Today the Venice Paparazzi shines on Sustainable Venice’s Emily Sumner.
How many years in Venice! 5
Tell us about your company?
Sustainable Venice is a community-based resource for both locals and visitors alike who are interested in sustainability, resiliency, and social justice as well as connecting to like-minded individuals and organizations within the boundaries of our unique community. However, we often highlight non-Venice-based companies doing wonderful work globally for the health of our planet.
How did you get started?
This concept has been twirling through my mind for years and, upon moving to Los Angeles and getting integrated into the many worlds of sustainability and green-living, I found it astounding that I was meeting more people at events outside of Venice who were my neighbors. We would meet at green, eco -type mixers and I realized that there was a need to bridge the gap in our community. There are hundreds of people fighting the good fight for our planet and its inhabitants who we share a Lyft, back yard, coffee shop, skate park, or beach sand with. I wanted to connect these people to each other as well as highlight all of the wonderful work they’re doing both inside and outside of Venice.
What accomplishments are you most proud of?
Mostly, creating the pulse to Sustainable Venice. But, I loved jump-starting the first annual #LightsOutVenice where a handful of us gathered to recognize Earth Hour at the Venice Sign. I look forward to this event growing into an massive gathering within our community. It truly embodies “think global, act local,” and it is a moment to connect to others around the world at the same time.
Too numerous to name, but that’s part of the journey. And, without those experiences I wouldn’t be in Venice today.
Also too numerous to mention. I could be here for days telling you all of my ideas, goals, dreams, etc. But for now, let’s just say that I want to make this planet and it’s inhabitants a little healthier than when I arrived, both physically and spiritually.
What advice would you give someone starting out in your field?
Trust yourself, get your hands dirty, and keep the dream alive! It doesn’t matter how silly, hard, overdone, expensive, pipe-dream, or exhausting it seems, just do it! No matter the outcome, you’re always gaining from the experience. The lessons are invaluable, especially the ones we learn about ourselves along the way.
Where do you find inspiration?
Everywhere, especially when I’m in nature. I get so charged even on the simplest desert hike or while digging my toes in the sand at the beach. Nature is everything, and vital for our psychological and physical health. It energizes me like nothing else can.
Favorite affirmation, mantra, or quote?
Trust yourself! I tell this to myself daily.
Favorite book, band or movie?
What causes do you support?
Anything earth-hugging. Locally SV supports: 5 Gyres, Surfrider Foundation, LA, Safe Place for Youth, Heal the Bay, USGBC, The Bay Foundation, and our beloved Community Healing Gardens.
What’s one thing we can do to make the world a better place?
Love the crap out of it. Drop the egos and take advantage of a life full of magic.
List 1-2 things on your bucket list, and 1-2 on your VENICE bucket list?
World: A solid, extended trip around the planet with a backpack and some shelter when desired. Venice: to learn to skateboard properly so I can get in that bowl someday.
Anything else you want to share about yourself to the world? Fun facts.
We can save those for the hangout times at a local watering hole.
Unlike anywhere else in the world.
Describe your perfect day in Venice? (start from morning to night)
It would be: Waking up to the sound of the gang of parrots flying over, maybe yoga or maybe breakfast, a bike ride to the farmers market, a hike in a neighboring community, the beach for sunset, and running into local friends at whatever staple restaurant/bar is still around.
Where would you take a client that you want to land a deal with?
Almost anywhere here depending on the client. We have such a diverse selection of places.
What is your craziest or fondest Venice experience?
As a newbie, I was coming home late (I may have had a few drinks) and I ran into two homeless guys digging in our dumpster. I wanted to get to know them so I hung with them for a couple hours. I rummaged through the garbage cans with them, ate a perfectly good and delicious tangerine with one of them, and brought them the little bit of food I had in my fridge before I went to bed. We remained buddies and I always enjoyed catching up when we saw each other. I think they have moved away from Venice, but I think about that connection often.
Any shoutouts or thank you’s?
YES! To Edizen for thinking of Sustainable Venice for this interview. And I’d like to thank all of the movers & shakers doing wonderful work to keep the integrity of this community alive, as well as those making sustainable shifts forward for the greater good. Our diversity is what makes Venice so unique and it should never be taken for granted. So, thanks to all of you who are keeping the spirit alive!
Anything else about Venice that you would like to say?
There’s truly no place like Venice.
Who should Venice Paparazzi cast the spotlight on next?
Joel Cesare of StokeShare
Where can one find you?