As part of Nau’s interview series, we interview the people whose bold visions and rebellious spirits have directly inspired our own. Some of those people inspire us from afar, but Inga Beck inspires us from within our own family. After a decade as a digital marketing professional, she joins the marketing team at Nau to help us fight for sustainability, to bring into the world better apparel that lasts longer and leaves a smaller footprint.
We talk to Inga about her love for mountain bikes, how she stays mindful about her own relationship to sustainability, staying away from fast fashion, and what she’s learning from Whitney Houston. Inga’s life long journey to make things better is our journey too, unapologetically, without compromise. As always, each interview warms up with five fast questions we’re calling the Fast Five. Let’s hear from Inga first, then let’s UTW.
What do you miss right now?
Warm summer days.
What’s one thing you’d never forget to bring on a trip?
What are the three most beautiful words in the world to you?
Adventuresome, Mindful, Epiphany.
What are you currently listening to or reading?
Remembering Whitney: My Story of Love, Loss, and the Night the Music Stopped.
What does being sustainable mean for you?
Minimizing our negative impact on the earth and the people we share it with.
When you get outside, where do you most like to be? Why?
In the woods riding my mountain bike. For me, there’s nothing quite like pedaling on singletrack in the forest. Listening to my breath and feeling my body come alive while being surrounded by fresh air and lush green vegetation — I find it very meditative.
Being meditative brings to mind the totality of your three favorite words. Because “epiphany” is one of them, let’s use it. Have you had an epiphany or any particular aha moments that have led you toward a life more mindful of sustainability? If so, what’s that story?
Yes, there have been many aha moments, but it’s what I’ve done with that newfound clarity that matters most. I’ve always been passionate about green living, even as a kid. My first ‘real’ job out of school was working for a consulting firm in Northern California, which specializes in the environmental non-profit market. Once I started working with organizations like the NRDC, Earth Policy Institute and Friends of the Earth, I quickly realized I still had a lot to learn about sustainable living. Acquiring the tools to live more sustainably has made me more mindful of my daily choices.
What are some particular things you do to minimize your own negative impact on the earth? Are there any things you do that others may not have thought of?
I minimize animal product consumption, purchase organic non-GMO foods, grow my own food, buy in bulk, recycle, compost and reuse. I don’t participate in fast fashion, use my bicycle as my main source of transportation, and have adopted water and energy saving habits.
Now that we’re on the topic, I have a few other tips to share. Just knowing what to recycle goes a long way. A majority of Americans are recycling wrong. Every city has different recycling rules. Contact your city’s recycling program to find out what they actually recycle. Putting items in the recycling bin that can’t be recycled contaminates the other items making all of it worthless. Another big one is to remember to unplug yourself at some point every day too. This may seem obvious but I am guilty of it as well. Nobody needs to stay connected 24/7.
When you remember to unplug, it sounds like a book is nearby. In the one you’re reading now, what are you learning about Whitney that you didn’t know before? What are you learning that’s bigger than Whitney, herself?
I was most curious about her family dynamics and was looking for some insight as to why her daughter’s life ended so tragically as well. Whitney Houston is still one of the best-selling music artists of all time, but her personal struggles have overshadowed her career. To this day, I still listen and dance to her greatest hits. But like many great artists, their lives are often plagued by addiction and abuse. It’s a sad story of money, fame, and success being more valuable than human life.
While we had Ingas’ attention, we also asked her to curate the inaugural playlist for our Nau Mixtape on Spotify. Give it a listen—it’s a good one.