Lucy Johnson is the founder and CEO of Green Salon, the UK’s first sustainable lifestyle consultancy. She is also one of Britain’s first sustainability coaches, working with people to give their homes and lives stylish green makeovers.
Green Salon offers unique and tailored guidance to individuals on how to make their lives glamorously green. Lucy is pioneering a drive to support the transition away from a carbon-intensive, throw-away lifestyle to a chic, conscious lifestyle, focusing on quality over quantity, through coaching, styling, workshops, talks, articles and a curated collection of gorgeous and truly sustainable brands.
Before starting Green Salon, Lucy was a television journalist for 16 years, covering the environment, politics and foreign affairs for broadcasters including ITN, APTN and the BBC. She spent her early journalistic career looking at the politics of the global energy supply.
In 2006, Lucy launched the ‘prototype’ Green Salon, a monthly networking event bringing together eco-entrepreneurs and investors to speed up money flows into green businesses, which ran until 2008 when she trained to become a psychotherapist. She ran her own private psychotherapy practice for the following 10 years.
Lucy has studied the circular economy at the Ellen McArthur Foundation and holds a Certificate in Sustainable Business Strategy from Harvard Business School. She has spent the last two decades reading widely and deeply about sustainability, eco-brands and human psychology, and works with consumers to develop new ways of doing things and move through the inevitable resistance that comes when we try to alter long-held habits. She also lives a low-waste and lower-carbon life herself and has a wealth of personal experience to share with others.
How to green your life: In the face of the looming environmental crisis, people often wonder: what difference can I as just one person make? Lucy talks about collective action, consumer power and how a new generation of stylish, conscious brands is making a sustainable lifestyle an increasingly attractive option. She drills down into what changes matter: how to reduce your carbon footprint by 30%, and the principles of the 4Cs of success in transitioning to a greener life: conservation; circularity; certification and curation, looking in depth at how we can apply these principles to our lives. Habits only stick if we enjoy them, so she looks at how to use the brain’s reward system to reinforce new sustainable habits that enhance a feeling of agency and inspire us to play our part in repairing the planet.
How to transform environmental shame into potency: Walking into a shop in the 2020s is not as simple as it once was: you ask yourself, is this coffee Fairtrade? What’s the carbon footprint of this banana? Even going on holiday is complicated: is it OK if I fly? Anxiety-inducing moral quandaries at the check-out cause us stress and often emotional shut down. But we can be left with a nagging guilt that we’re not doing enough, which taps into a deeper sense of environmental shame. In this talk, Lucy teaches us how we can transform this shame into action by setting measurable and achievable “green” goals, developing a “good enough” mindset, creating systems and networks and remembering our sense of fun. She talks about the two vital ingredients in motivating ourselves as we shift our habits to adapt to our changing environment: celebration and compassion.
Image credit, headshot: Vicki Knights Photography