:03:29] CJ: I’m extreme about it.


[00:03:30] PF: I love that. I love that. What are some of the other things that you’ve done?


[00:03:34] CJ: Yes. I eat meatless meals. I was actually vegetarian for 10 years, but I had to incorporate meat back into my diet. I only eat meat like one to two times a week, and I feel like that is a significant way to reduce your carbon footprint.


[00:03:51] PF: That’s terrific. If you’re already living like this and then you have Earth Day, do you do anything special? The things that you’re doing are things that people would say like, “I’m going to try that for Earth Day,” and then the next day go back to their habits. Then how do you observe Earth Day? Do you do anything special?


[00:04:07] CJ: Oh, man. I love Earth Day for so many reasons. I love spending time outdoors and connecting with nature. It just brings a lot of joy into my life. I mean, since I have these daily practices already in place, on Earth Day, I try to spend as much time as I can outside. We have a pond near our house. So maybe I’ll go bring some grapes and seeds for the ducks. But, yes, I really just love to be outside. One thing we’re doing this year in celebration of Earth Day is #HappyActs to celebrate Earth Day, so eco-friendly #HappyActs. I’ll definitely be doing some of those as well.


[00:04:44] PF: Yes. We’re going to talk about some of those before we end this broadcast.


[00:04:47] CJ: I know. I’m jumping ahead.


[00:04:49] PF: No. No, you’re not. But what I wanted to do – no, that’s a teaser. It’s like, “Everyone, stay tuned, and we’re going to –”


[00:04:54] CJ: Yes, the teasers. Stay tuned.


[00:04:56] PF: Casey’s tips for #HappyActs for Earth Day. What’s interesting to me is that you and I are from different generations, not in spirit.


[00:05:05] CJ: Hardly.


[00:05:08] PF: That’s something I have really seen is people of my time don’t have the same kind of compassion and passion about the Earth that my generation’s children have and that Gen Z has. Can you talk about that? Did you grow up with the passion for the planet? Or how did this come about? What sparked all this, and what is happening with younger people in terms of how they view the planet?


[00:05:37] CJ: Yes, that’s a great question. No, I did not grow up with this instilled in my brain or in my lifestyle. It’s just something that I’ve just developed over the years. I think the driver behind this younger generation is that we’re extremely aware of the impact humans have on the environment. It’s all we’ve known. We’ve grown up in a world of climate change, pollution, plastic waste, what we were talking about earlier.


[00:06:03] PF: Or millennial. After you, you have Gen Z.


[00:06:08] CJ: Gen Z.


[00:06:08] PF: How do you think they are even more affected by this?


[00:06:12] CJ: They’re huge advocates because many schools, they teach kids about climate change and pollution. I think this education just leads to a greater understanding of the importance of sustainability and eco-friendly practices and just saving the planet.


[00:06:30] PF: Right. I think that’s very cool that they’re being raised to think this way.


[00:06:35] CJ: They’re very vocal.


[00:06:36] PF: Yes. We didn’t even talk about it. Nobody thought. It’s like our whole thing was like, “Don’t litter.” That was it. That’s as far as it went.


[00:06:44] CJ: You got to start somewhere.


[00:06:45] PF: Exactly. But what’s very interesting to me is how I’m seeing different aspects of loving the Earth come up in my podcast interviews. Just a couple of weeks ago, I had Caroline Paul on, and she was talking about outdoor adventure and how it’s so good for us as we – especially for women who aren’t encouraged to be adventurous. As they age, it’s really fantastic for them. But one thing that she brought up toward the end of the podcast, and she brings it up very well in her book, is that we need to get outside because the outside is going away. If you look at what is happening, we are losing our green space. We are losing our fresh air. So get out there and enjoy it. That has been interesting to me.


Then another thing that’s come up is just gardening, getting out and tending to the garden. How good it is for you to be in the soil, dig in it, breathe that air. It’s amazing the health benefits that it has for you.


[00:07:44] CJ: Yes. Grounding, too.


[00:07:46] PF: Yes. I’ve started doing that. Since we moved from downtown Nashville to the rural area, I started earthing a lot. I walk around barefoot a lot, just to get that –


[00:07:59] CJ: I love that.


[00:07:59] PF: Connection with the Earth. It makes a huge difference to be able to get out and enjoy a green space and to really have that Earth connection.


[00:08:07] CJ: Yes, I agree. I mean, I think everyone loves nature. There’s just so much science behind it. It does so much for you. One thing I love about Gen Z is that they’re demanding action to save our planet. They are demanding it. They’re keeping businesses accountable for their environmental practices and demanding cruelty-free ingredients and clean ingredients and just keeping everyone responsible so that we can enjoy these green spaces.


