Q: As SCAâ€™s Great Lakes representative, what was an interesting experience you had on the road?
A: Iowa State University had snow and the school was shut down for the afternoon—no class presentations for me! I took advantage of the time and did some laundry. I recruited the kid at the laundry mat, who had a number of friends who did SCA and he told me about their fun experiences. You never know who you’ll meet. I didnâ€™t let the snow hinder me from driving to help move my sister into her new apartment; she’s an Americorps member, so how could I say no?
Q: In your experience, does the general attitude people hold towards conservation and the environment differ from the east coast to your region?
A: I ran into a number of different attitudes throughout my travels. I was in some prime hunting states, so people wanted to conserve land so they could hunt the animals that lived in that habitat. I recruited at schools that had some LEED certiﬁed buildings. Many schools that I recruited at had a showing of “An Inconvenient Truth” scheduled during or after my visit. I think that it is more acceptable these days for people to adopt environmentalism as a cause than it was even a few years ago. The past attitude was that it used to be for “hippies or tree huggers”, but now the average Joe can be an environmentalist and not receive ﬂack for it the way they would have in the past.
Q: If you were appointed Administrator of the US EPA for 1 month what would be your number one priority?
A: I think there are a lot of great ideas and people can suggest things until they’re blue in the face, but what good are ideas if they aren’t executed? I would like to see some more reward for people who actually do something and chastisement for people who don’t. For example, here at the SCA corporate headquarters, if you car pool for a certain number of days, you’ll receive time off. How easy of a reward program is this to implement, and both the environment and the participants beneﬁt.
It’s sad that many times people donâ€™t do something unless they think that they’ll get something out of it or because of necessity, and saving the environment because it is the right thing to do (and one would think that having clean air, water, etc, should be a right for people and their grandchildren) doesn’t necessarily cross people minds. When there are energy crisis or gas prices go up, people will look for alternative methods of transportation, but how many people continue to practice those wonderful ideas after the crisis is over? I think many people know that saving the environment is the “right” thing to do, but many people just don’t actually do anything about it. I would love to see people care everyday; not just “Earth Day” or during “crisis” time.
This is the third post in the ongoing series, Faces of SCA.