journal

June 18, 2015 EDITOR

Inspirational Woman: Lisa Bronner

Inspirational Woman: Lisa Bronner

Lisa Bronner is the granddaughter of the late Dr. Emanuel Bronner, founder of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, and sister to David and Mike Bronner, who currently run the company along with her husband and mother.

 

A former English and Journalism teacher, Lisa is now a stay at home mum of three school-aged children and runs/writes the “Going Green with a Bronner Mom” (www.lisabronner.com), but in addition to raising her kids and blogging, she is very active in her church’s Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) program.

 

Lisa founded her blog in 2009 to help others make the transition to a healthier home and lifestyle. As a Bronner, she receives a flood of information and insider tips regarding body care and home care, food, nutrition and GMOs, hemp, organics, and Fair Trade, among other “green” topics. She brings all this to bear in writing her blog, along with focusing on the versatility of the Dr. Bronner’s products.

 

How did you come up with the Going Green blog? 

My brother Mike Bronner asked me to start the blog in an effort to address the boatloads of questions we receive from our customers about the versatility of the Dr. Bronner’s product line. We have wonderfully engaging and conversant customers. I decided to write it from right where I was – a mom of young kids, in constant transition to a greener lifestyle. It is an ongoing journey, which is why I called it Going Green, because the green conversion is ongoing.

 

Over time, the blog expanded beyond just Dr. Bronner’s product questions to broader issues about green living. It’s very much a chronicle of what I’m learning and facing and overcoming

 

What does going green mean as far as you're concerned?

I had to ask myself this exact question as I launched my blog. It’s such an oft-used term that can mean so many things to so many people. And when marketers get ahold of the term, it’s an outright free-for-all. I boiled my usage of the term down to the following: making decisions in all areas – from food, to home care, to activities, and beyond – that are safe for humans, especially children, and animals, both wild and domesticated, non-damaging to the environment, not problematic for future generations, are sustainable or renewable, and are sensible and responsible.

 

As a Bronner, have you always been very health and environment conscious? Did you ever rebel?

Growing up, being a “Bronner” was not very much on my radar. We didn’t live all that near my grandfather, Dr. Bronner, and although my dad was part of the “soapmaking”, the larger picture of what my grandfather was all about was a total unknown to me. However, I had parents who made sensible and wise decisions long before terms like “green”, “sustainable”, and “organic” were even in our vocabulary with their modern definitions. My mom cooked from scratch because it was cheaper and tastier to do so. We exercised by playing soccer, because it was fun and brought us together and we didn’t have a television. We were environmentally friendly to a certain extent, because my parents lived by the idea that you should leave a place better than you found it.

 

When I got out on my own and was bombarded by the commercial marketing of products that promised to improve my life by making me more beautiful, I definitely bought into it for a while. I tried a lot of them – hair regimens, acne treatments, scrubs and polishers and self-tanners and more. And you know what? I found out that they didn’t work! My hair wasn’t more beautiful, my skin wasn’t clearing up, I wasn’t feeling or looking healthier and it all smelled funny. So then I went to what had been available to me all my life but I didn’t realize their value or their effectiveness. I simplified my personal care regimen down to Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile soaps with very little else added to it. My stash of beauty supplies went from filling up all the shower shelves, and half the floor, to just one bottle. And this is where I am today.

 

Unfortunately, I had to learn the same lesson and go through the same process when it came to home care. I was a total sucker for marketing with products that promised to keep my house clean with as little effort as possible. I spent a lot of money trying new products. Sometimes I think I spent more time buying products than I spent using them. Then came the day when my son, who was two at the time, came up behind me while I was cleaning and sprayed some of the commercial cleaner I was using into his mouth. I called poison control and they said that “one spray wouldn’t hurt him” and did I know how many sprays he had?

 

He seemed fine, but it was a huge wake-up call. I had no idea what was in that product and I realized how much I had blindly trusted manufacturers to do my thinking for me. I can assure you, we have different priorities. Once I started thinking for myself and realizing that I am smart enough to be aware of what I am using and allowing in my house, then I once again went back to the basics.

