About Honestly Modern

At Honestly Modern, we offer practical and actionable tips and guidance to help modern families incorporate more sustainable living habits into their everyday lives. From composting at home to reducing consumption to building stronger communities, we dive into a variety of ways we can all help take climate action and make our world a little better for our kids and the generations that follow.

As a result of global warming, increasing toxins and pollutants in our soil and water, and other matters, the Earth is struggling. And it impacts all those who share this amazing planet as home. There are many things we can do as humans, and as families, to help heal our planet and change the way we live to be in sync with nature and the ecosystems in which we live. Through climate action, we can collectively take steps to be better stewards of the planet, and make our communities more resilient and sustainable.

Underlying sustainable living is a mindset about challenging the status quo of excessive consumption and being more intentional about our habits around consumption and waste. We hope you join us on this journey of slowing down to appreciate what we have and not always striving for the next new thing.

In addition to the sustainable living principles that focus on reducing our impact on the planet, regenerative living focuses on our habits and choices that have a positive impact on the planet. For example, we can make choices that support soil health, carbon sequestration, permaculture, and other practices that help heal our planet through actions like composting, growing food, caring for plants, and protecting the land on which we live.

And all of this is for naught if we don’t take action with equity at the core of our work and our lifestyle changes. Intersectional environmentalism is the practice of advocating for and implementing environmental causes and climate action that protect the planet and all people on the planet, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, or any other defining factor. Intersectional environmentalism requires an intentional critique of how climate change movements impact marginalized communities. It requires us to examine how environmentalism and social justice are connected. We seek to intertwine intersectional environmentalism into all of the work that we do and the ways we move forward for people and the planet.

Our Team

Jen Panaro, Founder and Editor-in-Chief

Jen Panaro is a self-proclaimed composting nerd and an advocate for sustainable living for modern families. Through her writing, workshops, and podcast guesting, she helps others find ways to incorporate sustainability into their everyday lives more easily.

In addition to creating content for Honestly Modern, she writes and photographs for local media publications. She designs and hosts workshops about topics like composting at home and low-waste living for beginners. And you can find her published work as an author in How To Raise a Global Citizen: For the Parents of the Children Who Will Save the World. In pursuit of her passion, she started and operated a local curbside composting company, WasteWell, before eventually selling it to dedicate more time to Honestly Modern and her family.

She’s also a co-founder of Raising Global Kidizens, an enterprise that creates educational workbooks and hosts workshops for young learners to explore the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and offers corresponding resources to help parents and caregivers raise the next generation of responsible global citizens.

She uses her 15 years of experience as a CPA at a large public accounting firm to inform her volunteer work as the Treasurer on the Board of Trustees of her local library.

In her spare time, she’s a serial library book borrower, a messy gardener, a composting tinkerer, and a mom of two boys who spends a lot of time in hockey rinks and on baseball fields.

Learn more about her professional work on LinkedIn, enjoy dollops of her education and family life on Instagram, and hear from Jen on some of the many podcasts on which she’s been a guest.

Rupa Singh, Assistant Editor

Rupa Singh is an ex-social entrepreneur and mom of three kids connecting them to their South Asian (Indian) roots + sustainability. Organizational wife to an altruistic architect.  Advocate for low waste + thoughtful consumption. Continually unlearning + learning. Her bullet journal + audiobooks + morning ritual feed her spirit.

Check out Rupa’s work on Honestly Modern

Jess Purcell, Science Advisor

Jess Purcell, the founder of Thoughtfully Sustainable and co-founder of Raising Global Kidizens, is a biologist and science educator who is dedicated to making the science of sustainability accessible to all learners. She creates sustainability science lessons and hosts workshops and webinars for students of all ages to understand the science behind sustainable living practices and foster critical thinking skills. She’s also a regular guest on podcasts about a variety of topics related to science and sustainability.

After spending the first few post-college years in scientific research laboratories, Jess pivoted from a research-focused career to one centered around science education, teaching in public schools across the United States for over a decade. She also spent time designing, writing, and reviewing online course materials, teacher preparatory materials, and educational assessments for various institutions.

In addition to sustainability education, Jess brings her passion for sustainability to bear in her community as a food transportation volunteer for a local food rescue organization. Her efforts help reduce food waste and bring nourishing food to neighbors in her community struggling with food insecurity.

Jess lives in central Pennsylvania with her husband, two kids, and two cats. When she isn’t bringing the science of sustainability to curious minds, you can find her exploring the outdoors, working out the kinks of an experiment, upcycling trash into “treasure”, adventuring with her family, or reading a book with a warm-ish cup of coffee.

You can dive deeper into her scientific research and education background on LinkedIn and find out more about her science lessons and workshops on her website, Instagram and YouTube.

Check out Jess’ work on Honestly Modern

Sarah Burgess, Contributor

Sarah Burgess is co-founder of her family’s social movement Just1bag2020, mother of two, freelance sustainability consultant, and repat (ex-expat) back to the UK from the US in 2022. Sarah spends her time working across community groups in her local area, both as a volunteer board member and a freelance sustainability consultant. Her energy is described as contagious, and her passion for simple, actionable climate steps has and continues to make a difference to organisations where she lives or has lived.

Sarah’s experience with Just1bag2020 drives her fundamental belief that just one action can make a difference. We all make an impact on others and on this planet so we can decide if that impact is good or bad. By breaking down climate action into easy steps, she has proven that those actions have a ripple effect across communities that can change habits and minds. Her family’s social movement has been changing attitudes around the world since 2020 and the legacy of South Shore Eco Fest continues to showcase easy low impact living solutions for residents of the South Shore, MA.

Now back in the UK, Sarah continues to work with grassroots climate groups, connecting communities and showing that what is good for your wallet is usually good for the planet too. She is leading the Transition Streets programme for her local community energy cooperative to bring together neighbours to save money, foster relationships, and reduce waste, as well as project managing the renewable energy project that has the potential to decarbonise the heating supply for her entire village.

Sarah brings all this experience to her blog posts, particularly in the Waste Free in 2023 series, making them simple, actionable, and fun. 

Check out Sarah’s work

Brittany Jefferson, Contributor

Brittany Jefferson is a 5th-grade teacher and climate justice advocate born and raised in Los Angeles, California.  She holds Multiple Subject and Special Education teaching credentials. She is passionate about educating her classes on climate change and climate justice.

Brittany teaches climate-related topics in a variety of settings like Book Clubs, Science Clubs, and by creating interdisciplinary units of study for her class. Brittany’s collaboration with her grade level team has allowed them to provide their students with a robust climate justice education while addressing topics of identity, racial injustice, colonialism, and Earth’s systems.

Visit her website with teaching resources for all caregivers and educators on Patreon, www.patreon.com/teachermomchronicles.

headshot of Reese Moore with her camera in front of a lake in the woods

Reese Moore, Contributor

Reese Moore is a photographer, content creator, and pickle connoisseur who divides time between Charleston and Lake Lure. When she’s not behind the lens shooting stunning images for Reese Moore Photography, Reese loves to spend her time wandering the woods with her dog Gatsby or adventuring with her husband Logan in their Airstream Basecamp.

Check out Reese’s Work