As a sustainable fashion, beauty, parenting and lifestyle expert and journalist who founded EcoStiletto, I was featured in Los Angeles and Lucky magazines and appeared on “The Today Show,” “Access Hollywood” and “CNN Headline News,” among others. Today, I publish MommyGreenest.com, a resource for healthier parenting with less judgment—“because you shouldn't have to be a scientist to raise healthy kids." I'm also a brand consultant and prenatal yoga teacher, who helps families with private Healthy Home Assessments. As part of Maker Studios, I post videos at YouTube.com/RachelSarnoff. I live in Los Angeles with my husband and three children.
When did you first start writing?
I can't remember not writing. I wrote my autobiography in first grade and published poetry in high school. I've written screenplays and fiction, but journalism has always been the form I return to. I think blogging can be an extension of that, if done right--it's a return to the era of the columnist, whose opinion you trust to interpret events. My books are an extension of what I've learned as a journalist and blogger. Recently, I started writing songs for a band that I play with in Los Angeles. I'm afraid that my song lyrics bear a strong resemblance to my adolescent poetry. It all comes full circle, right?
What's the story behind your latest book?
About seven years ago, I began to realize how much of an impact what I bought for myself and my family could have on the environment—and the marketplace. Women are responsible for 85% of the buying decisions in a household. What we spend our money on matters.
As I learned more, I started applying this knowledge to my life. I wrote about eco-beauty for women’s magazines—and found it increasingly more difficult to write about conventional alternatives. I was asked to create a marketing campaign for a major denim label—and turned it down when I learned that takes an astounding one-third of a pound of toxic fertilizer to make a t-shirt (dump that into a bowl and keep that visual in mind the next time you go shopping).
How could I promote this stuff, with what I knew? That’s when I started The Big List of Things That Suck. First, it was just a short list of conventional fashion, beauty and lifestyle factoids for me to use when I was writing. Then I started slipping in my own suckies as commentary on the green lifestyle—for example, a “sustainabully” is a person who makes others feel guilty for perceived eco-sins.
In 2007, this encyclopedia of essential eco-information got so gigantic that I built a website around it: EcoStiletto.com, which became MommyGreenest.com in 2013. Also this year, The Big List of Things That Suck achieved its ultimate goal of becoming an actual book. Yes, it’s an eBook. But that counts, right?