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In this episode, Corinna Bellizzi talks about living a sustainable life and making a social impact. She explains the importance of equal rights and equal access for all people around the globe.
She shares how she created formulas of herbal extracts that would benefit people’s health. And how she collaborated with companies when creating affordable health solutions while integrating the elements of social impact.
Corinna reminds us that making small changes in our lives can be powerful. They can make an impact on people and the planet. She adds that we can create new habits that are enjoyable.
This episode is filled with powerful lessons that will help you live a sustainable life and impact society.
Corinna Bellizzi is a Social Impact Podcaster and Producer, Experienced Executive Leader, Natural Products Industry Executive, and Social Benefit Entrepreneur.
What you will learn from this episode
03:05 – What Corinna Bellizzi is Obsessed With
03:49 – How Corinna Got Into Social Impact and Sustainability
06:27 – Equal Access and Equal Rights
08:38 – Small Changes for Bigger Impact
15:25 – Sustainability in the Family
20:43 – Corinna’s Advice
- Care More. Be Better.™ Podcast: https://www.caremorebebetter.com
Learn More About Corinna Bellizi
- Website: corinnabellizzi.com
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/cbellizzi/
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Sustainable Cooking: Recipes | Sustainable Cooks
The Work of Godfrey Cocker:
Hughes Who Technologies Studio (hugheswhotechstudio.org)
Corinna’s podcast episode with Godfrey:
An African Refugee’s Adopted American Experience: Elevate Underrepresented Groups NOW with Godfrey Coker, Social Entrepreneur & Clinical Scientist — care more. be better.™ (caremorebebetter.com)
Hello, fellow do-gooders and friends. I’m your host, Corinna Bellizzi, and activist, and cause marketer who’s passionate about social good and sustainability. At the end of July, I got the pleasure of being interviewed by a couple of really incredible individuals on their podcast. Obsessed With Humans On The Verge of Change.
In this show, I got the opportunity to dig deep about the many reasons I started this podcast and also share some really simple tools and ideas for how you can integrate sustainability and impact into your daily lives. Enjoy this bonus episode and get to know a little bit more about Care More Be Better and obsessed with humans on the verge of change.
Hey, all, welcome to the social impact and sustainability episode on obsess I’m Joel’s. And I’m going to lead you through the conversation along with the beautiful TIAA morale, the conversation will be about you and what you can do, the power that you have here on this earth to make a change in your community.
The people around you, the citizens, global citizens, the global community, what you can do right now to ensure that you left this earth better than you found it today, Corinna will walk us through the steps, make it less intimidating if you will, because sustainability is a huge topic. And to be quite honest, It intimidated me, but not with Corrina.
She spells it out. She’s a mom of two rambunctious, little boys, and she’s doing it every day. She’s in the trenches and she’s with us. Obsessors start getting obsessed with Carina Velizy and get obsessed with your life.
Hey guys, welcome to obsessed. Think of us as your personal development entourage all wrapped up into one podcast. If you’re committed to your personal development and believe your life is meant for more than get ready to learn the tools you need to elevate this experience called. Get obsessed with your life.
Just like us. We are TIAA, Tristan, Mika and Julie, and we’re obsessed with humans on the verge of change. Hi, I’m Tristan and I’m obsessed with your email emotional wellbeing.
Hey, obsessive. Get ready to do something better, get ready to care more and be better. Today. We have Corinna Bellizzi, and she is a natural products industry, Exec podcaster, but this is a girl that’s passionate about doing all things that make this world a better place. How are you going to leave this earth a better place?
You know, at the end of the day today, We’re going to talk social impact and sustainability. And it’s going to be pretty exciting because be quite honest, this is a newer topic for me. You have coach Tia and I here and welcome to obsessed. Corinna.
Thank you so much. It’s lovely to be here.
Well, as I said, we’re so excited to have you here.
And I honestly feel that I am not very schooled on this topic. So this is going to be a lesson. I’ve got my notebook here. I’ve got. Pen. And I’m just ready to take notes because I think you’re going to give us an awareness that a lot of the obsessors no idea
about and awareness on what social impact is and awareness on sustainability and all the sorts of things that I do.
