Interview with 'Green LA Girl'

Welcome back to 'Better Know a SoCal Blogger' on KCET.org! Every week we will be featuring one of the city's many fascinating and first-rate blogs. This week we are speaking to Seil Ju, the person who started one of the city's best 'green' blogs trying to recycle a broken DVD player.

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The Basics

Blogger name: Siel Ju
Official Name of Blog: greenLAgirl
When did you start blogging?
July 2005 -- I just celebrated my 4th blogversary!
Do you have a day job?
Yes -- blogging!
How many hours do you spend online/ on your computer?
About 6.
Where do you do your blogging from physically?
I usually blog at home, though I sometimes bike over to use the free wifi at the LEED-certified Santa Monica Main Public Library.
What are you reading?
Infinite Jest. I've signed up for infinitesummer, and so far, have stayed on schedule!
Link to your first post

The Lowdown

What is your blog about?

green LA girl's my personal blog about living green in L.A., with news about eco-fashion boutiques, new restaurants serving local and organic eats, green-themed news and events, and a lot more.

Who is your ideal reader?

Anyone interested in living a healthier, happier life in L.A. or beyond. Environmentalism isn't really about sacrificing personal freedom and fun for the sake of the environment, but actually improving your quality of life by rethinking old assumptions about the American Dream. Especially with the economy and housing market the way it is today, many people are discovering they don't really enjoy being financially jailed into isolated homes in the 'burbs that require them to waste hours of their lives stuck in traffic every day. I'd like to think green LA girl helps show people life doesn't have to be that way.

Why did you continue blogging after your first post?
I guess I had more to say -- or really, more to do. green LA girl's partly a way for me to keep track of the changes I'm making in my life and my thinking -- and change just keeps happening.

As a former head of the L.A. Times environmental blog, Emerald City, how do you feel about the death of journalism?
Journalism isn't dead.

Besides yours, what is your favorite Los Angeles blog?
That's a tough question. I like LAist a lot, partly because it simply breaks a lot of useful local news -- much more so than the L.A. Times blogs -- and partly because Zach Behrens and Lindsey Williams-Ross often write about environmentally-related issues, from new storm screens to reduce ocean pollution to farmers' market yummies. I also like Streetsblog L.A. for the same reason except specifically related to car-free living. And I enjoy reading Spouting Off, written by Mark Gold of eco-nonprofit Heal the Bay, simply because Mark's always so unrelentingly angry. His tirade-posts can actually be pretty funny, in a spur-you-into-action-while-laughing kind of way.

What is a one misconception people have about you from your blog?
People like to apply whatever meaning they usually attach to the word green to my blog. For example, I've had a number of Green Party members complain that my blog "should" be about their party and support their candidates (I'm a registered Democrat and have never voted for Nader, though I like the guy when he's not throwing elections).

You present a lot of eco-friendly products on your site, have you tried them all?
I've tried most, but not all, the products I've written about -- and whether or not I've tried a product's usually pretty evident when you read the post. If I'm writing about a new fashion line that's coming out next season, for example, I'm unlikely to have tried on the clothes myself. But I do try to stick to personal product reviews, partly because I don't want to be the kind of shill blogger that simply repackages corporate press releases, and partly because I don't want to inadverdently encourage a reader to buy something I haven't tried that ends up being an eco-dud.

Best bike route?
Riding toward the beach on California -- a residential street a block north of Wilshire in Santa Monica. That street has a big wide bike lane, lots of trees, a nice ocean breeze, and few cars. Plus it's a slight downhill! I've figured out that the people who complain about how the City of Santa Monica isn't bike friendly are for some reason choosing to duke it out with the cars on Wilshire or Santa Monica Blvds. instead of simply cruising down California or Arizona a block away.

Is it easy to be green?
Yes, with caveats.

What is the one "green" activity that anybody in Los Angeles can do?
Go to the farmers' market and enjoy a fresh piece of local, organic fruit.

Is green your favorite color?
No. My favorite color is dark red. I actually can't even wear most green hues without looking vaguely Martian --

Finally, a view of the Green Girl's Workspace:

Pixeltown thanks Siel for participating in our segment 'Better Know a Blogger!' Check out her blog here.

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