Updated: May 15, 2021
My mission was to create community and educate others around green interior design, the issues in the industry, and help be a voice to find solutions. In this intro episode #1, I share my journey with Eco Method Interiors and what you can expect to hear in the rest of the season.
"Hello, and welcome to green by design. This is the very first podcast episode, and I am your host, Erica Reiner from eco method interiors. Thank you so much for joining me today. You're going to hear a little bit about my story, but first I'm going to tell you a little bit about what to expect from upcoming episodes. This podcast is out here for design professionals across the industry for other designers, decorators, stagers, architects, and makers, or just design aficionados who are interested and invested in helping the interior design industry as a whole go cleaner and greener. So putting a green spin on things and learning a little bit about what resources are available to fellow design professionals and how we can make better choices. I wanted to do this, not only for my clients, my business at eco method interiors, but also to amplify my impact by helping to educate other designers.
So I am really hoping that you are able to watch and listen to this and get something out of it that you can apply to your own business or your own practice, whatever that may be. So I'll get to my story in a little bit, but I want to tell you a little bit about what you can expect in this season. I get to talk with an interview, basically a host of different kinds of people, everyone from fellow green designers and how they work environmental ism and stewardship into their green design business and what that looks like for them. I also get to speak to a ton of different kinds of makers, everything from furniture and woodworking and flooring, to things like architects and inventors and everything in between across the different kinds of scopes of material and people all across the industry. And so I want to inspire other makers or other suppliers, other purchasers, and other designers to figure out a way that green can work for that in their design business.
So hopefully you find something that you can learn about. Please do not hesitate to reach out with questions or feedback on what you want to learn more from next season. If it's a topic we haven't covered or something, we just scratched the surface. Some of the topics that we get into with all of my esteemed guests can range from everything, from what is something that is responsibly sourced versus irresponsibly sourced or illegally things that are sustainable versus unsustainable and what that means and how they define it down to things like toxicity, things that are nontoxic versus things that are toxic and what to look out for. So we really dig into the differences and that kind of language with what that can mean because the term green or environmentalism can be so broad. And we look at how all of those things are different and how all those things might be more or less important to each of us, depending on the kinds of projects we're working on.
As for me, my name again is Erica Reiner. And I am your host here at grade by design podcast. And this show is really sponsored by my business eco method interiors. And this business was started about five years ago now here in Southern California, where I am chatting to from my makeshift podcast studio. And what happened in this journey for me was the realization about the need for cleaning and greening, the interior design industry, which was an industry. I was so interested in digging my fingers into and becoming a part of my own. So I actually have a background in environmental studies. I can remember the first day or first semester of college. I thought I was going to be a psychology major, but as I'm sitting there in class, I have this amazing hippy dippy old man professor for my psychology. And he worked with the local sustainability nonprofit to offer education for those of us that took this sustainability class, which I jumped on the chance to get extra credit for.
And so I did that, and that is where the light bulb for me turned on about personal sustainability and what that meant for taking responsibility for ourselves and how sustainable we can be on this first about natural resources resource use green alternatives through all facets of a person's individual life. From there, I went on to study environmental theory and studies and did graduate with my bachelor's degree in 2008, which was a weird time in the summer of 2008. So I did get to work in the environmental industry for a bit floating between different kinds of jobs, everything from plastics recycling to solar energy, to internships Marine science places. And I thought that was really where I wanted to go. So I actually went back to school and did a master's in Marine science and management, which was learning about the environmental impacts and behaviors and management systems with the Marine environment specifically.
And I did that in Australia, which has an amazing experience and really what came across to me in both of those educational experiences was the need to pass on that education to other people. I'm just thinking that the more other people know the better off we're all going to be, so we can change our behavior and our relationship with this planet. And so that is a large part of why I'm doing what I'm doing today. Now, as you can see at some point, my path did shift between those two educational experiences just for fun, cause they love learning. And I always have loved design and decorating. I did deal in a interior design decorating certificate. And so I did that for fun and kind of tucked it away. Didn't necessarily do anything with it or talk about it, but it has always been a passion of mine, constantly changing my furniture in my room as a kid, playing with things and just really expressing myself artistically through this medium.
As I went through my career as an environmental professional, and then eventually as an environmental science professor, I did get to express one of my dreams as being able to pass on that education to other people, but through the trials and tribulations of life, I knew it was still not quite right for me, which was all the craziness that being an adjunct professor around different places in Los Angeles had in store. So I got inspired to start my own business and I knew that I wanted it to be an interior design, but it was really tearing me up inside because I was so torn about leaving behind this whole identity and all this education I had done and all the teaching I had done with environmental science. And I thought, I don't know how I can just leave that behind. And at first I thought I'll, I'll just incorporate it into my business practices for my own business, whether that is carbon offsets for any carbon emissions I might emit during my business practices or, you know, making sure all my office supplies are green.
I first I thought it was just going to be that. But then as I really dug in and got my, my toes wet as an interior designer and sort of learning about materials and learning about products and learning about all the problems in the industry, I knew that there was a place for me to be able to continue sharing how to go about this particular business with a greener footprint, a lighter greener footprint on this earth. And in that time in the past five years, I have seen major changes across the industry. Everything from availability changes to what products and materials are out there to be sourced that are better cleaner, greener alternatives, to very cool vendors, makers that are supplying those things to other fellow designers. And I have come across this amazing community of fellow green designers who also have been on the same journey as me trying to do better and greener.