I imagine we’ll get into that.
Well, you took the words right out of my mouth, but absolutely. And TIAA is here with us today. Hey T
Hey, Corinna. So excited for you. Okay to kick things off. Now, we would love to know what are you obsessed with?
Wow. Okay. So this is, it does tend to shift from week to week. I’m obsessed with cars, I’m obsessed with racing cars.
I haven’t been able to do that in a really long time. So I think I kind of go back to that in my mind, but really in my daily life, the thing that gets my juices flowing and me excited to start my work. Is knowing that I’m having an impact on the world, around me and helping people to live a better life.
And so that is why I even started my podcast on social impact and sustainability so that I could help people. Better understand how they can make a difference, even just starting with small steps in their day-to-day. I mean,
that’s pretty impressive. So, I mean, how does one even get into something like this?
You have a background in natural health products, you’re an executive. What makes one, you know, even launch a podcast called Care More Be Better. And the, all the information on Corinna will be in the show notes, but how do you even get into this path or get engulfed in it? Like you have.
Well, it’s kind of a long story, but I’ll give the 30,000 foot and we can always dig in deeper.
You know, I have spent my whole life, um, on one activistic path or another. And I think part of the reason I gravitated to the natural products industry as a whole, when I graduated college with a degree in anthropology and archeology was specifically because I knew I could do more good. So I worked on creating formulas of herbal extracts things along those lines that would benefit people’s health and help them lead healthier life, normalize access to health, improving options by making them an expensive.
And really collaborating with interesting companies to create those types of health solutions while also integrating elements of social impact. So for instance, I collaborated with the vitamin angels, um, several times over the years to ensure that for every supplement or a bottle that we might sell, we’d be donating 25 cents to the vitamin angels whose core objective was to ensure that pregnant and nursing women and children got enough vitamin a so that they could lead a healthy life.
So I really kind of just integrated social impact into my work life throughout the course of the last 20 something years. And then a couple of years back, I went back to grad school, got my MBA. This June. And I was thinking through this whole process, like, heck I want to do more good. How can I do more good.
I’m enjoying my work. I’m enjoying doing what I’m doing here, but I feel like I could make more impact. Initially I conceived care more, be better, would be a brand of products that I would launch as the CEO and executive, but the more I chewed on it and percolated, the more I felt it could be kind of a platform to push forward the impact of other inspired individuals and the good work they’re already doing.
So that I could essentially be the catalyst to put them in front of a consumer audience that might need to be aware of the sorts of things that are happening in the world and the companies and products or services that they should support if they want to vote with their dollars and do good. Well with her
I mean that you had me at that because it’s so true. So many choices we make, we don’t even realize we’re making choices that impact the world around us. And a lot of your passion or what would you say your biggest passion is for people that don’t even have an idea of how to make an impact, social impact as well?
You know, where are you, how do you situate yourself, your biggest kind of niche, if you will, and how can people like mere mortals, like. Figure out how to navigate this?
Well, I, um, I think one of the key things that everything kind of touches back to when I really think it through is that I really want for all people to be considered equal and to have equal access to the core rights that we have, you know, life, Liberty, the pursuit of happiness.
And really what that pursuit of happiness means. I mean, you need to have the right education in order to be able to pursue that. You need to have access to clean drinking water and a house over your head. You need to ensure that you’ve got a healthy living situation and that you’re safe, generally safe, and that you’re able to be you.
I mean, these are core things that I think are rights that every human on the planet should have. And if you don’t have access to clean drinking water, if you don’t have access to good food, if you don’t have access to a good education that can help you further your own, uh, livelihood down the road, then how are you going to actually be able to pursue life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness, right?
How do you get there? And so I really kind of go back to that one core thing, equal rights and equal access for all people around the globe.
I love that. And I think that’s such a good take on it too. It’s not one that we really think about often. I guess from their perspective, if we have those cores already in place in our life, then how can we right now vote with our dollar to help those people who don’t have those things in their life?
