Meet this month’s “Sustainability Snapshot,” Brooks Barwell, and learn more about her efforts to live sustainably:

What inspired you to adopt more sustainable practices in your life?

Gardening. I’m a compost junky. I actually wrote a study proposal for soil fertility when I was in high school. Also, in my grad program, we had weekly lunch speakers on sustainability. William McDonough, future author of Cradle to Cradle, became dean of the architecture school while I was there, and I came to love the efficiency of minimizing waste, reimagining waste as in-puts to the next thing, and tightening the circle of reuse.

Sustainability Snapshot: Brooks Barwell

Can you give some examples of how you practice a sustainable lifestyle (either related to zero waste, renewable energy, conservation, involvement with the Evergreen Sustainability Alliance, etc.)?

Well, composting! We can barely grow anything on our shady north facing lot, but I still love composting! It makes us eat better food, and the better quality our scraps, the better our compost. I try to set a “no car week” in summer, which rarely works, but is fun to plan.

The Evergreen Sustainability Alliance’s Zero Waste Refill Popup & Deliver program is so exciting! Our schools are a most important place to exercise our sustainable practices, and there is so far to go. I wish we could do a mountain area composting pilot for the schools, but it would take gobs of volunteers to help kids learn and continue to sort properly.

I try to influence groups I associate with to adopt better habits. Just say no to plastic water bottles!

What words of wisdom do you have for someone just getting started on their journey to ‘go green’?

Try one little thing, and remember it is all upside!