Image courtesy of Tyler Moorehead/GreenUnlimited
Anyone working in the field of sustainability in London over the past few years will have heard the name of green business consultant Tyler Moorehead mentioned on more than one or two occasions. Her passion, energy and fresh ideas for connecting businesses and organizations with their environmental roots mean that she?s in high demand. After 20 years of working in media and digital business on a wide variety of business development projects she has now set up GreenUnlimited, a consultancy which aims to help environmental and ethical businesses achieve their full potential.
It was her five year stint as publisher of the The Ecologist magazine that lent Tyler her authoritative voice on sustainability issues and ethical business. She is particularly passionate about food and the sustainability of our farming industry. In 2008 Tyler led advocacy for the UN/World Bank-sponsored International Assessment for Agricultural Science & Technology for Development (IAASTD), which set new standards for linking agriculture and climate change.
In addition to GreenUnlimited Tyler is also an associate of The Green Consultancy, a member of the COM-Plus steering committee (Alliance of communicators for sustainable development) and a campaign advisory member for child rights development agency PLAN International. Let's find out how Tyler Moorehead became a Change Maker.
How did you get into this line of work?
By inventing something to do where I could work with, and maybe help, clever people—and that would also be lots of fun.
When did the green bug strike?
In 2001, while working for a construction client, I saw firsthand some of the nasties in materials destined for student dormitories?many of the same materials people use at home. I decided then to use whatever skills I had to give people more power and more information about the way things are made.
Who is your green hero?
The real heroes for me are those who light a spark then allow their idea to take on a life of its own by causing others to think for themselves. The Transition Town movement conceived by Rob Hopkins is a great example of people empowered to make things work in their own backyard?in their own way. Michael Braungart and Bill McDonough's Cradle2Cradle is another one which asks the business community to have greater ambitions than just making money. They set them on a course to change the way they make things with a wider vision in mind. There are so many others.
What is your ultimate green goal?
It would be a human goal rather than a 'green' goal for a world driven by and for communities, rather than individuals. If we could find our voice as communities of creative professionals, workers or residents and move towards greater interdependence, then I really believe we?d achieve incredible things and find satisfaction beyond our wildest dreams.
What is your motivation?
Besides the obvious motivation for humans to exist in a state of harmony with plant and animal life, it would be demonstrating to others what a great way it is to live. Wouldn't it be great if people looked after the environment not because it's good or ethical but simply because they enjoyed themselves more, every time they did?
What is most important to you, ecologically speaking?
The impacts of climate change on food supply and the impacts of our current food system on climate change. It?s a terribly destructive, 'oil-based cycle we've locked ourselves into and without a move towards localised food supplies we could be extremely vulnerable to fluctuations in fuel prices and climate events—whether in the Global South or closer to home.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
Remembering not to get involved in every inspiring campaign, project or idea that comes along. There are so many great ones that come up, but sometimes it's better to focus where one can make the most difference.
What is the most rewarding?
Giving people access to new people and new skills. I love the possibility that what I do today could mean another person or group is in a position to make a difference tomorrow.
Of the people you have worked with, who impresses you most?
We could all learn more about environmental campaigning from the Women's Institute. They know which levers to pull to make things happen and they know how to keep their messages and their demands simple and clear. They capture hearts and minds as well as any multi-million pound ad campaign. If as a movement we can't use communication effectively to inspire and mobilize people, then all the good work will be for nought.
What green thing do you do everyday?
Speak to my neighbors and work with them to make a vibrant community.
What do you wish you could do?
Spend less time trying to convert complete strangers to environmental principles and spend more time sharing them with the people I know and love.
What is your biggest eco-sin?
Occasional travel to the US or Japan and one I've never admitted: ready-made food from the supermarket.
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?
Our blind respect for hierarchies. There are some very wise people out there with no position whatsoever and we need to start listening to what they have to say right now.
What is your best green advice?
Look for the humor and the delight in the journey we're on and allow yourself to laugh—a lot. It doesn't mean you're not serious. It just means you're having fun.