Because I feel like when I first started to get into what is sustainable living and how can I live sustainably? I felt really overwhelmed, overwhelmed by all the companies out there. Either a saying they are sustainable and Ahrens or B don’t have the tools to reach the people who actually want to make an impact and buy from their companies, knowing that their dollar can go farther.
When we even spend a little bit more on those companies that are
worth it. Well, I mean, you’re preaching to the choir. It’s overwhelming for just, I think about everyone, which is the reason that I really started the podcast. I think we need to think about things with the power of small, small changes that you can make, because you could be the zero waste advocate.
Going ahead and living their life and the least negative impact possible, right? Like not leaving a strong carbon footprint, really reducing your ways, being very mindful of every purchase you make ensuring that you’re not buying blood diamonds. When you get your engagement ring or wedding ring, all of those things, you can be doing a hundred percent of all those things, and you’re going to be in the minority because it’s really hard to live that.
Right. And so I think that people need to figure out just the small changes they can make in their daily lives, that together have a bigger impact and that are more manageable for a populace. So that could be as simple as making sure in your life that you’re using less water, that you’re more mindful of your purchases.
You know, decide to bring in less fast fashion or plastic goods into your home so that your dollars are being spent on things that are going to last. They’re going to be spent on things that matter. And hopefully some of those purchases at least will be from cause-oriented companies that aren’t just paying lip service to it.
So you could take, for instance, some very big brands that are doing good things in apparel, like Patagonia. They might be considered a lesser of evils in some ways, because they’re still using polyesters or plastics in their clothing. Right. But they’re doing so mindfully. They’re creating durable clothing that they’re dedicated to making sure will last the test of time.
They even sell their own clothing as worn wear when it’s used in their stores right next to the new store. And so that enables consumers to make purchases of products that have already been used. And that aren’t necessarily going to end up in landfill, therefore, right. Or that are going to have a longer life.
Like, I literally have a Patagonia fleece that I’ve had since 1995 in my closet that says something. Right now, I’m not a huge bastion for this particular brand. I’m just giving it as one example of a brand that has double down on trying to make a better impact in how they construct clothing and the sorts of things they do as a company to ensure their use is longer than just what the standard, you know, fast fashion purchase might be.
So we can look to companies like these as examples of good or better options, and therefore continue to. Spend our money with them and think more mindfully of the types of impact we can have. Another really good thing to consider doing is to volunteer your time with a local charity and your neck of the woods that serves people that don’t have as much.
And that could be people that are living homeless in the streets. Um, homeless shelters. It could also be advocacy groups for women who have been in abuse situations and are trying to escape their current predicament often, you know, they don’t have the resources that they might need to just go out and live on their own.
And so you can look to those charities that are in your backyard to have an immediate effect. In your area, or you can look on a more global scale and start to see the sorts of not-for-profits and charities as well as cause-oriented companies that are doing good work in a particular area that you’re passionate about.
And the thing I would say again, and again, is make sure it’s something you’re passionate about because then you will feel best about the choice you made to either donate money, time, resources, whatever that is. And it will keep you inspired to keep doing just a little bit better.
So, you know, to circling back, you make it seem so simple.
Just those small little things that we can do every day. And just by being very intentional about where your dollars go, where your energy goes and do what you’re passionate about and ignites you. So this does not seem a far stretch, at least for us. And as you were saying, I’m like, oh, you know, I’ve been using the real real to buy clothes for the past year.
Have you ever heard of that? It’s all consignment. And I mean, it’s pretty cool. It’s upscale brands, but really everything they do, they show how much water you save. Each time you buy a, I want to call it a secondhand pair of jeans. You know, you’ve saved 135 liters of water instead of buying a new pair of jeans.
And that once I heard that I could never look back. I’m like, okay, you can’t unsee that stuff.
Yeah, well, something else to consider too, when you go to a used apparel item, you’re actually extending its life far and above what it might experience otherwise. So for instance, if you go to a use clothes store on average, each of those items has only been worn three or four times.
