Laura Turner Seydel : National Eco-Activist
Intelligent, articulate and down to earth – these are what came to mind as I sat with Laura Tuner Seydel – a, Southern-based, National Environmental Activist. Sitting in her Atlanta home, “Eco-Manor,” Laura outlines with vivid description Atlanta’s environmental difficulties. She also describes viable solutions with this same strong energy. Laura educates herself on the issues and takes action including creating many programs and foundations addressing environmental issues. Laura’s interest in the environment comes from her own love of nature, and by her father, Ted Turner’s, modeling. She sits on several of his environmentally focused boards such as chairing the Captain Planet Foundation.
Drinking herbal teas and water; it is clear that taking care of the planet includes taking care of her; Laura has a healthy look to her. She describes a story that is a clincher for her. The “Environmental Working Group” (EWG) asked her, her father, and her son to participate in a generational study. They measured for chemicals in their blood and found different chemicals levels in each of them. In Laura’s body the chemicals found were more related to those found in personal care products and cosmetics such as parabens and phthalates. In her son, who was twelve at the time, the chemicals were more related flame-retardants and in her father, toxins such as lead and asbestos were more common. The findings of this study accelerated Laura’s interest in eliminating our exposure to toxic chemicals.
In addition to chairing and sitting on several boards, Laura is busy making speeches. She reads books and studies research findings to stay updated. Her role as an environmental steward also includes educating her three children on issues making this a family affair. She feels strongly on raising our children ready to inherit the earth. Her commitment to the environment carries through in most areas of her life including family purchases; eating habits, driving a hybrid Prius, environmentally-friendly landscaping and yard care; and writing articles. Her website, www.lauraturnerseydel.com., houses an extensive list of environmental resources and educational pieces. And her home, Eco Manor is the first Gold LEED certified residence in the Southeast and has its own website www.ecomanor.com.
I witness Laura treated as a local Atlanta celebrity with a group of people surrounding her; yet there is no fanfare. She appears gracious and courteous to all who greet her. I am inspired by her willingness to look deeply at the issues and to act on them. As she learns the truth on local water Issues, – she creates with her husband, Rutherford, “The Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeepers;” when she learns how air pollution is affecting children, she creates the program, “Mothers and Others for Clean Air”, with a local politician. Though her schedule is evidently full as we meet, she is fully present and calm; moving on to the next interview, soccer game, school project, and fundraising event. Laura knows that with privilege comes responsibility and through her own hard work, and intelligence, she creates opportunities and solutions. Her staunch commitment, determination, and congruent lifestyle come clearly through: she walks her talk.
Please visit her website at www.lauraturnerseydel.com to learn more.