 

This path led me back to Dr. Bronner’s, but more than that, it took me back to how people have been cleaning for millennia: soap and water. We think we’re so much smarter than generations before, but even with our technological advancements, sometimes we’re too smart for our own good and we think that the more modern something is, the better it must be. This is not always the case.

 

You've been pretty active in food labelling. Is this important to you?

Yes of course. I believe in every mom’s right to know what is in the food she feeds her children, as well as to fight to maintain a fair market relationship between producers and consumers, based on trust and real information, and for this reason I was very involved in the issue of labeling genetically engineered (GE) food during the 2012 campaign for California’s Proposition 37. 

 

It's really important to educate people on the issue of food labelling so they can discern what is safe and what is not. Now that organic and “natural” – in the loosest sense of the word – are becoming mainstream, consumers must wade through an ever denser quagmire of false and misleading claims.

 

It's one of the many reasons I'm so proud of what our family's company has achieved. It has demonstrated that no compromise is needed between ethics and profit and I hope it will always be an inspiration to many other business owners so that they may also establish a culture of compassion and novel thinking in the business world.

 

How do you stay fit and healthy?

It’s tough to take as good care of myself as I do of others under my roof. By trial and error, I’ve discovered a lot of what doesn’t work for me. Exercise needs to happen from my home, with no driving anywhere, and early in the day before I get all gussied up.

 

My ideal exercise is walking with friends. However, if I wait for our schedules to align, I’ll never walk, so my next best thing is walking with my dog and listening to a good audiobook.

 

Spending daily time in Bible study and prayer is also key to my being centered and having proper perspective in approaching whatever my life holds right then. Without it, little things can send me into a panic.

 

When I find myself constantly run-down, I sit myself down for a chat and check how I’m doing with the basics. Am I getting enough sleep? Am I drinking enough water? Am eating well? Have I laughed recently?

 

Do you have any favourite natural health or beauty recipes or tips?

My grandfather has a great quote on the label, “Enjoy only 2 cosmetics: enough sleep and Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps.” Along those lines, my top five beauty tips, in addition to using Dr. Bronner’s, are similarly simple:


1. Eat Well.
2. Get lots of sleep.
3. Drink lots of water.
4. Exercise moderately.
5. Smile.

 

    Favourite green household tips?

    Simplify! Soap and water does the trick, in most situations. You do not need a cabinet full of different cleaners for each different surface. Also, clean your air by opening windows and buying houseplants.

     

    What does "naturally beautiful" mean to you?

    Being naturally beautiful involves embracing who you are and what you have to offer the world, rather than concealing, ignoring or contorting your identity to fit some idea of what it ought to be.

     

    For more information about Lisa, Going Green and very useful green tips and ideas go to her blog, www.lisabronner.com.

     

    To find out more about Dr. Bronner's go to https://www.drbronner.com/

     

    Hacia una Vida Más Verde con Lisa Bronner

    Lisa Bronner es la nieta del Dr. Emmanuel Bronner, fundador de “Dr. Bronner´s Magic Soaps” y hermana de David y Mike Bronner, quien actualmente maneja la compañía con su esposa y su madre.

     

    Lisa fue profesora de Inglés y periodismo y ahora se dedica al hogar y es madre de tres niños de edad escolar y escribe el blog “Going Green with a Bronner Mom” (www.lisabronner.com). Además de ser mamá y hacerse cargo del blog también participa en su iglesia en el Programa de Mamás con niños en edad Preescolar (MOPS) por sus siglas en Inglés.

     

    Lisa fundó su blog en el año 2009 con el fin de ayudar a otros a hacer una transición a un hogar y estilo de vida más saludable. Como miembro de la familia Bronner, ella recibe una gran cantidad de información y consejos sobre cuidado del cuerpo y del hogar, alimentación, nutrición, los OMG, los productos orgánicos, el comercio justo, entre otros temas. Ella incluye estos temas cuando escribe en su blog, además de enfocarse en la versatilidad de los productos “Dr. Bronner´s”.

     

    ¿Cómo empezaste a escribir el blog “Going Green”?

    Mi hermano Mike Bronner me pidió que empezara con el blog con el fin de responder a todas las preguntas que nos hacen nuestros clientes sobre la línea de productos “Dr. Bronner´s”. Tenemos clientes que están maravillosamente interesados y les gusta estar en contacto con nosotros.