So if we’re buying products that are only being worn three or four times, and then they don’t get purchased again, where do they go? They end up garbage. It used to be that we would take these apparel pieces and donate them to another country around the globe where people didn’t have as much access to clothing.
But with the advent of fast fashion that has kind of gone by the wayside because they already have access. To cheap t-shirts and things along those lines, we really need to be focused on doing is producing less cheap t-shirts and really just not spending our money and resources on these things that aren’t built to last.
One of the problems I have is actually in the technology space. And so there’s something really important you can do as a consumer. To ensure that you’re making less of an impact, and that is taking your cell phone, the cell phone here I’ve had for three years now, often people get a new phone every 18 months to two years, I think on average, that’s where we are.
If you think about all of the work that went into creating this device. Uh, that’s really a waste. And so if we can even think in our technology, just extending its life a little bit, and maybe that means you buy the Uber, you know, case that enables you to not break it every time. It means the Otter matter.
Uber, the OtterBox. I mean, I just mean something like constructed, like it’s nice and vulnerable, which is what I have here is not actually an OtterBox, but. Just something strong that can withstand a toddler. That’s like the toddler test when he throws it across the room, is it going to break? And the reality is he does, he will grab it from me.
He thinks it’s really funny. And then run cackling from the room.
Oh my gosh. An evil maniacal cackle from a toddler. It’s the worst. It’s no, that’s so fascinating. And it just made my mind goes in so many directions realizing what kind of impact I can make. Very simply, you know, just by holding onto your cell phone and walk us through a day in the household of the bluesy family.
Because I feel like this is where we’re going to learn the tips and tricks, because quite honestly, I got to whip my boys into shape. And I just want to hear
your thoughts. Okay. So to spare you, some of the detail, I’ll focus on the things that we do to live a little bit more sustainably. Right? So for one years ago, when I bought my house, we installed solar panels.
So we’re capturing energy without having to necessarily burn as much coal or fuel or whatever it is that our local power plant uses. So we do have solar panels most days that provides quite a bit of energy because we’re here in California and it’s sunny a lot. Right. I also installed rain barrels. So every time it does rain, which isn’t as often as we’d like here and Santa Cruz county.
Um, we actually capture the rainwater from our roof. Right. And I also installed a funnel to it from our upper deck. So if the boys take a bath and we don’t use a lot of soap, I’ll actually take that water and a few buckets and pour it in. I know that’s extra effort and not everyone’s gonna do it. But the simple act of taking a shower, putting a bucket in the shower with you, and then dumping it into a rain barrel or using it to water your garden, conserves a lot of water.
And that ensures that your plants stay healthy. And at the same time, you’re not going to have as much of an impact packed on drought conditions and things like that. Especially here in California. Um, I also compost and composting sounds like it’s probably a really difficult thing to do for most people, but it’s really quite simple.
We just keep a bucket under the sink. It’s like a three gallon bucket, something like that with a lid. And we put all of our organic matter and that I purchased, uh, a unit that is a compost unit and it touches the ground. So, because it touches the ground, it gets vermicomposting benefits as well, which means, you know, earthworms and beetles and things like that come in and they eat, you know, or this conversation’s gone next.
No, I’m not going there unless you pull it out. But, um, so they literally will help to turn the soil. So I get black gold without having to deal with all the ravages of vermicomposting with worms or whatever. So. I get the benefit of that. The soil is really rich and good. I use it in gardening and water from our rain barrels feeds our fruit trees.
We don’t water them other than from the rain barrels. So we know that we’re actually not using that much water all in all, just to keep our gardening efforts kind of rolling. I planted strawberries and mint as well as the fruit trees that I have. So we just have some simple, um, vegetables and herbs in my garden.
That I can pick to use, um, and cooking and things along those lines. And, um, yeah, so those are the basics. There are some things I’m a little militant about, like a really try not to buy products that are in plastic. And when it comes to the toys for my boy, Their grandparents are the ones that give them plastic stuff.