[00:08:37] PF: Yes, yes. They do go away, and I noticed quite a bit. I know Dallas is going through the same thing where it just keeps expanding and expanding. Nashville has –


[00:08:45] CJ: It’s a concrete jungle. Yes.


[00:08:47] PF: It is. It is. Nashville has experienced that. Now, even it’s coming out by where we live. We talk about that. Where is the food going to be grown? Where are people going to get that green fix? Where do you get that? We have so many people. We live on a lake, and so we have people already booking for the summer, now booking for the summer 2024, where it’s like, “Can we come out? We want to kayak. We want to do this.” All these things that you just can’t have access to. I’m impressed, and just I’m surprised to see how much people feel like they need that. I think it’s really indicative of how much our green spaces are going away.


[00:09:28] CJ: Yes. I mean, gosh, you got me talking about the environment, so I’m going here. Going back to keeping businesses accountable, people want these beautiful spaces. People want to be in nature. Limiting our plastic consumption, we’re not using plastic straws. But I think it all comes down to these businesses who are the huge drivers behind climate change and pollution. It infuriates me so much, and I just like hearing you talk about the lake and how people are seeking that out. From the city, they’re coming out to basically the country to be in nature. It proves that people want more green spaces and less concrete and buildings.


[00:10:14] PF: Yes. Because what’s happening, too, in a lot of cities, obviously, it’s great to take a walk. Get out in nature. If you’re walking on a sidewalk, okay, at least you’re getting – there’s, hopefully, some trees around you, and you’re getting some of that interaction because trees are so good for you. Oh, my gosh. Just everything that they put off and they’re so, so healing.


[00:10:31] CJ: Hug a tree on Earth Day.


[00:10:33] PF: Exactly. If you can get off that sidewalk and actually find something green to walk on, it’s incredible. This is what Caroline Paul talked about in one of her chapters. She was walking with this 93-year-old woman, I believe, and the woman refused to walk on the sidewalk. She was walking through a neighborhood, and the woman’s walking in their yard. Caroline’s waiting for them, somebody to come out and be like, “Get off my lawn.” The woman’s like, “I’m not going to walk on a sidewalk. It’s a completely different experience. I want to be in nature, and that’s being on the grass.” That’s the thing. We don’t get that when we’re just walking on a sidewalk, even, though, yes, it’s good to be outside, breathing the fresh air. Then one thing I saw a lot of is, say, they’d open a new dog park, and they put AstroTurf in there.


[00:11:17] CJ: Oh, you know.


[00:11:18] PF: It’s like, “How’s my dog –”


[00:11:19] CJ: Don’t even get me started on AstroTurf.


[00:11:23] PF: You know. So it is. We’ve gone to that, too, where we we’re getting away from nature. In what you’re seeing, I see so many ways where we’re getting away from nature. How do you see us also getting back to nature?


[00:11:37] CJ: Yes. That’s a good question because I see little green patches in the middle of a city. Well, that’s nice. It also kind of makes me sad in a way. We have this little sliver of green. But then surrounded, it’s just the hustle and bustle of the city, although I do see some things on a more positive note. I see in other countries and, hopefully, the US can adopt this, but they’re adding greenery to buildings, adding plants on the outside structures of buildings that you’re getting that clean air, and just to kind of combat all of the emissions from cars and stuff. Plus it’s pretty to look at. I feel like business or building structures now, they all kind of look the same. So I feel like adding the greenery just makes it even more beautiful, beautiful and functional.


[00:12:24] PF: Yes. Vertical gardens. Yes, vertical garden.


[00:12:27] CJ: Vertical gardens, yes. Yes, exactly.


[00:12:28] PF: I love that. I love that idea. Just it’s so functional. Like you said, it’s beautiful to look at, and it just gives you a different feeling than staring at some concrete. As we move toward Earth Day, you’ve created some #HappyActs that we could talk about. How do you propose that people can get out there and help celebrate Earth Day?


[00:12:52] CJ: Yes. I don’t think we’ve ever done Earth Day #HappyActs before.


[00:12:55] PF: We have not. We have done holiday #HappyActs. We have done Halloween #HappyActs. Now, we have Earth Day #HappyActs.


[00:13:02] CJ: Yes. I think a lot of this stemmed from wrapping up our 10th year of our annual #HappyActs celebration last month in March. We didn’t want to stop there.


[00:13:15] PF: We didn’t want to stop happy acting.


[00:13:17] CJ: No. Happy acting all year round, but yes. Starting this week, we’re going to start sharing some eco-friendly #HappyActs leading up to Earth Day, just to make the world a happier and healthier place.


