Meet this month’s “Sustainability Snapshot,” Sherry Walker, and learn more about her efforts to live sustainably:
What inspired you to adopt more sustainable practices in your life?
Being fortunate enough to live in this beautiful state makes me want to take care of it. Yet I’m often appalled at how wasteful we all are, and how the trash we produce ends up in our waters and on our roads. I want to help protect the beauty that we all enjoy so much.
Can you give some examples of how you practice a sustainable lifestyle at home (either related to zero waste, renewable energy, or conservation)?
I pick up trash (and a lot of recyclables) whenever I can, wherever I am; refuse bags when I make a purchase; and keep a stash of reusable bags and mesh produce bags in my car. I’m excited to participate in the Evergreen Sustainability Alliance’s composting project. I think it’s cool that my banana peels may one day be nourishing someone’s flower bed!
What do you think is the biggest roadblock for people trying to practice a sustainable lifestyle?
Convenience is hurting us. Everything today is overpackaged with multiple layers of plastic and/or cardboard. It’s almost impossible to buy berries, for instance, that aren’t packaged in plastic, nonrecyclable (!) clamshells or to order anything that isn’t wrapped and wrapped and wrapped….
What have you done over the years to support the Evergreen Sustainability Alliance and sustainability in the community?
In addition to signing up for the composting program, I’ve volunteered at a number of the Evergreen Sustainability Alliance’s Zero Waste events over the past few years. It’s fun and rewarding to help educate people, especially kids, about which materials are recyclable or compostable and why that’s important. I was part of the Evergreen Sustainability Alliance’s Hard-to-Recycle Day in which we collected thousands of batteries, pounds of unused beauty products, unwanted CDs and other materials to recycle or donate where possible to organizations that have ways to reuse them.
What inspires you on a daily basis to continue practicing sustainability?
Living in Colorado keeps me inspired in a positive way. Reading about climate change is inspiring in a negative way. I fear for the future and what kind of world we are leaving generations to come. We must do better, and each of us has a part to play.
What words of wisdom do you have for people just getting started on their journey toward a sustainable lifestyle?
Don’t try to do everything at once. Start slow, such as carrying reusable bags to the grocery store and refusing excess packaging (a bag for your box, for example). Think twice before you throw something out – can you or someone else reuse it? – or buy something new – do you really need that new shirt?