Meet Joyce Emery, The GREEN GRANNY


Tell us a little bit about yourself.
All the while I pursued my career, I hoped to get into environmental volunteer work later in life, and I also hoped some day to “write.” Now that I’m retired I’m doing both, and loving it.

I recently retired from state government after 27 years as a program manager in highway safety data systems.  Before that I taught high school and university science classes. I’ve been married for 41 years and have one daughter and six grandchildren.

What was the vision for starting GreenGranny?
I wanted to find a way to tap the experience and skills of recently retired persons like myself, for the environmental movement. The original vision, developed with co-founder Keith Farnish of the UK, was for starting Green Seniors. helps people find information, join networks, build communities, and make a difference. was really an afterthought–a companion blog for my own self-expression.

What are some of your long-term goals?
I am one laborer in the worldwide effort to save what’s left of the natural world and to leave a habitable earth as a legacy for my grandchildren and future generations. I’ll be working on this until I die.

What life event or incident made you decide to create this group in the first place?
In my early months of retirement, I searched the web for hours on end for environmental activities and people to connect with.  I found myself wasting gobs of time and not finding sites that fit my needs. I longed to find and join the movers and shakers and get something done! Keith was the first such person I found via the internet, and that was my lucky day.

With and, I could reach out to others and they began to find me: novice and experienced activists, seniors with accomplishments far beyond my own, and people searching for ways to help earth.  It has been absolutely wonderful!

From where do you draw inspiration?
Real life and current events are my greatest sources of ideas for environmental writing.  History and science provide the next tier of ideas. We must understand ourselves as human beings in order to make the sweeping changes needed for survival. is my outlet for expressing these ideas. I’ve been gratified by the response to my writing.

What one thing would you like to learn in the coming year?
That the rate of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide is less than the year before. Unfortunately, the rate of emissions continues to worsen in spite of the efforts of people worldwide to reduce them. It is an incredible challenge but not impossible.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
A grandmother of five teenagers!  Plus a young one to cuddle.

What do you do for fun, relaxation?
As weather permits I bicycle to visit the grandkids, do errands, attend activities–leaving the car in the garage. I love being outside to hear the birds and feel the breeze, but also to mingle with people going about their daily lives.

Do you have a secret indulgence?  If so, what is it?
I love to shop sales.  Since going green, those are mostly limited to thrift stores, farmer’s markets, and garage sales (yard sales).  I don’t need much anymore, so I buy stuff for other people.

Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
Yes. My message to them is, invest your time, energy, and money to genuinely green your lifestyle, AND help the nation and the world do likewise. Don’t put it off like I did, for earth’s sake, for your children, and for your own pleasure in living.

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