     

    Decidí escribir desde lo que yo era, una madre de dos pequeños en constante transición a un estilo de vida más verde. Es un viaje continuo, por lo que decidí llamar al blog “Going Green” ya que el cambio hacia una vida más verde es constante.

     

    A lo largo del tiempo el blog se expandió más allá de preguntas referentes a nuestros productos “Dr. Bronner´s a otros temas de vida sustentable. Es como una crónica de lo que enfrento, aprendo y supero día a día.

     

    ¿Qué significa para ti “Going Green”?

    Esa pregunta tendré que hacerla a mí misma ya que fui yo quien lo llamó así. Es un término tan utilizado tantas veces que puede significar muchas cosas para cada persona. Cuando los anunciantes hacen uso de este término, la interpretación del mismo queda libre para todos nosotros. Para mí este término significa: tomar decisiones en todas las áreas –desde comida, cuidado del hogar, a actividades y más allá que sean seguras para las personas, en especial para los niños y animales, tanto domésticos como salvajes, sin dañar al medio ambiente, sin comprometer a las generaciones futuras, tomar decisiones sustentables, renovables y responsables.

     

    Como miembro de la familia Bronner, ¿Siempre has sido una persona saludable y consciente del medio ambiente? ¿Alguna vez te rebelaste?

    Crecer siendo un Bronner pasó desapercibido para mí. No vivíamos muy cerca de mi abuelo, Dr. Bronner y aunque mi padre trabajaba en la manufactura de jabones, no sabía todo lo que mi abuelo hacía. Mis padres tomaron decisiones sabias e inteligentes mucho antes de que aparecieran los términos modernos de “verde”, “sostenible”, u “orgánico”. Mi mamá cocinaba de forma simple porque era más económico y rico hacerlo de esa forma. Nos ejercitábamos jugando fútbol porque era divertido y porque nos unía, no teníamos televisión. Éramos amigables con el medio ambiente hasta cierto punto, porque mis padres tenían la idea de que deberíamos dejar al planeta mejor de cómo lo encontramos.

     

    Cuando crecí y fui bombardeada por los anuncios comerciales de productos que prometían mejorar mi vida al hacerme más bella, definitivamente me convencí por un tiempo. Probé tratamientos para el cabello, tratamientos para el acné, exfoliantes, autobronceadores y mucho más. ¿Y sabes qué? Me di cuenta de que no funcionó. Mi cabello no era más hermoso, mi piel no estaba más limpia, no me sentía ni me veía más saludable. Así que regresé a lo que siempre había tenido pero nunca me había dado cuenta de su valor y efectividad. Simplifiqué mi régimen de cuidado personal a los jabones “Dr. Bronner´s Pure Castile”. Mis productos de belleza se redujeron, de tener llenos los anaqueles del baño a tener sólo una botella. Y ahí es donde estoy ahora.

     

    Desafortunadamente tuve que aprender la lección y pasar por el mismo proceso con los productos del cuidado del hogar. Era blanco perfecto de los anunciantes que prometían mantener mi hogar limpio con el menor esfuerzo posible. Gasté mucho dinero probando nuevos productos. Algunas veces pienso que tardé más tiempo comprando productos de lo que tardé usándolos. Hasta que llegó el día en que mi hijo que en ese momento tenía dos años vino detrás de mí mientras limpiaba y se roció en su boca el spray limpiador comercial que yo usaba. Llamé al centro de ayuda para intoxicaciones y me dijeron que un solo disparo de spray no era mucho veneno y no le haría daño pero ¿estaba segura de que sólo había sido un disparo de spray?

     

    Mi hijo parecía estar bien pero era un llamado de alerta para mí. No tenía idea de lo que contenía ese producto y me di cuenta que había confiado ciegamente en los fabricantes. Puedo asegurarte que tenemos diferentes prioridades, una vez que comencé a pensar por mí misma y me di cuenta de que soy lo suficientemente inteligente para estar consciente de lo que estoy usando y permitiendo entrar en mi casa entonces regresé a lo simple.

