GET TO KNOW OUR MEMBERS – Acey H

Acey Holmes (she/her)

Do you have a specific area of sustainability that interests you the most? Why do you CARE about that specific area?  
The chemicals we put in products have always been interesting to me… I also have a personal mission to reduce our household waste as much as possible!

What interests / excites you most about being involved in (Women in) sustainability?
It’s so nice to be around a community of folx that just actually CARE about the future of our home.

I CARE Because … 

I CARE because I want my son to have a beautiful planet to continue exploring his whole life!

What are one or two of your favorite sustainability tips or tricks that you like to share with others?

I love using cloth instead of paper towels/napkins for kitchen use! Ikea has some tea towels that are perfect to replace paper towels!

What are some things that bring you joy! 

Playing! I love to ski – wooooshing down a mountain is my favorite thing ever.

Connect with Acey:
Email: acey@solvelearnplay.com
InstagramWebsite

Community Voices Webinar November Topic:
How to Remain Calm in the Rising Sea of Chaos

If you’re feeling hopeless in this world of climate change, school shootings, social media frenzy, and an ever-increasing political void, you’re not alone. Take time for some much-needed self care as Liz Rutledge guides you on a Mindfulness journey where you will appreciate the small things and recapture a sense of calm.

Watch Replay.

GET TO KNOW OUR MEMBERS – Liz R

Liz Rutledge (she/her)

Do you have a specific area of sustainability that interests you the most? Why do you CARE about that specific area?  
Yes! “Waste not, want not” is one of my favorite sayings. I could “trash talk” all day. I live and breathe ways to reduce waste in general. The main reason I CARE about this so passionately is my understanding is that (especially) food waste contributes greatly to the depletion of the Ozone Layer through the release of methane. So, the more we reduce waste, the more breathable our air is and the more we can take a deep breath and tackle all the rest of the sustainability challenges. I’m also concerned about the fresh water supply (especially here in Colorado, where I grew up, water is precious). Preventing water waste is something I also CARE about because without fresh, clean water, we will all suffer.

What interests / excites you most about being involved in (Women in) sustainability?
I love feeling a sense of connectedness and belonging in a supportive group of intelligent, passionate, Earth-loving, like-minded women. Becky Migas and I connected and worked together back in 2018. I had never met someone as passionate about sustainable living as I am. Also? I am super proud of Becky and the entire Women in Sustainability leadership team for creating a group like this. Especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, it created a sense of belonging and connection and continues to grown and do good in the world.

I CARE Because … 

I CARE Because…inequity upsets me deeply and I believe all people deserve access to wellness resources, shelter, clean air, clean water, healthy and nourishing food, education and connection with nature.
One of the reasons I teach Mindfulness is to support people in witnessing our deep connection to nature and each other…especially the Mindfulness aspects of kindness, gratitude and generosity. When we are in tune with the rhythms of nature (and each other), we are healthier mentally, emotionally, and physically. In this rapid-paced, constantly changing world, we need tools and techniques to navigate the sea of chaos with calmness, clarity and resilience. And, if “a rising tide lifts all boats”, I’d like to be a useful contributor to raising awareness and access to knowledge about mindfulness and sustainability. Or, as I like to call it “Mindful Sustainability”.

What interests /​ excites you most about being involved in sustainability? 

Have you ever picked a raspberry off the vine?
Have you ever seen processed compost…that deep, rich black gold?
Have you ever seen a gazillion stars in the night sky?
Did you notice that the “Brown Cloud” in Denver disappeared during Covid-19 lockdown?
I grew up picking raspberries off the vine in the mountains of Colorado.
I’ve had the pleasure of going on the “Waste Extravaganza” Tour and seen how and where our waste is processed here in Denver.
I have looked up at the most glorious night skies – both on Lookout Mountain as a child and in Namibia, Africa as an adult.
I have witnessed the “Brown Cloud” grow from hovering over the tall buildings of downtown Denver to stretching from Boulder to Colorado Springs and beyond.
These are my motivations and interests.
I re-discover my child-like giddiness when I see a new, ripe raspberry growing in my backyard
garden….or when I notice more stars in the sky because efforts to reduce light pollution are working.
I hope others will experience the sort of excitement I have for sustainability and discovering new and interesting technologies that may save us from the doom of Climate Change.

