Think of "The Last Straw" as a sustainability self-help book. Until you take care of yourself you can’t really take care of the environment.
VoyageHouston interviewed Joyce Kristiansson, author of “The Last Straw, Change Your Life and the Planet – For Good,” and CEO of Kristiansson EHS Solutions.
They chatted about work-life balance, facing adversity, enjoying all that Houston has to offer and the people who helped make her journey possible.
Date: April 28, 2021
"When I began reading “The Last Straw” I expected it to be like so many other books about what I should be doing to help the environment. As committed as I am to being environmentally responsible, I haven’t found value in much that has been written on the topic in recent years. “The Last Straw” takes an entirely different and much more compelling approach. Instead of presenting a preachy list of often obvious and cliched tips – “Stop using plastic water bottles! Reduce, reuse, recycle!” - “The Last Straw” uses the author’s own struggles to weave a step by step approach integrating self-care with environmental care. Rather than striving to elicit guilt in the reader, Kristiansson is acutely aware that we cannot take care of our environment if we don’t take care of ourselves. In fact, that is the key theme in the book, and in 2020’s uncertain times, it should resonate with all of us. “The Last Straw” is an enjoyable, breezy read. If the reader is looking for advice on self help and encouragement for helping the environment, they will certainly find it in “The Last Straw”.
However, for me, at least, it wasn’t information that kept me turning the pages. It was the story in which the information was encapsulated. Kristiansson’s own personal story of balancing career with family, and of her battle with breast cancer brings a personal element to “The Last Straw” that many environmentally focused books do not. There is so often a tendency for these books to use an overabundance of data and anecdotes of environmental destruction to convince their readers; but the reality is that most of us who have picked up these books are already well familiar with the dire state of our environment. “The Last Straw” strives to give its readers what they really need – encouragement and ideas that can actually be implemented into our own busy lives.I recommend “The Last Straw” to anyone that has even a passing interest in living a more sustainable life – and, in particular, anyone who struggles with how to fit “one more thing” into our busy and complicated lives. Now that I think about it – isn’t that just about all of us?" - KBL, Sustainability Coach
Using anecdotes from my personal journey through breast cancer, and drawing on my science background and general curiosity about everything, I have meshed together the science that will help us get our lives back in balance so that we can do things that matter for the environment - better people, better planet. Each of the ten chapters is equivalent to a week which focuses on some aspect of how we can be better and do better.
Joyce Kristiansson has a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences and a master’s degree in environmental management. Her company, Kristiansson EHS Solutions, specializes in helping companies improve their environmental performance through self-sustaining management systems. Joyce lives in Houston, Texas, and enjoys spending time reveling in the wide variety of nature in her backyard and wherever she finds it, like on the Brazos River in this picture.
You can reach the author at email@example.com and on the Facebook page www.facebook.com/thelaststrawbook and associated group of the same name. We want to hear about what you are doing for you, for the environment, what's working and what's not - your struggles and successes.
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