     

    Este camino me hizo regresar a “Dr. Bronner´s” pero más que eso, me hizo regresar a la manera en que las personas limpiaron por milenios: agua y jabón. Pensamos que somos más inteligentes que las generaciones pasadas pero incluso con los avances tecnológicos, algunas veces somos demasiado listos para nuestro propio bien y pensamos que mientras más moderno sea algo, es mejor; pero no siempre es así.

     

    Has estado muy activa en el etiquetado de alimentos, ¿es esto importante para ti?

    Sí, claro. Creo que las madres tienen derecho a saber qué hay en la comida que utilizan para alimentar a sus hijos, así como también he luchado por mantener un comercio justo entre productores y consumidores, basado en la confianza e información verídica; por esta razón estuve muy involucrada en el tema del etiquetado de los alimentos genéticamente modificados durante la campaña en 2012 para la propuesta de ley California 37 (ley de etiquetado en donde se exige a los fabricantes etiquetar a los alimentos modificados genéticamente).

     

    Es muy importante educar a las personas en el tema del etiquetado de alimentos para que puedan tomar decisiones de lo que es seguro y de lo que no lo es. Ahora que orgánico y "natural " - en el sentido amplio de la palabra - se están convirtiendo en la corriente principal, los consumidores deben saber distinguir entre muchas afirmaciones y anuncios falsos y engañosos.

     

    Esta es una de las muchas razones por las cuales me siento orgullosa de lo que la compañía familiar ha logrado. Se ha demostrado que no se necesita ningún compromiso entre la ética y las utilidades y espero que siempre sea una inspiración para muchos otros dueños de negocios para que ellos también pueden establecer una cultura de compasión y pensamiento novedoso en el mundo de los negocios.

     

    ¿Cómo te mantienes saludable y en forma?

    Es difícil cuidarme a mí misma como lo hago de los demás que viven conmigo. A prueba y error, he descubierto lo que no funciona para mí. El ejercicio lo hago en mi casa, al no conducir para trasladarme a un lugar y temprano en el día antes de arreglarme.

     

    Mi ejercicio ideal es salir a caminar con amigos, de cualquier manera si espero a que nuestros horarios se ajusten, nunca caminaría, así que mi segunda cosa preferida es caminar con mi perro y escuchar un buen audiolibro.

     

    Invertir un tiempo diario en el estudio de la Biblia y la oración es también clave para poder estar centrada y tener una perspectiva adecuada al enfrentar cualquier cosa que la vida me presente. Sin eso, hasta las cosas más pequeñas podrían causarme pánico.

     

    Cuando me encuentro constantemente agobiada, me siento a charlar conmigo misma y reviso qué estoy haciendo con lo básico. ¿Estoy durmiendo bien?, ¿Estoy tomando suficiente agua?, ¿Estoy comiendo bien?, ¿He reído recientemente?

     

    ¿Tienes algún consejo favorito de salud natural o receta de belleza?

    Mi abuelo tiene un pensamiento en la etiqueta de sus productos que dice: “Disfruta sólo de dos cosméticos: suficiente sueño y los jabones Dr. Bronner´s Magic Soaps”. Además de esto mis principales cinco consejos de belleza son muy simples:

    1-Come sanamente.

    2-Duerme bien.

    3-Toma suficiente agua.

    4-Haz ejercicio moderado.

    5-Sonríe.

     

    ¿Cuáles son tus consejos favoritos para el cuidado del hogar?

    ¡Simplifica! Jabón y agua hacen el truco en la mayoría de los casos. No necesitas un gabinete lleno de muchos limpiadores, uno para cada superficie. También, limpia el aire abriendo las ventanas y comprando plantas para el hogar.

     

    ¿Qué significa para ti ser “naturalmente hermosa” ?

    Ser naturalmente hermosa abarca el aceptar todo lo que eres y lo que tienes que ofrecer al mundo, en vez de corregir, ignorar o contornear tu identidad para encajar en la idea de lo que debe ser.

     

    Para obtener más información de Lisa, de su blog y para obtener más consejos de vida ecológica visita www.lisabronner.com

     

    Para obtener más información de Dr. Bronner´s visita https://www.drbronner.com/

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