How do you like to give back to your community? Why is this important to you? 

I love to be involved in my community! Whether it’s volunteering with the local schools on Earth Day, being involved in the Greater Park Hill Community Home Tour & Street Fair for 11 years (ultimately reducing waste to the landfill and then running the Sustainability Zone) or encouraging re-use and to reduce waste for East High School’s After Prom event, I absolutely thrive when I’m giving back (and having the opportunity to learn and educate in the process). I geek out on reducing waste, but also creatively decreasing budget strain so funds can go towards more important things (like the Food Bank and community efforts offered by the G.P.H.C.). It’s also fun to connect with other people through public speaking and community activism opportunities (like Dress for Success, Healthy Denver, Inc., McAuliffe and East High School Sustainability Clubs, and Women in Sustainability).

What are some self – care tips you like to share? 

I meditate EVERY day for at least 10 minutes. By doing this for years now, I have strengthened my muscle of resilience and am able to remain calmer in situations that previously triggered me. Not only am I calmer, but also more focused. I suggest meditating first thing after waking. It’s as simple as slipping out of bed, setting a timer, and slowly breathing in (5 seconds) and out (5 seconds) for 2-3 minutes. There are many free meditation apps (like Calm and Insight Timer). Just do it. Every day…without fail…no matter where you are.

And? When you don’t get a chance to meditate or find yourself needing to shift your energy, move your body! Stand up, stretch, go for a walk around the block. Or, make a short gratitude list, get outside, take deep breaths, and re-set. Focusing on what’s going right, instead of what’s going wrong, can also help us remain positive and calm in the rising sea of chaos. We need to be clear headed to find creative solutions to big problems, so it’s important to set boundaries (like not participating in the click bait news cycle and protecting time in our schedule for exercise and meditation).

Anything else you want our readers to know about you?  
In addition to being deeply passionate about the environment, I am also deeply passionate about teaching Mindfulness to the young children who are inheriting Planet Earth and all it’s complications. I partner with Dr. Cyrina Bullard and together we are Sustainable Happiness Together LLC. A Certified HeartMath® Resilience Trainer and Coach, Cyrina is literally certified in the Science of Happiness (UC Berkeley) and Well-Being (Yale). Together, we teach children, teens and adults how to live more mindfully and have more resilience. Mindful Sustainability is part of that. Our current passion project is our new course for young children called “Lessons from the Bright Butterfly” which merges the social and emotional learning (SEL) skills we teach with the life cycle of the butterfly. Our program brings not only calm, focus, happiness and resilience to our students, but also a sense of connection with nature and their families.

Connect with Liz:
Email: info@sustainablehappinesstogether.com
InstagramFacebookLinkedIn

Community Voices Webinar November Topic:
How to Remain Calm in the Rising Sea of Chaos

If you’re feeling hopeless in this world of climate change, school shootings, social media frenzy, and an ever-increasing political void, you’re not alone. Take time for some much-needed self care as Liz Rutledge guides you on a Mindfulness journey where you will appreciate the small things and recapture a sense of calm.

Watch Replay.

GET TO KNOW OUR MEMBERS – Anna H

Anna Howell (she/her)

Do you have a specific area of sustainability that interests you the most? Why do you CARE about that specific area?  
Biosolids! I am dedicated to removing the stigma from this topic and to educating everyone about the beauty of this “waste”. Your number two is my number one!

What interests / excites you most about being involved in (Women in) sustainability?
I love being a part of a community that connects like-minded individuals toward a common goal of doing good and being kind. Being a member of Women in Sustainability is a label I wear with sincere pride.

I CARE Because … My heart will allow for no other way.

How do you like to give back to your community? Why is this important to you? 

