Why I’m Passionate About Sustainability: Lived Experiences with Contaminants
by Darcy Nelson

I grew up in rural Western Washington nestled in a beautiful valley surrounded by forested hills. The air was clear, the forests were thick and mystical, and my experience of nature was one of curiosity, appreciation, and respect. 

In my teenage years, our local trash collection service purchased a segment of land near my small town to build a new landfill. I remember much debate and controversy from the community over the project as it was likely to obstruct views of Mount Rainier from the highway leading to our small town. 

The project went through, and it did begin to rise to heights that obscured views of the mountain from our scenic highway. Eventually, black plastic could be seen covering the growing mound. Pockets of methane gas began to bubble and balloon from below, and my father raised his eyebrows doubting how well that plastic was holding toxins from releasing into the air. 

One day I found a yellow slip of paper in our mail warning residents like myself that contaminants had been found in our drinking water. The mailer said that elderly and pregnant people were advised to not drink the water, but that everyone else could still drink the water — apparently because the contamination levels “were so low.”  I thought back to the movie, Erin Brokovich and felt upset knowing that the water supply wasn’t really safe, but what could I do? I was trying to figure out my steps after high school and moved away shortly after, choosing to fight other battles in life. 

While I didn’t study to become an ecologist or environmental health professional, the memory of this environmental injustice is visceral — our trash doesn’t go “away” and our consumption and disposal choices degrade the planet for us, our neighbors, and our future generations. 

About My Work:

I studied organizational communications in college, and for the past 10 years, I have worked in digital marketing for an assortment of brands, nonprofits, and small businesses. I’m part of a generation that remembers life before smartphones. We’ve been a living experiment for the growth of platforms and devices designed to be addicting, but also useful and vital to life and success. 

Finding a balance between self-care and screen time is still a bit of a Wild West. We are learning how to balance self-awareness with the reliance on tools that use our innate psychological rewards systems to hook us into more and more use. Social media platforms call us “users” (a word I find uncomfortably associated with addiction). 

In my work: 

I help brands chart strategies for growth while reducing resource waste (time and money). It is a joy to offer my services to solopreneurs, small businesses, and aspiring influencers crafting their best life through self-employment and side hustles.

Learn & Connect With Fellow Goal Getters: 

I am excited to share free tips, tools, and strategies in an upcoming Webinar with Women in Sustainability. 

December 7th | 12:30 PM (Mountain). 

“Using Strategy To Sustain Marketing & Social Media Goals” 

Five practical tips and strategies to see an impact from your screen time and sustain your goals while avoiding burnout. 

What you’ll learn:

  • Why you should use strategy when approaching your screen time
  • Tips for building a brand without burnout:
    • How to spend your time on platforms that align with your goals
    • How to repurpose content to save time 
    • How to measure your impact from your screen time
  • Time management hacks and tips to navigate the infinity pools of the online world

Why you should attend this:

We all need reminders to balance our screentime healthfully, and as we head into a new year this is a great time to not only take stock of goals for 2023, but to take stock of your most precious resource — your time — and ensure that you’re using it wisely and sustainably to support your passions and projects. 

If you’d like to make connections with other savvy and collaborative folks, there will be some time to explore how we can share knowledge with each other as we continually advance our skills in our industries and sectors of business and influence. 

Darcy Nelson • Nelson Strategic Marketing

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