You know those aha moments - the moments that your life changes course. Sometimes they're triggered by a child's naive words, emerge from the space between being sleep and awake, or slap us in the face like a cold bucket of water. Whatever the case, I believe that inviting and honoring those moments is why we're here.
Mine came in 2006. I'd put my toddlers to bed, and sat down to watch An Inconvenient Truth. As the movie concluded, I remember panic creeping up the back of my neck as I realized that graphs the corresponding climate data (not to mention the former Vice President) couldn't be lying. I considered drowning myself in Chunky Monkey ice cream, but held fast to Gore's statement that has since become my mantra, "Before you jump from denial to dispair, stop in the middle and do something."
So, I read through blogging tutorials and at 2 am, launched the first version of CT GreenScene.
Since then, I have been blessed to work with some of the most inspiring, leading edge, powerful change makers...the folks who for decades have been living on the leading (and often the bleeding) edge of bringing this movement where it is today.
As founding principal of Burns & Hammond, I lead the sustainability strategies and reporting services for the firm, leveraging expertise in trend spotting, market positioning, communication and strategic partnership development. I delight in utilizing my talents to identify and design pathways for clients to develop a competitive advantage through the integration of sustainability practices that are aligned with their organizational objectives. I'm also Vice Chair of the NSF International Joint Committee responsible for the development of NSF391 – the first sustainability standard for services, designed in response to E.O. 14513 Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance. I'm a certified reporter with the Global Reporting Initiative, and a Board member for MetroPool - a local organization committed to providing sustainable transportation solutions to government, corporations and communities.the honor of helping to leverage.
It's a wonderful journey -- and hopefully a sustainable one.
I've been been writing and editing for CT GreenScene since 2008. While I was originally drawn to write for a dedicated audience, I soon realized that doing so provided an opportunity to truly see the big picture. It's one thing to read about environmental issues - it's quite another to interview and get to know the people who are in the trenches. Whether it's fighting for legislation, expressing frustration around injustice, or just trying to make a living while creating positive change -- when you allow yourself to be exposed to the issues and the people working to improve them on behalf of all of us -- that's when you realize that leaving the planet better than you found it is undeniably one of the most important things you can do as a human being.
When I'm not writing, I spend much of my time attempting to manage what most would consider utter chaos - juggling two jobs, three kids, two dogs and a husband who travels more than frequently. There are, however, occasional bouts of clarity and inner peace -- for which I am grateful.
Nature is something that has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I grew up hiking, fishing and participating in other outdoor activities. I couldn’t get enough. Never did I think that I would have the opportunity to make my hobby into a full time passion, until I reached the college level.
After spending the first year of my tenure at The University of Vermont as an undecided major, in my sophomore year I took my first environmental science class, and the rest is history. I had finally found my niche. A Natural Resources major with a concentration in resource planning had a nice ring to it. Since then, my eyes have been opened to various disciplines within the environmental field including land use, environmental entrepreneurship, ecological economics, renewable energy and education. I believe that focusing on these concepts at a local level is key in making a difference within our communities. This, in turn, can create a greater change.
One quote that one of my professors always said was, “Think like an ecosystem.” This has always stuck with me. A systems thinking approach is necessary when analyzing environmental problems, or any issue for that matter. The environment, economy and social structures that we have in place in our country are all intertwined, and each should be considered when attempting to solve a problem.
During my time at UVM leading up to graduation, I had the pleasure of working on some fascinating team projects including land conservation and urban forestry work. It was here when I really found that working in the environmental/sustainability field is really something that I would like to do for the years to come. I am excited to see what lies ahead in my journey in the environmental world!
I first came across the Green Scene blogs after my graduation from Skidmore College this past May. With an impulse decision to ship up to Boston, reading the Boston site familiarized me with environmental groups and companies in the area and their events, initiatives, and ideals.
An inquiry email wondering more about the blogs evolved into an internship with the creators -- working for both Green Scenes and their sustainability consulting firm, Burns & Hammond. The wide variety of assignments I work on have given me hands-on experience and unparalleled exposure to the world of sustainability and small businesses I could not have learned from my Environmental Studies and International Affairs degrees.
During my time at Skidmore, I explored my fascination with the natural world and sustainability in many ways, both in and out of the classroom. With the Environmental Action Club, I designed a reusable mug program and revamped the bike share, with the Sierra Club’s Cool Cities Campaign I worked with the Saratoga Springs government battling car idling and plastic bag usage, and with the Outing Club I explored the great Adirondacks by foot, bike and raft.
At home on the Connecticut shoreline I continued my environmental stewardship working with a local land trust restoring invasive species’ destruction, educating children at both a nature museum and a marine science school, and helping dad maintain the garden. I was even able to explore my passions over seas cleaning up the parks of Buenos Aires, Argentina during my semester abroad, researching primates in the Central American rainforests, and working on an organic farm in Belize. Through these experiences my passion for sustainability grew and confirmed my desire to work in the environmental field, and hopefully engrain sustainable habits into others!