I like to give back to my community by celebrating the wins within sustainability. Sometimes it feels like our social media streams and news outlets are saturated by the negative or the daunting or the doom. I choose joy.

What are one or two of your favorite sustainability tips or tricks that you like to share with others?

There is no such thing as a “flushable” wipe. Please do not flush these down the toilet. These lil demons have an uncanny ability to compromise the entire treatment process. Whether they clog equipment and shorten the equipment’s life or act as a magnet for fats, oils, and greases, “flushable” wipes do not belong down the toilet.

What are some of your favorite podcasts, books, documentaries, etc that you recommend to those looking to engage more in the environmental space? 

Rich Roll
Outrage + Optimism
This Is Climate Change

What is your favorite quote? “If it’s too complicated it’s not sustainable, And if it’s not sustainable, what’s the point?” – Rich Roll

Connect with Anna:
Email: annelise0v0@gmail.com
LinkedIn

Community Voices Webinar September Topic:
Biosolids Reuse: Unclogging the Stigma

Have you ever pondered while going to the bathroom what happens with our poop … er, biosolids, when flushed? No? You’re not alone. Once we flush, it’s out of sight, out of mind. However, it’s important to understand this taboo topic when it comes to sustainability. Luckily for us, it’s Anna’s favorite topic of discussion. With her sustainability work at Jacobs, Anna studies human biosolids to find sustainable solutions to our human waste and how it can be reused for our future. As growing concerns for access to clean drinking water (and PFAs), it’s important to learn how poop and sustainability are interconnected and why we should be more open to the conversation regarding our bathroom behaviors. If you are feeling weird about the topic, no worries! Anna, our Biosolid Babe, makes the conversation fun and approachable by using her expertise and charisma to educate others. You’ll leave the conversation feeling a little more light and ready to talk sustainable sh*t with your friends, family and colleagues!

Watch Replay.

GET TO KNOW OUR MEMBERS – Heather W

Heather Wochele (she/her)
Hello day coaching, Owner & Life Coach

Do you have a specific area of sustainability that interests you the most? Why do you CARE about that specific area? (i.e. energy, water, waste, transportation, etc.) 

I am specifically interested in companies who are dedicated to creating products from environmental waste and creating sustainable fashion. I am especially interested in companies who are able to use their power to clean up the oceans and recreate usable items from the waste. Not only does this protect our waters but also the animal life that resides in them. Often these animals are forgotten about because they are unseen. There are only so many water ecosystems that are sustainable for certain animal populations and we are continuing to cause harms to these ecosystems. Companies that make it their mission to reverse this impact have a special place in my heart.

What interests / excites you most about being involved in (Women in) sustainability? I am most excited about learning from and being part of the other WIS community members’ journey. There are so many incredible members doing AMAZING work and it inspires me daily to be better.

Finish this statement: I CARE Because … Though I may not have the most sustainable lifestyle, I am always trying to be more aware and conscious of the sustainable choices I make. There is no going back to not caring or bringing awareness to my actions.

How do you like to give back to your community? Why is this important to you? 

I volunteer my time at local water clean up events and the Denver Animal Shelter, as well as sharing my life coaching practice with the community. Giving back and volunteering my time connects me with the community and reminds me of the importance of the space and people around us.

What are one or two of your favorite sustainability tips or tricks that you like to share with others?

If you don’t already compost, I highly recommend it. It cuts down on your trash tremendously and you can easily sign up for it in the city of Denver.

If you have a lot of difficult to recycle items, sign up for Ridwell. They are a great service that offers additional recycling in such an easy to use system.

What inspires you? I am constantly inspired by the WIS community and by others who seek to be and do better. We can all make simple choices, whether that’s to wave at another person or utter a friendly hello, that will change our world one action at a time. If you are doing this, being better, you inspire me!

