Azora Zoe Paknad of Goldune on #WeGotGoals

I had a startling realization today: the tradition of Earth Month is actually not that much older than I am. According to the Smithsonian Magazine, Earth Month’s roots (pun intended) come from an environmental crisis. In 1969, a major oil spill along the Santa Barbara coastline led to roughly 3 million gallons of oil spreading across 35 miles. It’s hard to properly communicate the magnitude of this environmental disaster. But to those who saw it, they knew instantly it was a life-changing moment. In fact, in January 1970, The New York Times’ environment correspondent called it the “ecological ‘shot heard round the world.’”

In the spring of 1970, Gaylord Nelson, a politician from Wisconsin, came up with “Earth Day,” as it’d later be called, as a national day of learning. Strategically set in April, around spring break and finals, Earth Day relied heavily on students and youth to lead the movement (so yes, Greta Thunberg has predecessors). 

Facing political pressure from the rise of environmental activism, President Richard Nixon founded the Environmental Protection Agency at the end of 1970. The Clean Water Act passed a couple of years later, and by the end of the decade, media coverage about environmental issues had quadrupled.

There’s obviously a lot more. But in the interest of time, I’ll stop my history lesson there in order to focus on today. Climate change is one of the major ongoing traumatic events facing our population. Global warming is leading to catastrophic storms. Deforestation is forcing animals and insects out of their natural habitats and leading to a loss of biodiversity. An overreliance on fossil fuels is increasing air pollution, which in turn increases our risk of respiratory diseases. It’s a lot, to say the least.

And to be honest, I feel a little daunted taking on this topic. Let’s make this clear, I’m far from an expert on environmental policies and I am not a model of sustainability. But that’s exactly why I’m so excited to welcome the guest you’ll hear from today – Azora Zoe Paknad, the founder of Goldune

azora zoe paknad

Goldune is a curated online marketplace that focuses on sustainable, eco-friendly brands that make sustainability less beige. One of their core tenets is that sustainability is a spectrum, and we can’t let the shame of wondering if we’re doing the right thing stop us from doing the best choice in the moment.

In this episode, you’ll hear Azora Zoe share how Goldune helps consumers make a better choice when shopping. She also reveals what standards they look for when vetting products for the site, and her perspective on “greenwashing” (don’t worry, we’ll define it if you don’t know what it is). We end with a fun little round-up of Azora Zoe’s favorite health and wellness adjacent products on Goldune. So, make sure you have their website pulled up so you’re ready to browse. 

More about Azora Zoe Paknad

After a multi-role tenure at Food52 working in all things home, kitchen and food, Azora Zoe founded Goldune in late 2020. Besides making sustainability less granola, Azora Zoe is a big fan of bread and gluten in all its forms, a collector of first and second edition Nancy Drew books, and a terrible but enthusiastic surfer.

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About Kristen Geil

A native of Lexington, Kentucky, Kristen moved to Chicago in 2011 and received her MA in Writing, Rhetoric, and Discourse from DePaul while trying to maintain her southern accent. Kristen grew up playing sports, and since moving to Chicago, she’s fallen in love with the lakefront running path and the lively group fitness scene. Now, as a currently retired marathoner and sweat junkie, you can usually find her trying new workouts around the city and meticulously crafting Instagram-friendly smoothie bowls. Kristen came on to A Sweat Life full-time in 2018 as Editor-in-Chief, and she spends her days managing writers, building content strategy, and fighting for the Oxford comma.