A Conscious Endeavor
by Lindsay Seligman '06
Sitting by a large office window on a typical drizzly Portland day, I take comfort in a warm cup of Organic Neem Nectar Tea and raw honey. In front of me sits a pile of fair trade chocolate, gluten-free granola nut clusters, and various other healthier snack alternatives.This is a huge departure from the sugar cookies, cupcakes, and jar of M&Ms that won the better of me at every other office.
Not only is my new office filled with healthy snacks and organic, GMO (genetically modified organism)-free treats, but my daily to-do list includes designing content to help educate people on healthy living, from alternative cleaning agents to sweets that even diabetics can eat. It’s interesting how much there is to share on the subject of healthy and non-toxic products.
How did we become so surrounded by foods that appear to be largely responsible for many modern-day health epidemics such as diabetes and obesity? Why must we fight daily to resist the sweet, fatty, preservativeridden convenience lurking in the nearest vending machine? You can’t help but often feel defeated.
We designed our surroundings, and we can redesign it. Someday, we could go to the grocery store and find only healthy choices; no artificial flavors or colors, no gene-spliced corn, no pesticides or toxins. Luckily for me, my job is working towards making this a reality.
I work for a rising start-up in the natural products industry called Conscious Box. We are a subscription company that delivers a curated box of non-GMO products so that tens of thousands of subscribers can find the best available products. The company not only supports food brands, but all types of consumerpackaged goods, including bath, beauty, and home items. My daily tasks involve the design and media promotion of the company. Every day I get to talk about matters that are important to me. And I use my art and design education from Scripps to create compelling campaigns that tell the story of Conscious Box.
One of the best aspects of my job is working with other talented and health-conscious co-workers, including four Claremont Colleges alums. Co-founders Tyler Benner (CMC ’07) and Patrick Kelly (PO ’07) work alongside Trevor Bisset (PO ’09), James Campbell (PO ’12), and me.
Why do I care so much about natural living? It all really started for me at Scripps, where I began to understand global issues. It gave me the insight to question what is and strive for what could be. Having a thirst for knowledge and passion for change, I embarked on a trip to learn about sustainability. I traveled around the U.S. and South America, visiting every sustainable village, farm, and green building school I could find. It was an eye-opening experience. I learned how we affect the earth when we do not use organic methods.There are so many natural methods of building, farming, and living the world has forgotten or overlooked.
It became imperative for me to support the development of natural products in modern markets. In order to change, we need to form new habits and break out of the old systems we haphazardly created. For new, emerging companies that care about ethical production, it can be incredibly difficult to break through the entrenched marketplace where huge corporations without sustainable values dominate.
Conscious Box supports the growth and development of such ethical companies. To change how products are made, we must open a dialog between consumers and businesses. Upon receiving our box, consumers are asked to participate in voting — not only with their dollars — but with their voices. They get rewards for filling out surveys that are then returned to companies. This information helps businesses with their goals, whether it is entering into a Whole Foods Market or R&D to improve a product.
It is a truly powerful business model that can change the dynamic of what stores — and maybe even, someday, vending machines — stock. I love working where I get to use my creative talents to promote values I believe in. Working with other Claremont grads reminds me of the connections I made at Scripps that shape my career and life.
If you share these ideals, we are recruiting more Claremont students and alumni for jobs and internships. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and let’s affect change together.
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