What do you do when you're a newly-minted author, and you're about 30 percent finished filming interviews for a film version of your maiden effort, all the while serving as America's leading expert on women in green business? Well, if you're environmental activist-author-producer Rebecca Harrell Tickell, you pick up and teleport cross-country to document the impact of the most recent Gulf Oil Spill, of course. And maybe you take a book along for the flight. Let's call it, Hot, Rich & Green by ... Rebecca Harrell Tickell.
If Rebecca wants you to know something, it's that she wishes more than just about anything she could teleport cross-country and across the world instead of traveling by airplane. When I ask her if living sustainably or "greener" ever has its challenges, she says as much (without using the term "teleportation"). But Rebecca is well aware that in order to achieve her long-term objectives, this is a necessary short-term compromise. "We want it now," Rebecca says, referring to a greener global society, independent of oil. The waiting, she tells me, sometimes leaves her frustrated and fearful that it might never come to pass. But her tone of voice is bright for someone conducting roughly 25 interviews a week throughout the American Southeast, and she is quick to offer up the silver lining: "Even over the past few years we've seen progress."
Rebecca and her husband, Josh Tickell (creator of the festival-lauded documentary, Fuel), have made very public their life's mission: to wean America off of oil by aggressively pursuing alternative energy. A Vermont native, nature lover and avid recycler, Rebecca was not always an activist. It wasn't until she and her future husband met, and Josh showed her the footage he'd gathered for Fuel that Rebecca decided to drop everything (her house, car and career in marketing) to dedicate her life to the cause.
"I never thought I'd drive in a car powered by algae," admitted Rebecca. But that's exactly what she and Josh did for Fuel. And in so doing, the Tickells have convinced some very powerful people, including Sapphire Energy (whose partnership helped make their algae-fueled dream car a reality), congressmen and Sir Richard Branson to get behind that cause.
"Discover your passion," urges Rebecca. "Allow yourself to dream." It's clear Rebecca has done just that. And she's done plenty of urging as well. In fact, Branson has said about her, "Rebecca is one of the most persuasive women I know ... I just can't say no to her."
Using her own green lifestyle and extensive research as a platform, Rebecca has been coaching businesswomen down a greener path, showing them ways to do what they love while doing right by the planet, and also making a good living at it. During our call I'm reminded that this is "Mother Earth" we live on, and I'm also introduced to the story of Lysistrata, the Aristophanes play about a woman who determines to put an end to the Peloponnesian War by denying their men sex. "This is an example of women who united behind a cause," says Rebecca. There is no depravity in Rebecca's message - only the conversation's steady undercurrent that women are capable of better and more.
But there's also a book, remember? Hot, Rich & Green, which Rebecca refers to as a "road map" for women.
"Hot," Rebecca tells me, "is when a woman is confident, inspired, and passionate."
Rich is "breathing abundance in and out." (And it's reflected in your bank account.) Rich is a "shift in the economy. Green will turn things around," Rebecca says resolutely.
Green is a description of "people who are aware of the connection between their actions to each other and the environment."
In her book, Rebecca shares her own story, and the stories of other women who've achieved Hot, Rich & Green lives. While we wait for the film version (and the BP Oil Spill documentary that Rebecca and Josh Tickell are making called Spill), we can pick up a copy of the book and check into Rebecca's website for news and daily tips.
Photos Courtesy of Rebecca Harrell Tickell.