66: Moving Past the Haters to Get Your Message Out Into the World, with Ashley Renne

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“There's no point in being an activist and an advocate if nobody's receiving the message. ” This was an important realization Ashley Renne had as she began to pivot her career towards her newfound passion.

Ashley Renne is a professional content creator, keynote speaker, on-camera host, environmental activist, and vegan lifestyle advocate (and mother!) with certs in both "Plant-based Nutrition" and "Food & Sustainability" from Cornell. Her travels gave her different perspectives, which led her to start blogging about the places she visits. In this episode, Ashley goes over how she merges her environmental advocacy into her travel content while ignoring what the haters throw at her.

Realization in Bali

It was a regular trip to Bali, Indonesia, when Ashley opened her eyes to the truth. She saw what pictures on the internet showed – fine sand, lush greenery, pristine beaches, coconut trees, and the calm waters of the tropics. There is one thing she did not anticipate, though: trash. The pollution problem was at its peak; her feet were literally stepping over piles of trash. Because of that experience, Ashley was awakened to the reality that caused climate change. It transformed her life and the trajectory of her career. As a result, Ashley started to get interested in sustainability and wrote an article about Bali exposing the ills brought by pollution. The downside was that her writing was not met with great reception. Ashley was dragged on the internet. She got scared of talking about environmentalism for some time, but she realized posting beautiful travel photos was not her thing. Ashley pushed on creating content about the topic with the hope of educating people and, ultimately, urge them to help save the environment.

The Vegan Lifestyle

Ashley discovered veganism accidentally when a vegan influencer’s post showed up on her timeline out of nowhere. It showed a video about a cow chasing a trap where her calf was. She saw the inhumane ways in the dairy industry – cows forcibly impregnated to produce milk, hens made to lay eggs, and more. As she went down the rabbit hole, it convinced Ashley to take the vegan lifestyle. Starting to incorporate this in her content gathered backlash from non-vegans. Despite the debate on veganism, Ashley took courses on food-based nutrition and food sustainably from Cornell University. She uses this knowledge to educate people without seeming preachy to encourage them rather than discourage them.

About Ashley Renne:

Since becoming a full-time content creator, Ashley has completely rebranded from a travel blog named “Travel Lushes” to her self-titled personal brand Hey Ashley Renne. She left her “glamorous” travel influencer career in 2019 to reduce her carbon footprint and instead educate people about sustainable living, became a host on the Smart. Healthy. Green. Living streaming channel (SHG Living), joined the Creative Council board of Climate Power 2020 and started volunteering as a Wildlife Transporter. Ashley has built a platform that hopefully inspires everyone to bridge individual action with systemic change to help end animal exploitation, protect our natural environment, and improve health through sustainable, plant-based lifestyle changes – especially in communities of color which tend to be disproportionately impacted by climate change and health problems.

Outline of the Episode:

[04:11] Impacts brought by Ashley’s travels

[09:24] A professional videographer and editor turned full-time travel blogger

[12:27] Consistency and experimentation as factors to build rapport and community

[20:33] Transition to veganism and a more sustainable lifestyle

[33:19] Journey as a vegan mother and debunking non-vegan sentiments

[42:44] Ashley’s approach to sharing vegan content without being righteous

[50:12] How to travel in a much sustainable means without stopping travel altogether

Connect with Ashley:

Website: http://www.travellushes.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/heyashleyrenne/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/heyashleyrenne

Resources Mentioned in the Episode:

Find eco-friendly hotels: https://www.greenpearls.com/

Sustainable Tourism: https://wayaj.com/

Get your Plant-Based Nutrition Certification from eCornell! : https://ecornell.cornell.edu/certificates/nutrition/plant-based-nutrition/

Connect with Natalie!

Surf and Yoga Wellness Retreat Details: https://bit.ly/surfyogaretreat

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nataliejkraus/

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