The Earth Is What We All Have In Common

Good morning friends! I hope everyone is having the loveliest of weekends – may it be unwinding from the past week, or gearing up for the week ahead. To continue my interview features, I have decided to invite the lovely Katie Oxman this week to shed some light on her colourful life, being an actress in the biz, as well as something she is really passionate about – the environment. It’s ludicrous if you think that the Earth isn’t dying. In the past, I’ve thought to myself “What would refusing one plastic bag from a store change?” Well, the answer is more than you think. Katie & I are not trying to turn your lives upside down with the ways you can help in this 4 minute read; you won’t have to even go out of your way to make a huge impact – I assure that you would actually be surprised with how little you have to do to help. As Wendell Berry once said, “The Earth is what we all have in common,” so let’s protect the home that we take for granted everyday.

Katie, thanks so much for doing this! Would you mind telling us what your typical day in NYC looks like?
K: It’s my pleasure! I love interviews and conversations. My ‘typical’ day doesn’t exist. I don’t have a 9 to 5, I really exist in a strange world where every day is custom built to whatever project or job I have that day. But the list of things that are often in my day are, COFFEE, Auditions, subway rides to something colorful/or a pop up, or something to photograph, Netflix, a strange job, helping someone with their own project, lots of walking, maybe catering, spending as much time staring at my dog as possible.

I love how you incorporate colours into your life. Your posts bring me so much joy! Let’s get to the real talk though – I know you’re really passionate about helping the environment & it really motivates me to want to be better. What are your top 5 little things you would like raise awareness to? What are some things we can easily do that we might not realize can make a huge impact?
K: YES. LET ME TALK ABOUT WHY. I don’t need to become famous for saving the world, but what I DO want to be is someone who sends out WAVES of change. The chain reaction. If we all encouraged one friend to use a reusable water bottle, and kept it going, the movement would spread out like waves, and affect so MANY PEOPLE. I NEED for us to save the environment. Because every other thing that we are fighting for and care about CANNOT. EXIST. If there’s no planet for us to do it on. No Broadway, no seasons, no bakeries, no walks in the park, no dogs……. imagine that. I was scared into being more loud about all this when a coworker told me that we have 10 livable years left on this planet. I said, “Well there must be people working to change that” he said, “that’s what every single person says.” I was scared for a week; could barely concentrate. Then I decided that I know people, they are capable, and that we could fix this. So I will do everything I can think of to make the waves.

Ok, 5 little things –
 Single use plastic. Plastic never leaves the earth. Making it uses energy, recycling it uses loads of energy, transporting it, you name it. You use it for 5-25 minutes tops on average. And then you THROW. IT. AWAY. Then it’s on the planet forever. It gets into the oceans…. and it’s hurting and contaminating everything. Fish are eating plastic, and then you are eating the fish. That’s my number one thing.
 Be kind. To yourself, others, so why not your PLANET that houses you. Kindness first.
 Shopping vintage and second hand, or repairing something when it breaks, or not getting something just to wear it once for a photo…
Important ways to save the world – don’t buy so much food that you waste half of it. Make more frequent small trips.
 If you go to a holiday market, order seamless, etc, ask for no plastic utensils! BRING YOUR OWN WOODEN ONES, or bring it home and use silverware OR be like me and just always get tacos you can eat with your hands…. Just think twice before you buy/use something. That’s it.

It’s seriously the little things that we don’t realise can change everything. Do you have any Instagram bloggers or websites you recommend us following who does a great job in making a difference?
K: The quickest inspiration for me on Instagram is following @packagefreeshop – because when you’re looking at an easy solution to a lot of plastic things in your feed everyday, you realize how silly single use plastic is. Even if you don’t buy from them, they are VERY inspirational.

Just like @howtosavetheworldpodcast. She’s amazing.

And @MaraDavi– she’s a Broadway star and the biggest green advocate I know. We met and bonded at a Broadway craft fair where I bought a candle from her, and she offered me a bag, and I said I didn’t need one (I always have an @baggu bag on me. Always.) She also pioneered @vintage.green.

“100 years ago living sustainably was just living”Let THAT sink in.