Connect with Heather:
Email: heather@hellodaycoaching.com
Website LinkedInFacebookInstagram

Community Voices Webinar September Topic:
Manifest Your Sustainable Impact

Join the WIS sustainable community and HelloDay Coaching to discuss and manifest your sustainable impact. During this session, we provide an opportunity for participants to collectively learn about sustainability challenges, solutions, and best practices through reflective exercises and peer discussion. We will also define clear sustainability goals that align with participants’ values and aspirations and then outline steps to take to accomplish those goals.

Watch Replay.

GET TO KNOW OUR MEMBERS – Erin

Erin Gaskins (she/her)
Room Redefined LLC, owner

Do you have a specific area of sustainability that interests you the most? Why do you CARE about that specific area? (i.e. energy, water, waste, transportation, etc.) 

As a professional organizer, I help clients let go of items they no longer want/need. It can be much easier for clients to be able to decide to let items go if we can relocate that item in a way that aligns with the client’s values. We are passionate about increasing our knowledge of places and resources where we can take items for sale, donation, and recycling so that we are eliminating waste for ourselves and our clients, and, ideally, putting items to good use in a new way!

What interests / excites you most about being involved in (Women in) sustainability? As the company owner, I have always felt the responsibility to guide my clients and my employees in ways that are most environmentally responsible. However we deal with so much “stuff” it feels like we will never be able to take care of it all in a sustainable way. In my first conversation with WIS I was given grace! To have other women commiserate that it is impossible to find a place for it all, but a worthy investment to keep pursuing new solutions was relieving. It was such a relief to hear I didn’t have to be perfect at this to be making a difference- and then to find a group that can help me continue to learn and grow.

Finish this statement: I CARE Because … everyday I visit client homes and see the overwhelm that too much “stuff” has on our lives and the planet. People are drowning in things, but don’t know how to make a change. I believe it is vital for our planet, and our health- collectively and individually- to continue to improve our relationship with our things, our spaces, and our planet.

What are one or two of your favorite sustainability tips or tricks that you like to share with others?

The organizer in me knows how important systems are to your success in things you want to accomplish. So- if sustainability is important, setting up systems within your home to support that process is key. For example, we hep clients of ours to set up an efficient place in which to store the categories of items they wish to recycle or donate. There might be one bin for clothes, one for clear plastic, and one for technology/cords/etc. Then, it is easy for the client to grab the bin and take it to their recycling drop-off location when full, or for us to clean out and take with us at each visit.

Have more to get rid of than will fit in your car to be dropped off? We love to recommend companies like Gone For Good. Gone for Good is a haul-away service that also runs a thrift store. Before taking anything to a landfill they will sort through your unwanted items to determine what they can sell or donate to others. Next they work with hard-to-recycle companies to dispose of as much as possible. This way only a very limited amount of stuff actually is taken to a landfill!

What inspires you? I am inspired by helping people feel in control of their stuff, and their space. If I can help individuals do that, they can focus their energy and time on what they love to do best!

What is your favorite quote? “He who dies with the most stuff- is still dead!”- a coffee mug

Connect with Erin:
Email: erin@roomredefined.com
Website LinkedInFacebookInstagram

Community Voices Webinar July Topic:
Redefine your Sustainable Life: How Organizing Your Space Can Help Save the Planet & You

Today’s society tells us that we should be able to balance careers and family, have space for home life and active pursuits, and take care of ourselves, our loved ones, and the environment. We should be able to do it all, right? As a professional organizer, Erin is in constant conversation with clients who are feeling the stress of trying to do it all and do it well. Really our message to ourselves needs to be, “Do what you do best, and find people who share your values to help you accomplish the rest.” That is where Room Redefine steps in with its services. Room Redefined uses a relationship-based approach to get to know clients’ “pain points” and help create strategies for them to feel in control of their stuff and their space in a way that honors their needs and takes care of the environment around us. Wherever you are in your journey to living a more balanced and sustainable life, living a more organized life can help you and your family continue on that path in a more focused and productive way. In this Webinar, Erin is excited to share her tips and resources to help you start or continue in that journey in a way that aligns with your needs and your conscience.

Watch Replay.