I generally speaking, only buy toys used for them. So they’ve been in circulation and yes, some of them are plastic, but the reality is they’re getting their second life. And, um, the boys really don’t care anyways. I mean, they, they destroy things as fast as I can even say snap. So those were a couple of things that I kind of take really seriously.
And then when it comes to, um, going to coffee shops, cause that’s one of my favorite things. Pre pandemic. It was always just bringing my own coffee mug and, you know, making sure that, or having it for there as opposed to take away. So I didn’t use the paper cups and plastic Liz. This has been my sacrifice during the pandemic.
I simply am not going to coffee shops as much. I use my own coffee I make at home. So the grounds are put into our compost bin. So it’s not a lot of extra waste. And though I miss my coffees out, um, I feel better about not having to dispose of a plastic lid or a cup. Every time I drink one, one of the things I tried initially, I would tell them, oh please no lid, no lid, but they all get in such an automatic sphere where they automatically put the lid on.
You’ve got the plastic, you’ve got this single. Yeah. Which to me, I just find really troubling because if you just take a trip to the garbage dump, you’ll see mounds of trash. That was probably avoidable.
Those are awesome. Like just daily little steps that I think a lot of us can implement. I know personally, I used to do composting before I lived in an apartment.
Now I live in an apartment composting in our kitchen. Doesn’t work so well, I’m stinky and yeah, but I now, I mean, I found different resources. So now I am able to, I save all of my vegetable scraps and I put them in the freezer and I actually make like a vegetable broth out of it every week or every other day.
And then I’d take those scraps and bring them to my sister who has chickens. And it’s all about finding small ways that fit into your life. And like you said, that you care about most. And so I’m working on reducing my single use of plastic and stuff like that. But I started with my food because food is something that I am passionate about and I do want to contribute as much as I can.
So I think that was just really good advice. Thank you for that. Do you have any advice for somebody who is. Really new to this feeling overwhelmed by everything we’ve even said just now and how they can kind of even incorporate more natural products into their daily life without feeling they have to throw away everything they currently own, or start from scratch thinking that they have to put hundreds of dollars investing in these things.
Yeah. I mean, first of all, I say power of small often because it doesn’t have to be a big thing. Um, I will also say that you can create new habits that are actually enjoyable. Like for instance, on Saturdays, between the hours of, I think 8:00 AM and about 2:00 PM Pacific, I’m able to go to my local farmer’s market.
And buy produce that is fresh local without excess packaging, I can browse it just like I would the grocery aisle. And then this week I actually. Found this beautiful coffee mug by a local artisan who, who made it. And so it’s actually local to Santa Cruz. I have a new favorite coffee cup now. Um, so you can even just create treats for yourself along these lines as well.
And I would just say again, it’s like, don’t beat yourself up because that’s not going to create a positive reaction in you. You also don’t necessarily want to become somebody who’s hyper militant, always pointing out to other people, recycle, recycle, recycle, but really mindfully. Just take a look at what your municipality actually considers recyclable.
Many of the things you’ve been throwing in your recycle bin may not actually be recyclable. So even just taking that step and looking what is recyclable, and then trying to make choices, the next time you go to the grocery store, the purchases, less of what isn’t is a really big and great step. It doesn’t take a huge amount of effort and at least just being a little bit more conscious of the purchases you make along the way that will have a really measurable effect with time.
And it can’t be understated. You don’t need to create the cleanest living situation at the snap of your fingers. Just make the effort and think a little bit more about the purchases you are making, and you’ll be surprised at the changes you see. An advocate of sustainable minimalism would tell you, well, just try to buy nothing for 30 days.
You know, that means you’re buying food, you’re buying the things you need to, but maybe just go on strike from buying things that you don’t really need. Um, that means perhaps not buying a gift that’s unnecessary, or if you need to buy a gift for somebody going to get something used, even just considering it buy nothing new for 30 days.
