We had the good fortune of connecting with Liz Murphy and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Liz, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Sustainability is Sexy was originally born as a festival brand to provide sustainable education packaged within zero waste, festival events. We felt it was the perfect environment for Southern California residents to attend an amazing event and leave with tangible solutions to their every day sustainable questions. The festival idea was created after attending a food waste event in North County San Diego where the attendance demographics were majority retired residents interested in learning about SB-1383 (a CA bill that sets goals to reduce disposal of organic waste in landfills, including edible food) and the anticipated effects on the community. With a handful of attendees under the age of 40, we were seeking to fill an obvious gap in direct education. There doesn’t seem to be a lack of interest from 18-35 yo, but perhaps a lack of priority, or more accurately, time to access and implement actionable steps to lower their impact on climate change.
The festival was planned for spring of 2020, so when the pandemic hit we went back to the drawing board and the non profit ideas was created and launched in 2021. The need for sustainable education and resources has only increased over the last 2 years and we are working to provide community education and resources through our podcast, events and community projects.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I turned thirty in 2021 and if you had asked me five years ago to guess where I’d be and what I’d be doing now, almost none of today’s reality would have been on my list. In 2015 I moved to San Diego to fulfill the role of Sales & Catering Manager at a hotel in Oceanside. I had grown up in AZ and lived in Indianapolis for a year before accepting the job in California. It was a new and amazing experience to live and work in such an incredible community and I quickly became inspired to learn to live more sustainably. I began building relationships with local restaurants and farmers as I reinvigorated my life long passion for the culinary arts. In 2018 I decided to branch out and take a massive leap to create Santosha Nutrition, a business providing plant-based food services to our community focusing on locality and delicious vegan cuisine. The last 4 years, including the pandemic, have been an absolute roller coaster for myself and my business, but every obstacle and every stumble feeds my resilience and creative spirit.

Sustainability within our food system has become a massive point of interest for me, both professionally and personally and it led me to explore other sustainable lifestyle pieces both big and small. This passion, along with the support and inspiration of some incredible individuals inspired the creation of Sustainability is Sexy.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
We live in an amazing place with endless activities and experiences. Let’s focus on North County for this trip.

I would start with a walk along Oceanside Pier, which was one of my first experiences after moving here, so it holds a very special place in my heart. After our walk I’d suggest grabbing a bite at The Green House in downtown O’side. There are so many incredible local culinary delights to choose from, but the vegan deli experience at the Green House is the perfect beach-day meal. Next we would pop over to Sonora Refillery in Oceanside’s new Design District. The refillery is so bright and welcoming for people on any level of their sustainability journey and always brings a smile to my face. Then we can would visit Sea Hive Marketplace for some vintage goodness and the DAV for thrifting fun. Dinner would be at The Plot for delicious plant based cuisine that everyone can enjoy.

A few more must-do experiences are:

Leucadia Farmer’s Market, Encinitas — This is my favorite North County farmers market experience. It has delicious food vendors (with a lot of vegan options), a wide variety of vendors and is hosted on a beautiful school campus complete with lovely gardens and plenty of space.

Sand N’ Straw Community Farm, Vista — This family-owned farm practices regenerative agriculture and provides our community with incredible fresh, local produce and + amazing experiences. Visit their public farm stand, sign up for a CSA and check out their programs, classes & events for hands on fun.

Plant Power Fast Food — I love bringing people to PP Fast Food (multiple county locations) and surprising them with a 100% vegan junk food experience. We can grab a burger, fries and a shake in Encinitas, then head up to the lookout over Moonlight Beach to enjoy views of the Pacific.

A few more fave eateries: The Miller’s Table (Oceanside), Plumeria (Encinitas), Gianni’s (Oceanside), Phattie’s (Escondido), Vegan Food Pop Up (1st & 3rd Saturdays in Encinitas), Plantiful Kitchen (Carlsbad).

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are so many individuals and organizations that continue to support our ideas and play a key role in Sustainability is Sexy’s journey. The Bountiful Bag, Reclaimed Goodness, Sonora Refillery, Misadventure & Co., Upperhandmedown, Sustainable Shane and Santosha Nutrition are all local, sustainable businesses operated by members of our board of directors. The financial support, volunteer time and brain power provided by all of these orgs and their humans have made what we have accomplished so far possible. We also have to thank our awesome business members and community venue supporters. We look forward to growing together throughout 2022 and beyond.
If I attempted to name everyone who has inspired me and our team it would go on for pages, and gratitude cannot be expressed enough.

Website: www.sustainabilityissexy.org

Instagram: instagram.com/sis_sandiego

Linkedin: linkedin.com/sustainabilityissexy

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Sustainability-is-Sexy-101439588249122

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