Karalani Cross | UCSD Staff Member | Founder of Sea & Mist
How did you become interested in sustainability?
My interest in sustainability is rooted in my early life experiences growing up in San Diego and spending much of my free time outdoors hiking and enjoying the ocean. I grew up going to the La Jolla Cove tide pools with my dad many summers. Spending time in nature instilled a deep appreciation and curiosity about nature. After learning about human environmental impacts in later years, I felt inspired to make some significant life changes as a young adult, such as eating plant-based for the past 9 years. Even seemingly simpler changes, such as using cloth towels instead of paper towels at home and buying used clothes and other items are significant ways I try to reduce my environmental footprint. Although I am certainly not zero waste, I admire people who make these efforts and strive to cause the least amount of waste that I can. I strongly feel that every drop in the bucket to reduce waste counts. In addition, I am fascinated with learning about the natural world from a scientific perspective, and this has instilled more amazement and gratitude for our earth’s natural resources.
Why was it important to you for your business to be as sustainable as possible?
I feel compelled to reflect on how my day to day actions and resource use impact the environment, so it naturally followed to have my startup business reflect this type of
Additionally, I wanted to create an artistic product that people would feel good supporting. When I buy a product, being aware of where it comes from and how it’s made is really important to me. I’m interested if it was produced using sustainable or recycled materials, and I am always thrilled to find reused products because this means less environmental resources are being used and less waste created. At Mist & Sea, many of my air plant designs use at least one upcycled design material. These are design items I’ve found at used art supply stores or thrift stores that are in beautiful condition. Any packaging materials are made of at least 95% recycled materials or were previously used. One of my future goals is to use all upcycled design materials!
Overall, the theme behind Mist & Sea is appreciating the beauty of our natural world through designs that incorporate nature, such as live air plants, rocks, wood, sand, and stone. Creating artistic designs that incorporate live plants and natural elements while having a minimal footprint is fundamental to how I am operating my business. I hope very soon to find an organization working towards conservation of the environment to donate a percentage of profit to.
Where did the idea for your business originate?
My passion to create art, love for nature, and desire to bring peace to my life and others is what lead me to create Mist & Sea. Many of us live and work in places that are far away from nature, including
My hope is that bringing these naturalistic elements into urban settings will be a joyful addition to others lives. There is certainly research that suggests that there are health benefits to having plants close by. Likely due to the influence of my background in psychology, I have been interested in ways to increase
Where can people support your eco-friendly business and buy your air plant designs?
People can support my eco-friendly business by visiting my online shop at https://www.etsy.com/shop/MistandSea.
I am currently working on creating more designs for my shop since it is very new! Feel free to message me through my shop page if there are any custom designs you might be interested in that you don’t see (e.g., including moss, creating a color themed