Four Questions with Melissa Kushi
by Wendy Gabriel
Melissa Kushi is the Founder and President of Sustainable Sourcing. She has devoted much of her life’s work to sustainable foods, farming, alternative health, and ethical business models. As a social entrepreneur she traveled some of the world’s most remote and deeply cultured regions creating bamboo micro-industries in rural Africa, replacing coca crops with organic cotton in the jungles of Peru, and introduced heirloom soybean seed to organic farmers in the US.
How do you make your day-to-day life a little greener?
I buy local, organic, and from companies I trust to be ethical, sustainable, that walk their talk. I eat really simply, I love the saying, “Live simply so that others may simply live.” We live in the mountains, I’ve raised my kids to be whole foodies and to walk lightly on the earth. It’s really beautiful to watch how they’ve developed their own “green” identity, but more importantly, what shows up is a constant, deep respect with real common sense values towards green living. I feel that’s been my greatest contribution thus far!
Why is being green important to you?
It was really the way I was brought up as a child, so it was what I knew. It’s how I’ve raised my children, and for the planet, I see it as the only sane way forward.
I know that you have worked very hard to design your product lines with very little impact on the earth. How are some of the ways you are accomplishing this?
By choosing wisely, and it took a long time. All of my packaging is either 100% recycled, recyclable, reusable, or refillable, I’ve calculated with the help of the Bonneville Environmental Foundation, my company’s entire carbon footprint, which includes ocean freight, trucking, what it takes to produce my packaging, run my Certified Organic/Kosher facility, I use ethical sourcing, we artisan produce HimalaSalt and our Organic Peppercorns, and we are very careful about keeping our footprint small to begin with. I produce green gift kits that are zero-carbon, zero-landfill, period. My offsets produce live metered-hours of wind energy that goes into the main power grids, is equivalent to planting 40 acres of trees annually, and keeping 240,000 lbs of greenhouse gases out of the environment.
You have some incredible recipes on your website and your blog. Do you have a favorite?
They’re all so delicious, I’d have to say though that the Pink & Green Peppercorn Wild Salmon is my current favorite. But then I’ve been experimenting with making organic coconut milk ice cream and dipping into the organic agave caramel (salted of course) a bit too much lately!
Read more in the Four Questions series:
Four Questions with Adam Shake
Four Questions with Dr. Alan Greene, part I
Four Questions with Dr. Alan Greene, part II
Four Questions with Dr. Alan Greene, part III
Four Questions with Lisa Mills Sutherland