This year on Earth Day, Her Campus is highlighting resources, brands, and individuals who are making a positive impact on the environment and beyond. When it comes to people changing the world, I can’t help but think of Christy Soeder, an LA-based actor, model, and conscious creator who is on a mission to save animals and the environment. She’s a powerhouse creative artist, tireless advocate, and someone I’ve learned a lot from over the years. I chatted with Christy about what inspired her journey toward living sustainably, how she cares for the environment while working in the arts, and how everyone can do their part to be kinder to the planet.
Her Campus: When did your passion for sustainability, animal rights, and the environment begin?Christy Soeder: For as long as I can remember, I’ve always loved animals and nature. My parents taught me at a young age to look after and protect animals, to get outside for fresh air, dispose of my litter properly, always leave things as I found them, and appreciate the beautiful details of the natural world. The conscious decision to start on the journey of advocating for the environment really began with my love for animals — I grew up fostering rescue dogs with my family, and the conditions some of the dogs were in broke my heart, making me a fierce animal protector from human cruelty. The more I researched, the more I learned that animal rights were just the tip of the iceberg. To save the animals, we had to save our environments. This opened me up to a world of curiosity and passion that led me to learn more and more about society’s unethical and unsustainable practices and systems that are decimating the natural life on our planet.
HC: You have an amazing background in music, theater, modeling, creative direction, and beyond! What are some of your favorite ways to stay sustainable, on set, and in life?CS: I bring sustainable staples to set and wherever I go — water bottle, wood/bamboo cutlery, reusable grocery bags, and even home-cooked meals and snacks. This helps avoid consuming single-use plastic bottles, utensils, and packaging. Also, thrifting, renting, and repairing goods from clothes to props and furniture! It’s creative, can be pretty cheap when you find great deals, and is a super unique way to express yourself when styling yourself, a set, or production. I decided to become a vegetarian to stop eating the animals that I loved and wanted to protect — everyone has the capacity to make their own decisions, but knowing what you’re consuming and the practices around them can have a huge environmental impact over time, and can transform your health! [It can also help to] work with like-minded creatives who are passionate about creating consciously, ethically, and with the planet in mind. It’s easier to do in groups than it is by yourself.
[bf_image id="n9nf5snc7krpzmxg46vj9"]HC: If someone wants to start being kinder to the planet, what can they do to start?CS: The most effective way we can start being kinder to the planet is to start changing our mindset by letting go of our egos, and recognizing we’re a small part of a bigger world. Start reading, watching, and learning. Watch documentaries like What the Health, Kiss the Ground, Seaspiracy, Our Planet, A Life on our Planet, Gamechangers, and more. Follow activists on social platforms. Keep your mind open to information. Start with small, little lifestyle changes every day — they add up! Compost. Avoid single-use goods. Pay attention to where your food comes from. Consider “quality over quantity” or “conscious consumerism” — if you’re buying something new, make sure you’re conscious of the business you’re supporting. Do they test on animals? How are their employees treated? Where and how are their products produced? The more we know, the more we can collectively think of ways to help.
HC: If you had a megaphone and could share any message with the world on Earth Day, what would it be?CS: Every single day, each one of us makes an impact on the planet, and we have a choice. At the end of the day, the biggest challenge we face is shifting human consciousness. We are all connected more intricately than we think we are. The more aware we can be of our equality to all living things and our role in the fragile natural system that is Mother Nature, the better quality of life there will be for all life on this planet. We need pivotal change, and we need it now. And, lastly, everyone plays a different role in the movement, and we do need everyone to show up with their unique set of skills, passions, and communities. There is room for everyone, and everyone is needed. You don’t have to be perfect, or the best, or the most educated, you just need to show up as you are, ready to be better.Christy’s passion for saving the planet is undeniable and super motivating. This Earth Day, she wants you to know that you can play a part in changing the world, too. “The more I learned, I knew I had to show up and be better before it was too late,” she says. “I had a moment where I said to myself, ‘If not me, who? If not now, when?’ and I’ve never looked back. I have a lot to learn on my journey, but I know I’m on the right one, and I want to bring everyone with me.” Follow Christy’s journey on Instagram @csoeder and check out From The Ground Up for more Earth Day resources and inspo!