For Lucy Johnson, shopping locally is both enjoyable and good for her carbon footprint. Image courtesy of vickiknights


Making wellbeing green


Carbon Savvy’s Maya Kumar Mitchell talks with Lucy Johnson, former television reporter and practising psychotherapist, about founding her green lifestyle consultancy.

Carbon Savvy: Why did you set up Green Salon?

Lucy Johnson: 25 years ago I used to interview climate scientists for ITN. The more I learned about global warming and tipping points, the more I got involved in the sustainability movement. I then left TV to train and work as a psychotherapist. Fast forward to lockdown in 2020, when I had the idea of bringing the two together with sustainability coaching. I help people with eco-confusion and empower them to change behaviour patterns.

CS: What do people like about Green Salon?

Lucy: Sustainability can be a trigger word for many people because climate change and behaviour change are not things we want to think about.  But by connecting sustainability with wellbeing we make it more accessible. People go away inspired to do things which are “good for me and good for the planet.”

CS: Do you think we can enjoy the path to net zero? 

Lucy: Absolutely. We’re facing a severe threat but we are an adaptable, agile and resilient species and I totally believe we have the ability to respond to this. The thousands of sustainability businesses popping up suggest that we are now adapting pretty fast.

CS: What most helps people to change behaviour?

Lucy: It’s all about mindset. We may know why we want to shift our behaviour but it doesn’t always translate into how. We’re creatures of habit and change can feel unsettling, plus it’s hard work for the brain. I work with the “green mindset” – when we’re less judgemental towards ourselves and others it’s easier to adapt and find new ways of living.

CS: You’ve been dubbed a “green agony aunt,” what kind of advice do you give?

Lucy: People often feel eco-confused and not sure what to do. The information is complicated or it’s been greenwashed, so at Green Salon we spend thousands of hours researching and categorising the sustainability practices of different eco brands to help our clients choose products that are truly sustainable. I also work with how people feel in response to climate change. To me, it’s healthier to express our fear and grief and then move through those emotions to action.

CS: Do you do your carbon footprint regularly?

Lucy: Yes – I’m a bit nerdy and I really like knowing the data behind it all. I first did my whole family’s footprint five years ago, then I offset our footprint to make us carbon neutral. We’ve reduced that by 40% through making changes to our home, to how we travel and to how we eat. Now my offsets cost significantly less – which is great!  We’re replacing high-carbon ways of living with low-carbon ones that we love as much and often more. I do a carbon footprint stocktake at the end of the year and I find the Carbon Savvy 45-minute calculator incredibly helpful.

CS: What’s your message to people new to Green Salon?

Lucy: Come and join our growing community!  Our mission is to “live the change” ourselves, so we search for ways to have a green life that is beautiful, healthy and fun. We support you all the way – through workshops, coaching and our brand directory.

Carbon Savvy: Big thanks to you, Lucy Johnson. Keep up with Lucy’s work via the Green Salon website