Meet this month’s “Sustainability Snapshot,” Chris Pfaff, and learn more about her efforts to live sustainably:
What inspired you to adopt more sustainable practices in your life?
Early on, my parents instilled in me the value of not wasting things. Later, in my profession as a historic building preservationist, I really became aware of the economic and environmental significance of reusing rather than replacing materials. I’ve also always loved the outdoors and sustainable practices are paramount to protecting our natural resources.
Can you give some examples of how you practice a sustainable lifestyle at home (either related to zero waste, renewable energy, or conservation)?
I’m not one to buy the latest gadgets or accumulate a lot of stuff. I’m an avid recycler, composter, and thrift store shopper! I love creating meals from leftovers and hanging clothes out to dry in the sun. And I always try to remember my reusable bags when shopping!
What do you think is the biggest roadblock for people trying to practice a sustainable lifestyle?
I think we’re bombarded with so much advertising to buy things that it’s easy to end up purchasing more than we need. Our economy is based on consumerism and convenience, a “throw away” mentality that makes a sustainable lifestyle difficult.
What have you done over the years to support the Evergreen Sustainability Alliance and sustainability in the community?
I joined the Evergreen Sustainability Alliance in 2011 and knew from the start that I wanted to get involved in Zero Waste. I’ve been active over the years in various Zero Waste activities from the reusable bag campaign to Christmas tree recycling to serving as a Zero Waste mentor and monitor at local events.
What inspires you on a daily basis to continue practicing sustainability?
I see so much unnecessary waste such as all the plastic packaging and recyclable items thrown in the trash. Articles and photos about environmental pollution around the globe due to plastics and degradation of our natural resources also spur me on.
What words of wisdom do you have for people just getting started on their journey toward a sustainable lifestyle?
I think it’s easy to feel overwhelmed at the prospect of living a sustainable lifestyle. I recommend starting with simple steps such as bringing your reusable bags to the store and recycling at home in accordance with your waste hauler’s guidelines. I believe many individual small efforts do make a difference over time. And you’ll feel good that you’re part of a growing number of people contributing to a larger important goal!