Ellen Strickland: Founder, Livinggreen

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Living Green episode 44: Bad Habits into Healthy Living: Ellen Strickland

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If you were to ask Ellen to describe the last seven years of her life, an exciting roller coaster would come to mind. Ellen has been on the leading edge of Green Retailing since 2000, when she opened her first store and gallery in Santa Barbara, California. Her mission was, as it is today, to offer her clients healthy and sustainable choices in building materials, finishes and home furnishings.

Ellen began her professional career in planning and design, specializing in educational programming and exhibitions designed to encourage learning through interactivity and… fun! Her projects of the last 28 years include interior spaces and exhibits for museums, zoos, aquariums and other educational facilities around the country. Her knowledge of building and finish materials used during construction served as a solid basis for what was soon to develop into a life-changing mission. It was while designing and building a walrus habitat that she was inspired to investigate the use of healthier alternative materials for the animal’s benefit. This set off a chain of discoveries that hasn’t stopped since.

Ellen soon realized that “traditional” building materials and methods were too often not only unhealthy for animals and humans but generally damaging to the environment we all share. Her realization was the catalyst for an entirely new mission and life-choice: to offer alternative building materials and furnishings to a broader audience looking for more conscious choices.

Launched in the fall of 1999, Livingreen was the result of that idea. Today, Livingreen is more than just retail stores and a website – it is a new mindset for living. And Ellen is more than an exhibit planner who “got a conscience”—she is a pioneer within the growing green community. Her stores and website are where interested consumers can come to learn about an entire world of healthier, more sustainable household products and building materials. Livinggreen is a leader in offering healthier green alternatives to home owners and professionals making more conscious choices about products used at home and work. In addition to the online store, they have three retail locations—Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and most recently, Montecito, California.

Ellen is visible and active in all store locations when not writing articles, speaking on panels, attending industry events or hosting educational workshops for various communities. She maintains an active membership in ASID in Los Angeles, the Sustainable Business Council, the local chapters of AIA, as well as a number of other local and national educational and environmental organizations. She is also a founding member of the Culver City Green Business Alliance and a board member of OpportunityGreen.