I’ve also extra bonded recently with @amyventures – she collects beach plastic constantly and is turning it into art. There’s so many more! But these are my currently direct relationships.

Thank you so much for sharing all this. I know people reading this will be as affected as I was when I first came across all your little tips & tricks to help the Earth. Let’s talk a little bit about things we both love: coffee shops! As a blogger, I feel like we constantly have to create our own adventures. Which cafés are your go-to’s in the city & why?
K: I love color, and atmosphere. Recently I’m changing some ‘favorites’ because of my environmental thoughts. But you can go ANYWHERE and have a cup to stay, or bring your own to go. We’re all learning here. I’m not going to boycott a small business for have plastic to go cups, but I won’t use them, and I won’t encourage it.

♡ I LOVE @chachamatcha. Colorful atmosphere (pink and green), great drink options, (coffee AND matcha) and they just posted about use non-plastic materials in their to-go items. So they win.
♡ I LOVE @plantshedNYC they have great coffee and they sell plants. It’s atmosphere heaven.
♡ I LOVE Shakespeare & Co, or any cafe that is also a bookstore. Hello heaven take two.
♡ I LOVE to be in an area/borough/near work, you name it, and type ‘coffee’ into google maps, and then pick a non-chain nearby, and then go check it out. That’s my secret. Now you know.

Haha I absolutely love that. & I’m totally stealing this secret! I feel like you do so many things at the same time which is amazing. How do you relax in a busy city like NYC?
K: I do so many things. It’s true. But my secret lies in my ‘day’ plan. Every day is different. Some days I have no money, and nothing specific to do, so that becomes my ‘day off’ and I stay home with my dog, catch up on planning, drink coffee, cook a little, I try to walk somewhere like a park, but plenty of times on those days I just am a homebody. I think (controversially perhaps) that the secret to feeling safe and calm in NYC is loving the city, but also having an apartment – HOME – that feels cozy and comfortable and that you enjoy spending time in. (Doesn’t mean big and expensive. I share a studio with my boyfriend Garrett).

You definitely have the right idea. NYC is all about balance, otherwise it will wear you out. It’s the crazy energy of the city. Or perhaps it’s the exhausting, yet rewarding actor lifestyle we’re both living. Speaking of theatre again, I know that you regularly chaperoned one of the Lulus in Waitress on Broadway. Can you tell us how that all happened and how you spend your time backstage?
K: My amazing ‘friend’ for lack of a better word, Victoria Collett, (who I truly love with all my heart) was Lulu for a full year on Broadway and yes I was with her very often. I originally met her as a ‘Nanny’ who was theatrically inclined so that we could be creative and peruse the craft even when she was only 3 years old. (Even then she was hilarious, totally born a star). Then I started giving her private singing and acting lessons. (Very gentle ones, but every age has some aspect of public speaking/ projecting/emotion to be learned!), and I brought her backstage at ‘Finding NeverLand’ her first broadway show, which another very talented young friend of mine was in, Christian Camporin, (who was in my production of The Little Mermaid which I choreographed at Summer Theatre of New Canaan) and this lead to me helping connect her, along with her amazing mom Michele, to her manager. I was with her when she found out about her Lulu audition. I knew she would get it. And she did! I was at her first rehearsal, I practiced with her in her living room, it was all very special. And I’m lucky I was a part of ‘Team Lulu’. It was a great lesson in a lot of things. We arrived at the theatre just before intermission, since Lulu doesn’t appear until the end of act two, and there was always snacks, a little dance warmup, some calming play, getting into the amazing overalls and mic, a trip down to hair for the famous pigtails, and then the waiting on the stairs for her entrance, where we got to be (quietly!) silly with the lovely cast. I also parodied songs to fit our situation as they were happening. I wish I could remember some of those.

I wish you could too because she is literally the most adorable little girl ever! Anyway, thank you again for taking the time to be a part of this interview. I appreciate it so much, & especially your advice on how we could help the environment. Let’s make the waves happen. Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. I’ll see you soon, Katie!

For those who are interested in keeping up with Katie, you can find her Instagram below.

@katherinealice

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