Graham Hill
Vice President, Interactive Media, Planet Green

Is American culture inherently wasteful?

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It's not just Americans who are wasteful, Graham Hill remarks.

Graham Hill

Hill is the founder of TreeHugger, an online hub for news and information related to environmental sustainability.Hailed as a "green CNN," TreeHugger hosts a constantly updated blog, newsletters, video and radio segments and a user-generated Graham site, Hugg. In the three years since its inception, TreeHugger has become one of the most high-profile and highly-trafficked sites on the internet.

Recently, Hill his been hard at work developing Planet Green with Discovery Communications. Hill has also worked in a variety of industries prior to starting TreeHugger, including fashion, web-development, and plant-based air filters. He is also a designer, and his New York souvenir coffee mug is sold in over 150 stores. Hill was educated at Carleton University in Ottawa and Emily Carr Institute of ArtDesign in Vancouver.


Question: Is American culture inherently wasteful?

Graham Hill: I’d like to sort of turn that around because I really don’t think that we are a bad people, and I don’t think we’re different; Americans, Canadians, Europeans; I don’t think we’re that much different.

I think the way that we’ve gotten here is absolutely understandable. And there was a time when natural resources went on and on. There was an incredible amount. And we really didn’t have to think that much about being wasteful. And that’s sort of where we’ve come from in this last century.

I think we’ve, in a way, conceptually worked our way around the globe. We set out one way, and there’s like lots and lots of forests. And we’re just realizing we’re about to come to the end, and we have to re-look at how we do things.

I don’t think we’re bad people. We didn’t look; it was hard to see that far in advance. It was hard to think that we would actually go through those resources. And so now we’re learning quickly that we have to have a different approach.

As with most things, the answers are there. The technologies, the solutions, a way to live a better, balanced life and get along on a global basis – I think it’s all there. It just takes the personal and the political will to make it happen.

So specifically green, it’s there. There are amazing technologies and approaches that are here now. And we can really pull ourselves out of this rather quickly if we just get the personal and political will to focus on them.


Recorded on: Oct 16, 2007