David Kupfer

Less Stuff, More Fun

Recorded: July 18, 2013

David Kupfer is a man profoundly concerned about what he and the rest of us will leave to future generations. David has found his well source in writing and interviewing celebrities who truly care about the environment and he helps them to get their messages out about caring for the earth and living lightly. David lives his daily life as if our global future depended on it. Think about it.

Writer, educator, organic gardener, environmental consultant, and bicycle man-about-town, David Kupfer is a boomer who leverages the power of celebrity names to tout environmental sustainability. He has interviewed many high profile individuals and activists. David lives sustainably, grows food, lives without a car, and happily shares his enthusiasm with everyone he encounters.

A freelance writer since 1993, David has contributed to more than 50 interviews and dozens of articles related to the environment and agriculture. He has been published in the Sun Magazine, Progressive, Whole Earth, Earth Island Journal, Bay Nature, AdBusters, Reuters, Talking Leaves, Hope, Yes, Backpacker, Spirituality and Health, Diva, Common Ground, San Francisco Bay Guardian, LA Reader, Eugene Weekly and many more. He is Contributing Editor for the quarterly publication, Annals of Earth.

David has served as a high school advisor to students and served as an ongoing environmental lecturer for several faculty members in the Tamalpais Union High School District. He continues to be active in environmental lecturing in Oregon and elsewhere.

[Music]

David Kupfer: I’ve had a lot of incredible role models and many of whom I’ve been able to interview for national magazines and get their voices out there, including my principle mentors, Amory Lovins and Dave Brower. And you know through the years, the amazing people that I’ve been able to come to know and call friends, be they Pete Seeger or Utah Phillips or Terry Tempest Williams or from Joan Baez to Jane Goodall, from Robert Kennedy Jr., to Van Jones and I’m just sort of a conduit in that regard. I actually share views with them, but people don’t really care about my views, they care more about these names because we’re so celebrity driven if you will. And so I’ve sort of exploited my network in a way.

 Huey Johnson: Yeah.

David Kupfer: But in a positive way. Twenty two years ago when I was in Hollywood establishing environmental policies for studios, production companies, the Association of Independent Commercial Producers [AICP], the Music Video Association, at the end of the day it really didn’t matter that I assisted in developing some policies and models to lead towards environmental conservation. Hollywood is the number one educator in the world through television and motion pictures and as Hollywood promulgates western consuming values, that has a much bigger environmental impact than any recycling that might happen on a set, you know. At the end of the day images last forever.

Huey Johnson: Well, how about the messages that you’ve pursued over these years as a general trend and theme?

David Kupfer: What did Brower say? “CPR, conservation, preservation, restoration”. Less stuff, more fun. We need to be better ancestors. We need to reduce our material consumption. We have to give back more than we take.