Named one of the top 10 eco-heroes of the planet by the Independent, Simran Sethi is a professor at the University of Kansas School of Journalism and Mass Communications and an award-winning journalist. She has written about the environment and sustainability for everyone from the Huffington Post to Mother Earth News, and has contributed to NBC Nightly News, CNBC, PBS, and the Oprah Winfrey Show. And if you haven't come across her work, you may have seen her talking about the planet -- and how to save it -- on the Ellen DeGeneres Show or the Martha Stewart Show.
Here, Sethi discusses why she's excited by a recent shift to redefine sustainability not as something trendy but as something enduring; why the underlying principles of sustainability are the same even if it means different things to different people; and how crowdfunding enterprises like Kiva and Loudsauce allow us to personally engage with commerce and make an investment in the things we believe in.
What do you say when people ask you, 'What do you do?'
I usually give a somewhat disjointed response about being an academic and journalist. It's an answer that's never felt integrated. Musician Joe Henry recently described his drummer Jay Bellerose as a "revealer." That's a fantastic term and I am borrowing it. So, what do I do? I am an educator and a storyteller. I hold as my highest purpose the goal of revealing what's hidden, invisible, or underreported and instilling that same goal in the journalism students I teach.