Four Questions with Melissa Hincha-Ownby

by Wendy Gabriel

Melissa Hincha-Ownby is a lifelong writer. Her writing career started at 13 Melissa Hincha-Ownbywhen she wrote a weekly column in her small town’s newspaper. For the past three years, Melissa has focused on blogging and other online writing venues. She is the Business Blogger at the Mother Nature Network and the owner of Raising Them Green, a blog dedicated to providing parents information to help them raise eco-conscious children.

How do you make your day-to-day life a little greener?

Making my day-to-day life a little greener all comes down to planning. When going out to run errands, I plan the trip so that I can get all of my errands done in a single trip. If I know that I have an appointment coming up later in the week, I’ll plan my errands for that day. Unfortunately I live in a sprawling metropolis with no mass transit options within 20 miles of my home. So, I have to rely on personal transportation. In order to minimize the amount of driving I do, I simply plan my trips. This is just one of the ways that planning helps me reduce my impact on the environment.

You created the wonderful website Raising Them Green to help parents raise eco-conscious children. Why do you feel this is important?

I hope that what is a thought-out process for me and other parents my age will be instinctual for our children. In other words, I have to think about what type of products to buy, I have to think about what effect a choice I make now will have later on, etc. As parents, if we lead by example, these choices will be inherent for our children. They will have grown up with the natural ability to think about the environmental impact of their day-to-day choices.

In addition to Raising Them Green, you also blog about green business at Mother Nature Network. How has the business community changed during the last couple of years in regards to embracing a more sustainable business model?

I think that the business community, as a whole, has embraced the importance of corporate social responsibility (CSR). Today, you see companies publishing their carbon footprints online, publicizing the environmental impact of their products, and focusing on energy efficiency in their buildings (among other things). Although businesses, in general, have come a long way in the past several years they still have a long road ahead of them. If we, as consumers, continue to push for the CSR focus then companies will have no choice but to respond.

You are an eco-friendly vehicle expert. And, as the lead writer at The Green Motorist, you are on the cutting edge of all the new technology coming out. What would be your dream eco-vehicle (and why)?

My dream eco vehicle is the Tesla Model S. Although I am a sports car girl at heart, the Tesla Roadster two-seater is not the best “mom” car. Thankfully, the brilliant minds at Tesla have the Model S slated for release in 2011. The vehicle seats seven, has a 300 mile range, has a large cargo area, and it can go 0-60 mph in under six seconds. This is the perfect mix of family size vehicle, sports car-like speed, and an eco-friendly electric engine.

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