Behind the Blogger
Hey y’all hey! I’m Ashley Renne and welcome to my little corner of the Interwebs! I’m a professional video creator, keynote speaker, on-camera host, intersectional environmentalism advocate, and certified plant-based nutrition expert. My blog Hey Ashley Renne shares plant-based and sustainable ways to help us all have healthier bodies, smarter homes and a greener planet.
While studying abroad in Egypt over 10 years ago, I fell in love with the thrilling feeling of being in another country and experiencing a culture completely different from my own. I walked away from that trip with this craving to explore more places to see how each destination expanded my perception of the world. After graduating, I continued to travel, while also gaining video production experience, landing producer and editor positions with major brands like The Weather Channel, The Home Depot, and WebMD. Eventually, it dawned on me that I could use these content production skills to share different perspectives of the world as seen through my own lens. I started blogging and vlogging about sustainable travel, smart technology, and my vegan lifestyle – and then in 2017, I quit my job to become an entrepreneur.
Since becoming a full-time content creator, I’ve completely rebranded from a travel blog named “Travel Lushes” to my self-titled personal brand Hey Ashley Renne. I left my “glamorous” travel influencer career in 2019 to reduce my carbon footprint and instead educate people about sustainable living, became a host on the Smart. Healthy. Green. Living streaming channel (SHG Living), joined the Creative Council board of Climate Power 2020, and started volunteering as a Wildlife Transporter. I’ve built a platform that hopefully inspires us all to bridge individual action with systemic change to help end animal exploitation, protect our natural environment, and improve the health of our bodies through sustainable, plant-based lifestyle changes – especially in communities of color which tend to be disproportionately impacted by climate change and health problems.
I currently live in Atlanta, GA with my husband Karl and pup Kayden (an adorable 11-year old husky).
- My husband is Nigerian American and we met on Match.com!
- It took us 10 months to build our smart home.
- Not a day goes by without one of us dishing out an inappropriate “That’s What She Said” or “Deez Nuts” joke.
- I’m half Black (Jamaican), half Indian. A Blindian! Or Jamindian?
- I’ve only had one cold in the past 4 years.
- One of my biggest dreams is to own a vegan farm and animal sanctuary.
Behind the Blog
What Inspired This Blog
One day while traveling in Bali, I visited a beach that was littered in huge piles of trash. I was never the same after that. With a newfound passion for environmentalism, it became my mission to travel sustainably and live an adventurously green life. I began incorporating eco-friendly habits into my daily routine, switched to a completely vegan lifestyle, bought an electric car (Tesla Model S), built an energy-efficient solar powered smart home, and started staying at sustainable hotels. I began promoting sustainable tourism by supporting locally-owned businesses and going off-the-beaten path to sustain the local culture of destinations; and now I’ve completely slowed down my travels to focus on educating my community about intersectional environmentalism, sustainability, climate action, and low impact plant-based living.
What to Expect!
So now you know how this transformed from a travel blog into an online source for sustainability, green technology, and vegan lifestyle inspiration. “Inclusive and Intersectional Sustainability” is ultimately the overall theme of what this blog has evolved into.
I use my platform to kill stereotypes of the “hippie eco nerd” and show how sustainability is not only sexy, but completely doable for the average person and especially important for people of color.
POC are disproportionately affected by climate change and health issues stemming from non-sustainable ways of living and environmental racism. As a multi-ethnic Jamaican, Black American and Indian woman, I have a unique opportunity to reach these underserved audiences to inspire both individual action and systemic policy change.
What is Intersectional Environmentalism and Sustainability?
When you live an everyday sustainable lifestyle, you’re choosing to make an effort to reduce your demand on natural resources. However, that choice is also robbed of those facing socioeconomic inequalities.
Black lives and people of color are not only discriminated against racially, but environmentally as well. Polluting facilities have historically been built near Black American communities, the oil & gas industry releases pollutants and toxins that disproportionately impact Black Americans, environmental gentrification is causing an increase in property values in under-developed neighborhoods and displacing low-income residents, and climate change has created environmental catastrophes that disproportionately threaten marginalized communities that don’t have the infrastructure to combat severe weather events.
Then theres’s food politics. Modern animal agriculture is arguably the biggest cause of environmental destruction there is. Although I went vegan for the animals, the environmental and health benefits play a critical role in my fight against climate change and environmental racism. Diseases that affect the African American community the most, including diabetes and heart disease, are ones that are controlled by diet. Food, health, and the environment are all significantly linked, and my platform brings all those connections to light.
Ultimately, there is no climate justice without racial justice. A sustainable future must ultimately be accessible to everyone.
Why I Do This
Climate change, Environmental Pollution, and Animal Advocacy have been the biggest factors affecting the way I live and travel. It is a major part of who I have become and the message I have chosen to focus on as a professional content creator and activist. That one little trip to Bali forever impacted my mission as a blogger. After witnessing the tragic plastic problem there, I suddenly became hyper aware of how our everyday choices were having a direct impact on our planet.
The more I traveled the world, the more my eyes began to open up to how much it was being destroyed and how marginalized communities were being directly impacted. My first attempt to write about what I witnessed got me dragged on the Internet. I was called incompetent for calling out the pollution problem and the tourism sector’s role in it. At first it discouraged me from wanting to talk about it. I decided to completely alter my lifestyle so I could not only talk the talk but walk the walk. Now I can show people what sustainable living looks like, the many ways you can work toward it, and how we as individuals can make a big difference through collective action.
Sustainability and compassion are always at the forefront of my mind. Travel has taught me that I don’t own the world. I am merely a visitor passing through and it will be here long after my exit. I’ve learned that it’s my individual responsibility to try my best to leave it in better shape than when I arrived.
I blog with the hope to inspire within people the will to not only explore this world, but to take much better care of it. I want my travels and everyday lifestyle to inspire others to see exactly why this world, the environment, and everything in it is worth saving.