Proud

June 2023
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“What have you done today to make you feel proud?
It’s never too late to try
What have you done today to make you feel proud?
You could be so many people
If you make that break for freedom
What have you done today to make you feel prouder?”
~”Proud” ~ Heather Small

Hello WIS Community –

A couple of weeks ago, a few of us community leaders met to discuss ways we could support one another. As part of the intro, we had to talk about ourselves, not what we do, since most of us already knew each other. Whew. How many people struggle with that? I found it challenging to introduce “me” and not what I do. (Note I still found myself talking about the “do”, which I 100% got called out for!)  

So that got me thinking about identities and how we show up in life in different places. So I did a journal exercise and started writing down, “Who Am I”?

I am an entrepreneur. I am a Connector. I am a friend. I am a Significant Other. I am a Rheumatoid Arthritis warrior. I am an activist. I am a Buckeye. I am a hockey fan. I am a trash talker and waste lover. I am a speaker. I am an educator. I am a hiker. I am an environmentalist. I am a cat mom. I am a “Second Act” woman. I am a volunteer. I am a (reggae) music lover. I am a community organizer. I am a learner. I am a PAL (Pledgettes Accountability League). I am an event planner. I am a party host. I am a Woman in Sustainability. And more …

In addition, I have shed some “I am” titles to make way for new and better titles. (Ex: I am a smoker … today it is I am an EX-smoker! 😳 Yup, I’m not always proud of that, but it’s still part of my life story. I am PROUD that I learned to overcome that challenge and open my life up to better health and environmental choices. Also, sorry Mom!)  

I have many “titles” in this life and they can show up in many ways and places. This exercise forced me to realize that I am a person with many layers. It made me realize that I am PROUD of all those layers that make me unique. When I show up in a space, I try to show up as me – no matter who “I am” at that moment. It’s not always easy to share everything about myself. Some days I want to stay hidden. Some days, I don’t want to reveal specifics about myself and find it challenging to show up. I want to blend in. Some titles are easier to say than others. However, I find that when I share the hidden layers, I do feel more free. I get to be me to discover authentic, honest and genuine connections with others. I remind myself that with all the “titles” I carry, there is usually one that helps me connect with another person. This can lead to at least a meaningful conversation, if not something more. Sometimes, we think we have to talk about what we do and not who we are. Perhaps, we can make the world a better place if we start sharing more about our lesser known “titles” in life. Who knows – maybe someone will change your life. Let’s be PROUD of all our titles. I know I am (even if embarrassed by a few too). I challenge you to go outside your comfort zone and connect in a different way this month.

I also want to acknowledge my privilege and that my titles don’t have the same weight as some others. This PRIDE month, I stand with everyone in the LGBTQIA+ Community. I see you. I love you. You can always share your “titles” with us and I work to create a safe space for you (and marginalized communities). I challenge myself to speak out against hate so that you can shine your light and love for all to see. I challenge our legislators to ensure a safe future for you. Your love lifts me and I am thankful for all those that can show up as their true selves. We all deserve to be ourselves in this crazy thing called life.

And always, be PROUD of you! We are! Thank you for showing up as your authentic self, even on days when it’s hard. We are here for you on those days too,

If you’re looking for connections this month, we have several opportunities including volunteer events . Volunteering is an excellent way to spend time with others and give back to the community! It’s something to help you feel PROUD. In addition, we are partnering with CohoUS for our June networking event. We’ll talk about co-housing and how it benefits the planet. This will be a great conversation that truly embraces community! Plus, we’ll wrap up the month with our book club and learn how to bridge the gaps to truly be inclusive in our lives at this month’s Community Voices webinar.

Oh, and we couldn’t be more PROUD to partner with our friends at CampExperience and The Pledgettes to host the first-ever BetterTogetherFest! This event is about collaboration, community, friendship, learning, and more! A huge shout out to Lara and the Smedley Events team for bringing this idea to life. We hope you’ll join us to spend time together and learn from our excellent speakers throughout the day. More info is below and check out BetterTogetherFestCO.com to join us on June 24!

