VL Writer Series | One on One with Lisa Borden

Typewriter Thank You

Village Living Magazine is proud to introduce our new Writer Series which spotlights our amazing regular columnists.  As passionate educators (whether they’re writing about parenting, clean living, or the arts & culture scene in Toronto) our writers are the backbone of our publication and readers have come to closely identify with these familiar faces. But what motivates them? Where does that drive and passion to connect with others come from?

This series offers a more intimate look at some of our writers and gives readers the opportunity to learn about the experiences that have shaped their lives, and lead them to do what they do. Because in the end:

“Do what you love, and you will find a way to get it out to the world.”-Judy Collins

Frances Du, Features Editor ~ One on One with Lisa Borden

Owner of Borden Communications and Eco in the City Columnist

Lisa Head Shot

VL: Where did you grow up and what is your educational background?

LB:  No matter how you interpret “growing up”, it happened in Toronto…and continues to! I have a degree in French from the University of Western Ontario, a perfect background for business development and marketing, right? 🙂

VL:    When did you become aware of the concept of green living?

LB:     I would like to believe that I was always doing the best that I could do and was always finding ways to do better, but having kids was a true catalyst into being more responsible and actively seeking out healthier and better ways…and I now subscribe to using what I know, to do better every day.

VL:    As the owner and founder of Borden Communications, an author, a weekly contributor, and a mother, how do you go about creating a work and life balance?

LB:     The moment I stopped spending time looking for balance, I felt much more balanced…and happy! I am so fortunate to  LOVE what I do everyday, so I live in the moment the best that I can – as a coping mechanism as much as to stay positive!

VL:    What do you love and hate the most about social media when it comes to running a marketing campaign?

LB:     I love that social media is available to me, and to clients 24/7…there is nothing to dislike when you use social media as a tool on your own terms.

VL:    Why I do what I do:

LB:     Personally, I have always been a motivator, and although not an intellectual, I have always prided myself on my common sense, I have always been someone who could and wanted to affect change (read: shit disturber), but, known for my integrity in my relentless pursuit of results.

When I was 22, I took my common sense and started a business just because I could not understand how no one figured out that the key to success was to actually deliver (or gasp! Over deliver) on every promise made. I then married my Summer Camp Sweetheart, Rob. I became a mother. Life became so much larger than ME. I truly believe that every mother wants the BEST for their children and we all go about it in our own ways. Although I breastfed, made my own organic babyfood and bought the BEST (so I thought), I kept having these “WHAT?!?!” moments. How could I not have known about the phthalates in toys, why didn’t I connect the stink with the fact that they shouldn’t be manufactured, let alone in my home? What about the flame retardants and toxic chems on mattresses and strollers and highchairs? Triclosan? It was overwhelming. I don’t do overwhelming. So I broke it down to figure out how to do better. Then I broke down myself. Then I vowed to do better, care more, be more active in making change that mattered to the bottom line – of our health, safety and our world.

My second child was again a catalyst for more change. She had/has allergies, includes skin issues. My father, a physician got me into see specialists. Quickly (a luxury in Canada!). How lucky (I thought then). Each person that I consulted with prescribed steroid creams and ointments…they told me that if I refused to use it my family life would suffer. SERIOUSLY. If my daughter was uncomfortable and unhappy, she wouldn’t sleep, my marriage would suffer, her brother wouldn’t function properly. All could be solved with toxic creams and antihistamine. RAGE followed, with a pursuit of a better option. I researched. I removed ALL products from my home with any unpronounceable ingredients. I cleaned my home top to bottom with microfiber cloths and water. My doctor and father don’t believe that had anything to do with changing my daughter’s health almost immediately, but they still agree that they “cannot argue with success”. It amazed me then, and still amazes me now that diet and lifestyle are not part of a doctor’s “services”. But change is happening, and I continue to want to be a part of it.

I don’t know that I’ve arrived anywhere, but I do know that I like where I’m going. I don’t stress about what I can’t personally do, but I do all that I personally can manage. In work AND in  life. And, I feel more connected than ever and love it.

VL:    What was the inspiration behind your book, The Alphabet of Avoidance?

LB:     Everyone wants a place to start, people would ask me repeatedly for the best book on green living, but they were all either too long, or too specific, or too radical, so I wrote something VERY short, to help get people in mode to see their actions a little differently, and empower them with easy-to-implement changes.

VL:    What are some of your favourite restaurants?

LB:      Home. There’s no place like it. Not because it’s fancy, just because our meals are all based on the best of ingredients. I would say that my favourite restaurant is far out of our community, and in New York at Pure Food and Wine. Each dish is made with the best organic ingredients, and so many of them, that I would never have the patience or ability to make on my own! My son happens to be a restaurant “critic”, and is pretty discerning for a 12 year old, so check his blog for places we visit and frequent – www.rysratings.ca

VL:    What is a recipe you are currently obsessed with?  Click here to see my Current Recipe Obsession

VL:   What is your favourite motivational quote?

LB:    A green mosquito is my company mascot, and I live and work by this African Proverb, If you think you’re too small to make a difference, try sleeping in a room with a mosquito.- African Proverb

VL:   Why do you think it’s important to support local businesses and shop locally?

LB:    Our money is our power and each time you spend it, it’s a vote for something, so, local is great…but trace what you are buying back to where it came from, and feel good about it!

VL:  Why did you want to become involved with Village Living?

LB:   I’m all about community, and I was thrilled to be able to support what Iris and Andrew were building in terms of community. To connect people who are interested in new perspectives, or trying new products and services with those products and services that need attention, and merit it, is a gift, and I thank Village Living for the opportunity to have this voice!



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