Meet Carolyn Allen of California Green Solutions
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hmmm. When I look in a mirror I’m shocked. You see, I’m really 11 years old! 🙂 I’m really that little girl who used to get perfect attendance at school because I love to learn … and discovered when I was 11 that the attendance certificate didn’t mean much — but skipping one day of school after a long year of diligence was a soul-nourishing reward that I could give myself. That precious day was spent at our neighborhood pond — watching tadpoles turn into frogs and muskrats play in their watery yard, and picking wildflowers in the pasture where meadowlarks led me away from their nests. One day in nature still restores my motivation and rejuvenates my soul!
What do you enjoy most about your profession?
I enjoy the endless creative connections that can make life better for people and communities. The challenge to do better with less. The joy of seeing people find cool solutions. The satisfaction of seeing entrepreneurs make that big sale and install an innovative solution — seeing human creativity at work is so enjoyable!
What was your vision for starting California Green Solutions?
I’ve worked with entrepreneurs for a long time and understand how difficult it is for them to get the ongoing visibility they need to thrive. Small businesses make up more than 95% of US businesses — and are the hotbed of innovation. They need a break! My vision is to help businesses with green, sustainable and socially productive solutions connect with the people who are increasingly interested in clean air and fresh water and healthy environments for themselves and their neighbors. I love to tell their stories!
Tell us about the types of projects and organizations your company supports?
California Green Solutions provides a variety of information platforms. Our main Business-to-Business publication today is CaliforniaGreenSolutions.com which tells readers about business, organizational and community scale solutions to air, water, land quality challenges. Our main consumer site is BackyardNature.com — which shares ideas and resources for families and homes that protect and enhance the house, apartment and landscape as environmental habitat for humans and wildlife — and protects our natural resources.
We provide editorial stories, reports and seminars for companies and organizations that provide “greener solutions”. And on the flip side, we help people who need to find better solutions find sustainable solutions locally and regionally whenever possible. That improves the environmental health of our communities in several ways. We improve the health of our ecosystems…which improves our health and well being. Local business improves community stability and family economic health. Reduced transportation improves air quality. And by sharing information globally, we all help stabilize communities in their own regional ecosystems.
Was there a life event or incident that made you choose to support them? If so, what was it?
I grew up on an organic farm and my parents were home-based business people. My father was a carpenter and farmer. My mother was a productive homemaker who fed and clothed us with productivity such as cooking, canning, gardening, keeping chickens and cattle. My siblings have all been entrepreneurs…and my husband and I have been entrepreneurs for most of our careers. I love entrepreneurs! I understand them and their needs and their contribution to the supply chains and communities in which we live. I’ve never gotten rich from helping entrepreneurs…but that’s not my goal — I know my community is richer for my efforts.
From where do you draw inspiration?
My ongoing source of inspiration is nature’s “natural systems”. The system of a plant that collaborates with roots, stems, leaves, blossoms and the insects, the rain, the sun — it is just utterly astounding to me. And it makes so much organic sense! Everything is connected. Everything is about “the system”! And my goal is to help restore healthy systems in which we humans live, work, play and love.
What one thing would you like to learn this year?
How to better communicate and attract motivated team members who share my respect and passion for nature. I want to entice others to the edge of nature’s wonder so they also learn to learn in nature’s mysteries.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Exploring nature … it’s an endless pathway of learning and experiencing change. And sharing the adventure with my family, friends and community.
What do you do for fun, relaxation?
I sketch — all the illustrations on my website are my drawings — it’s a little indulgence I work into my workdays! I also make electronic music using Garage Band, take long walks, hot baths, explore the Internet and visit with stimulating thinkers. And I sleep — good quality sleep is another of nature’s amazing, quiet indulgences!
Do you have a secret indulgence? If so, what is it?
Hot chocolate with whipped cream on top — and a cherry when I can get it 😉
Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
Women have a natural affinity with their environment — and we have an opportunity to keep the environmental movement from becoming another technological monster. For the first time in human history, more people live in urban areas than rural areas. We spend more than 95% of our time indoors — and that balance is not working well for us. We must reconnect with real nature — not pressed, squeezed and mutilated nature that we label as bio-widgets. Women’s understanding of real nature is very valuable, precious and strong if we stay connected to the earth. Together, we really are “Mother Earth”…that’s our natural heritage!