We look forward to connecting with you soon. Thank you for all you do and we’re so PROUD of you.

If you have a moment, share with us your “titles” in the comment section. Who are YOU? We want to know! Be Proud of YOU!

the idea that when everybody is equal, we are all more free.” ~ Barack Obama

with CARE,
Becky
Chief CARE Connector / Founder

GET TO KNOW OUR MEMBERS – Jodi

jodi fischer (she/her)
Adelante Foundation, Senior Director of Development

Do you have a specific area of sustainability that interests you the most? Why do you CARE about that specific area? (i.e. energy, water, waste, transportation, etc.) 

It’s impossible for me to pick one, but some of my favorites are energy efficiency – 1st fuel!, food systems, climate finance, and the nexus between women empowerment and climate solutions.

What interests / excites you most about being involved in (Women in) sustainability? I love being surrounded by like-minded women who are committed to lessening our carbon footprint and making a meaningful impact in this world.

Finish this statement: I CARE Because … because I want a livable planet for my child. I care because this wild world is worth fighting for. together we can accomplish great things. I care because together we can accomplish great things.

What interests /​ excites What are some of your favorite podcasts, books, documentaries, etc that you recommend to those looking to engage more in the environmental space? most about being involved in sustainability? 

Drawdown by Paul Hawken

What are some self – care tips you like to share? Breathe fresh air outside every day, even if it’s only for 15 minutes, even in crummy weather.

What is your favorite quote? “There is always light. If only we were brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it.” – Amanda Gorman

Connect with Jodi:
Email: jodi@fundacionadelante.org
Website LinkedIn

Community Voices Webinar March Topic:
Empowering Underserved Entrepreneurial Women & Improving Climate Resiliency

Educating women/girls & family planning are top solutions identified by Drawdown to reduce worldwide carbon emissions. Microfinance is the combination of small loans to start or grow businesses plus training to aid in financial literacy and increase business success. Women in developing countries are statistically more likely than their male counterparts to reinvest earnings to benefit their families. Access to microfinance resources enable women to break through intergenerational cycles of poverty, send their children to school, become less dependent on other family members, gain access to low carbon emitting tech like clean cooking stoves and solar, and improve their homes so they can better withstand weather events. Jodi will share stories about her experience working with hardworking entrepreneurial women in Honduras benefitting from Adelante Foundation programs.

Adelante client cooking

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Joy

April 2023
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“And the daffodils look lovely today!”
~ “Daffodil Lament” by The Cranberries

As I write this note, the sun is shining and yesterday’s snow is slowly melting away. This past week I loved being able to get outside and enjoy the warmer days. I went for walks in my neighborhood where I saw the daffodils popping up and showing their bright yellow smiles. The second I see a cluster of daffodils, I take a deep breath and take in their sweet scent. I always did this growing up and it floods my mind with memories. The smell brings me so much JOY and a reminder that spring is here (even if we did get snow in CO yesterday) and that like the spring, my world is ready to for renewal as this new quarter begins. It’s a reminder that we can ebb and flow with Mother Earth as she shows us signs of growth these next few month. I love that she gives us these subtle signs at the start of Earth Month. It’s a reminder that we are connected to her and that we too experience seasons throughout our life, but growth is always right around the corner. It’s a reminder to find JOY in the small things. These past few weeks, I’ve been finding moments of JOY from extra snuggles with my cat, to finding my great grandmother’s engagement ring that I thought I lost forever, to connecting with WIS members, friends and getting ready for our annual tradition of opening weekend at the ballpark. As people in sustainability, we sometimes forget to take in moments of JOY throughout the month as it is our time to shine. It’s when the world is paying attention to our voices and words that we scream from the mountaintops every day. However, I encourage you this Earth Month, to take moments for YOU. Find some time to take in your favorite experiences in the spring – smelling the flowers, feeling the sun on your face, dancing in the rain or connecting with your community. Whatever it is, find those moments of JOY throughout this month as a reminder why you work so hard every day to strive for a better planet for all of us.