And that can offer an ability to kind of reset how you think about consumerism and simply resetting how you think about consumerism can change your habits. Long-term, you know, there’s all sorts of science behind the fact that just doing something differently for 21 days and greens, a new house. So, if you do a 30 days of buying nothing new aside from core essentials, you’ll be surprised at the simple changes that you could instill without really trying as hard as you thought it might be.
I love that. I think that’s such a good way to start off too. Cause like you said, it’s, you’re not changing a whole lot about your everyday life, but you’re becoming more conscious of what you are consuming and where maybe we can consume less. That is awesome. Would you consider yourself a
minimalist? I would consider myself a sustainability advocate who is working to become more mentalist minimalistic.
It’s a challenge for me because I think when you grow up with scarcity, there’s this desire to hold on to stuff. And I grew up in a relatively poor household, at least for a few core years of my development, some of which we ended up on government assistance because my mum. Had an health issue that prevented her from being able to work.
It was work-related, but she couldn’t prove it. And therefore, you know, we were in a real tight bind. Uh, she ended up having to declare bankruptcy. I mean, It was rough. It was a rough couple of years. And because of that, I developed an emotional attachment to things, to the stuff that I’ve collected. And I don’t necessarily like to let go of it.
So when you talk to advocates of sustainability, they’ll often say, well, sustainability and minimalism. Aren’t exactly the same. Minimalism. It essentially pushes you to think more about the things that you do buy and keep sustainability, asks you to think about what you can do to ensure that the item that you’re purchasing has less impact on the environment and that it’s going to be something that.
Is sustainable. And so it’s, they’re not necessarily the same and they do compliment each other. So as I continue with time, there are simple decisions I’m making to, for instance, reduce the purchase of things like books, because I love books, but I already have a lot of them. And eventually, how many bookcases do you need to, how has all these books?
So I’ll cycle through them, I’ll use the library. Um, using the library is a great resource because a lot more than one person is going to read that book, right? Paper goes into its construction, et cetera, et cetera. And even my local library now has so many of these books available on EPUB documents or Kindle.
That, um, they’re able to be used time and time and time and time and time again. So their utility is so much improved. So that’s one shift I’ve made as just an example, because reading is really important to me. Right. I love to read and I want to be able to read, but I also am trying to be more middleware with regard to my consumption of these things.
So many light bulbs have gone up in my head. I mean, I’ve had so many aha moments as I’m sitting here and just so many ways I want to redirect the way I advocate for causes that I am passionate about and the way I spent every dollar and it’s making me rethink a lot of this and making me rethink how I should teach my children as well, in terms of, you know, sustainability, social impact.
Really leaving your legacy on this earth. I think it’s so big. It’s so broad, but you’ve brought it down to a digestible, understandable way that I’m like, okay, this is. Intimidating as it sounds, because it may be intimidating for a lot of people Corinna. And I mean, I think we could talk for hours about this.
And quite honestly, I know is very passionate about a lot of things in terms of food consumption, if you will. So where can we find more of Corinna? We need more Corinna. We. Drink up and lavish all upon Corinna, Corinna, Corinna, tell us where do we find you?
Well, I, I have my website for the podcast. It’s care more, be better.com and really that podcast is an invitation to care a little bit more so we can all be a little bit better about a specific issue.
Or, um, as it relates to social impact or sustainability, those are the two primary topics I really cover. And so you can connect with me there, there’s a contact form to send me an email that comes directly to me. You can also find me on social spaces at CareMore. So Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Um, and luckily if you type my name into a Google search, you’ll find me.
I don’t think there’s another person with my name and spelling. So you can Google Corinna, Bellizzi. You’re mostly going to find my thing, my podcast and my professional work and the natural products in this.
Thank you so much Corinna. And guys, if anything you take away from today, please care more and be better.
Until next time obsessors get obsessed with your life.
Wow. Corinna. That was some phenomenal stuff. I am rethinking everything I do during my day. Everything from the clothes I wear to how I even look at meal prep and making dinner for the family, there is so much to unpack. And what I can say is that it all starts with us. It all starts with numero UNO to start making a difference today.
Obsessors, you’ve got this. Get obsessed with your life.