[00:13:30] PF: Pray tell, Casey. What would a Earth Day happy act look like?


[00:13:34] CJ: Yes. One of them is starting a compost bin for organic waste in your home. They make a lot of – I know a lot of people are like, “Oh, that’s going to be so smelly.” They make a lot of small compost bins for your kitchen that you can just put in the corner, and it’s not smelly. They have some that actually look aesthetically pleasing, so it can match your kitchen décor. You can also repurpose that for garden.


[00:13:59] PF: Can I tell you about our composter?


[00:14:01] CJ: Please.


[00:14:02] PF: You will just geek out over this. We’ve discovered something called Lomi, and it’s –


[00:14:08] CJ: What’s that?


[00:14:08] PF: Electric. It’s beautiful. It’s gorgeous design. It’s L-O-M-I. We can put all our food waste in there. Then we turn it on when it’s full, and it takes 16 hours. At the end of that, you have this beautiful, dark compost that can go directly into the garden. It’s amazing.


[00:14:26] CJ: Oh, my gosh.


[00:14:27] PF: The amount of food waste that we have eliminated between being able to do that, and then, obviously, there’s still stuff that you can throw directly out. It’s been amazing. It’s been absolutely great for the garden, and it’s so simple. You feel great doing it.


[00:14:45] CJ: That’s amazing. You’re living my dream. I want to live out in the country and have a garden. I want to compost the way you guys are. You guys are doing it right.


[00:14:54] PF: Come on out, Casey.


[00:14:56] CJ: I will. Don’t tempt me. A few other happy acts. I could talk about composting all day, but just a few other ones, I saw this on Instagram, actually. I thought this was a really cool idea. One, it eliminates food waste we were talking about. But you can also support your local wildlife by creating a bird feeder. You can cut an orange in half, and scoop out the part that you would eat, and then use the peel as a bird feeder. Just put seed in there and then you can hang it from a tree.


[00:15:24] PF: How nice.


[00:15:25] CJ: Yes. It’s also bee-friendly. We got to save the bees, too.


[00:15:28] PF: Oh, that’s cool.


[00:15:30] CJ: Yes.


[00:15:30] PF: Oh, Yes. You got to take care of them. That’s cool.


[00:15:32] CJ: I thought that was a cool way, yes, to just eliminate food waste and support the birds and pollinators.


[00:15:39] PF: I like that. How many happy acts do you have in total you’re going to share over the next week?


[00:15:43] CJ: I think we have four, five. They’re super simple ways. The whole purpose of this was to make it simple and sustainable for everyone, not make it too complex, simple actions that you can apply in your day-to-day life. I don’t expect people to ditch their Ziploc bags right away like I did.


[00:16:01] PF: We got to ease into it.


[00:16:02] CJ: Yes. You got to start somewhere.


[00:16:04] PF: I like that. Where are they going to find the happy acts? Is it – are you sharing it on social? Is it – where’s the best place to look for that?


[00:16:11] CJ: Yes. We’ll be posting that on social; Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Then I’m sure we’ll also be sending out a newsletter just for easy access with all of them in one place.


[00:16:22] PF: I love this. I love that you took the initiative to create this, and I’m really excited to see how it does.


[00:16:28] CJ: Thank you.


[00:16:28] PF: I just love how you’re so diligent about – it’s like Mother’s Day for the Earth for you.


[00:16:34] CJ: It is. Protect our mother.


[00:16:36] PF: I love how you do that.


[00:16:36] CJ: Our Mother Earth.


[00:16:37] PF: Exactly. She’s the only one we got, so –


[00:16:41] CJ: That’s right.


[00:16:41] PF: Let’s take care of her. I love it. Thank you so much for sitting down and talking about this. I know we can just geek out on this all day, but I really wanted to talk to you about it.


[00:16:51] CJ: Of course. Thank you for having me. I love, love, love, love talking about the Earth and how we can make it a better, healthier place.


[00:16:58] PF: Let’s do it.




[00:17:04] PF: That was Casey Johnson, talking about how we can all care for the planet this Earth Day and beyond. If you’d like to learn more about our Live Happy Earth Day #HappyActs or follow us on social media, just visit us at livehappy.com and click on the podcast tab. While you’re there, be sure to check out our article by Dr. Randall Hansen, who explains the history of victory gardens, the benefits of gardening, and explains why we should all be looking at how to start our own garden no matter how small it might be. You can also sign up for our Live Happy newsletter to make sure you’re getting a little bit of joy in your inbox every week with the latest stories, podcast info, and even a happy song of the week.


That is all we have time for today. We’ll meet you back here again next week for an all-new episode. Until then, this is Paula Felps, reminding you to make every day a happy one.



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