How will you find JOY this Earth Month?
Share with us here!

We will be finding JOY this month through our events from your bundle of joy to celebrating all of YOU with our annual EarthYAY Celebration at Odell Brewing Sloan’s Lake on May 4. This is our big celebration that we throw in YOUR honor. It brings us JOY to take the time to celebrate YOUR hard work and accomplishments. It’s a time for you to find JOY by letting us take CARE of you for an evening! We hope you will join us.

Oh and don’t miss our special announcement below for our new annual fundraiser – it’s gonna be F-U-N!! (I also know this is bringing our board chair, Beth, a lot of joy in planning it for you.)

I hope that you have a JOY-filled Earth Month and find time for you to enJOY too! Thank you from all of us at Women in Sustainability for your dedication, passion, commitment and CARE to this world. We are so grateful for you.

with CARE,
Becky
Chief CARE Connector / Founder
becky@womeninsustainability.org
My virtual door is always open – Calendly

“Earth teach me to forget myself as melted snow forgets its life. Earth teach me resignation as the leaves which die in the fall. Earth teach me courage as the Tree which stands all alone. Earth teach me regeneration as the seed which rises in the spring.” ~ William Alexander

Laughter

March 2023
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“Girls, just wanna have fun!”
~ Cyndi Lauper

Hello WIS Community –

Happy March and Women’s History Month. I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to tell February (and this winter) goodbye! As we head into the spring and look ahead to sustainability experts’ busiest month (hello Earth Month), I’m reminding myself to take a moment and LAUGH. While this past month found many challenges from sickness to snow (and more snow), I have felt 10 steps behind the whole way. I suppose it doesn’t help that we had 8 events in 7 days, but hey who needs sleep anyways, right?! (I’m just kidding. Please sleep; it’s good for your health.)

While the days seemed long, I was always given reminders to relieve stress along the way. Our Book Swap on February 22 brought me back to COMMUNITY and a reminder that when all in life seems tough, COMMUNITY just makes it better. I walked in that evening in a funk and left with my heart so full. I am so thankful for all who joined us – you didn’t know it at the time, but you were healing my soul. My other reminder was from my friend (and pastor) Rev. Emily to LAUGH — laugh at yourself, laugh at the world, laugh just to laugh … however you do it, remember to not take life so seriously and laugh. I am REEAALLY bad at this. Ask anyone close to me. It’s even a running joke in our house that I can be at a comedy show and not know it was comedy. I take life seriously. Sometimes (okay, a lot of times) too seriously. So this month, as I look ahead to April and May (extremely busy months for all of us), I’m reminding myself to LAUGH and not take life so seriously. (PS you can call me out when I’m being too serious too! 😉 )

According to the Mayo Clinic, laughter is good for you – physically and mentally! It can help improve organ function, relieve stress, and improve your immune system. It can even help relieve pain! It turns out that you can learn how to laugh, too!

So how am I learning laughter this month? By kicking up my heels and looking a little silly to bring me back to my roots. I’ve always wanted to try polka dancing (I’m Slovak and polka is in my bones. My Dad even produces one of the largest polka fests in the U.S.) and I’ve convinced my partner to do it with me. Even the thought of that is making me laugh. Yes, pictures and videos are to come. Now is a great time to step back from oh-so-serious life to enjoy some time for not-so-serious fun, lean into laughing about it and maybe learn something new. Remember, we all look silly learning new things, so laugh at yourself and be proud of taking the steps to look silly!

I’m also excited to spend time with the WIS Community this month as we celebrate Women’s History Month. Every time I’m with this community there are tough, real, honest conversations, and yet there always seems to be a sigh of relief as we end the evening and we all leave laughing, smiling and hugging one another. While we know the world of climate and sustainability can be tough and exhausting, we lean into one another for support. It’s a reminder that we don’t have to walk this path alone. We can do it together through tears, frustration, love and LAUGHTER! Before life gets too serious in April, I hope you take time to LAUGH this month. Do something outside of your comfort zone, see a comedy show, or find a friend and just laugh for no reason. Maybe turn up the stereo and blast “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” and badly sing over Cyndi Lauper as you dance around the room. While I may not have the jokes, I’m still always willing to help you laugh and hope you will join us this month as we celebrate all those identifying as women who work hard to make our world a better place, like you!

What are you doing to LAUGH this month? Share with us or tell us a joke (keep it clean) here!

Becky
Chief CARE Connector / Founder
becky@womeninsustainability.org
Calendly

GET TO KNOW OUR MEMBERS – Sydney

Sydney Jackson-Clockston (she/her)
Citrine Unlimited LLC, owner & founder

Do you have a specific area of sustainability that interests you the most? Why do you CARE about that specific area? (i.e. energy, water, waste, transportation, etc.) 

I am really interested in the overall etymology of sustainability and how sustainability can be applied holistically within a business. I also have a Master’s in Tourism Management with an emphasis on sustainable tourism development. So I have spent a lot of time thinking about sustainability within the Hospitality and Tourism sector.

What interests / excites you most about being involved in (Women in) sustainability? I am most excited about beginning as a Women in Sustainability Member because I automatically know that other members have a common shared value of sustainability and a general care about the impact they leave on the planet. I really enjoy the conversations and knowledge that we share as a community with each other.

Finish this statement: I CARE Because … I CARE because I value sustainability/restoration and building a legacy. I know it sounds corny, but when I pass away, I want to leave knowing that I personally did my part in creating an equitable future for those who come after me.

What interests /​ excites you most about being involved in sustainability? 

I love sustainability because it is a narrative that I get to rewrite. Most folks have been trained to think that sustainability is only about turning the lights off or recycling (the environment). But I love showing folks how sustainability can be applied to everything from the way you build a culture within an organization to the supply chain.

How do you like to give back to your community? Why is this important to you? I give back to the community with my time, money, and overall business. I love volunteering with young adults, and I spent the last two-three years supporting teen leadership development and civic engagement (community service) through Colorado Young Leaders. I also just ended a three-year board term for Guided by Humanity, which is an ALL-abilities yoga studio. I recently made my first big business investment by supporting SimpleSwich.org (check out their Wefunder). I work part-time with a non-profit called Rocky Mountain Micro-Finace Institute. This allows me to offer my coaching/training services to the community for a fraction of what it costs privately through Citrine Unlimited LLC. Then my work overall is stepped in the purpose of empowering and mobilizing my clients. All of this is important to me because, at the core, I have the blessing of knowing and living out my purpose. I truly believe that I am on this planet to uplift others, and I have the pleasure of waking up daily knowing that I did that. The trickle-down effect is amazing. By empowering just one person, that person turns around and pays it forward, and so on.

What are one or two of your favorite sustainability tips or tricks that you like to share with others? 
1) I recommend checking out George N. Wallace’s work on sustainable tourism development and thinking about how that can apply to your industry.

2) Sustainability battle fatigue is real. Remember that you are one person doing your best, and it’s ok to rest and unplug when needed.

What are some of your favorite podcasts, books, documentaries, etc that you recommend to those looking to engage more in the environmental space? 

https://thatminimallife.com/2020/12/2021-the-year-of-responsible-travel/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITlo2ZBJOWU
https://www.tbjproductions.com/project/trouble-paradise-thailands-full-moon-party/

What is your favorite quote? Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself”: FDR

Connect with Sydney:
Email: Planwithsydney@gmail.com
Website
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Community Voices Webinar March Topic:
Imposter Syndrome & Releasing Limiting Beliefs In Sustainability

Ever feel like you are not qualified enough to be a sustainability expert? How about feeling like you are not doing enough to be sustainable? When speaking with women in the community, these two comments thoughts pop up. Join Sydney Jackson-Clockston, MTM Owner of Citrine Unlimited LLC., for an interactive workshop addressing imposter syndrome and reframing negative thoughts when it comes to sustainability. This is an interactive workshop, so come ready to have conversations. RSVP here.

Watch Replay.