Erica joins the GreenBlue team as a project intern for the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, working with Anne Bedarf on recovery initiatives. Learn more about what brought Erica to GreenBlue below:
After graduating from the University of Virginia in May, I was on a job hunt to find a position that would allow me to continue growing my interest in sustainability while staying involved in the Charlottesville community. But, as I am sure most recent grads can attest to, the goal of finding the ideal position proved to be harder than expected. So when I heard about GreenBlue’s internship position last month, you can be sure I was quick to send in my resume. With only a general idea of what GreenBlue did, I went into my interview with Anne Bedarf and left knowing that GreenBlue would be a great fit for me.
During my time at UVa, I was a sustainability employee and worked as part of the recycling team. We focused on event planning and outreach/education to raise awareness among the student population about recycling initiatives on Grounds. This included disseminating information about what could and could not be recycled as well as encouraging students to recycle as much as possible. Although it operates on a much larger scale, GreenBlue’s How2Recycle program has a similar goal. Through the use of a comprehensive and clear labeling system, How2Recycle enables companies to be transparent and take the confusion out of recycling for their consumers. The label provides individual disposal instructions for each component of a product’s packaging. Below is an example of a How2Recycle label:
I wish UVa had used labels like these on their food and drink packaging while I was there. It would have made my job a lot easier!
My connection to How2Recycle’s mission is just one of the many reasons I was drawn to interning at GreenBlue. I have always been passionate about finding a job that would allow me to contribute to my local community. For this reason, my job search has revolved around the local government and nonprofit sectors. As a successful sustainability nonprofit, I felt that interning with GreenBlue would give me an inside look at how an established ‘green’ nonprofit operates. While I have only been interning for a couple of weeks, I can tell that I will gain as much from my assignments as I will from just observing and being part of the day-to-day life here.
In addition to this, I was delighted by the open and bright layout of GreenBlue’s office space. With a plethora of windows, brightly painted walls, and a jungle of office plants, I always feel energized to work. It allows for a collaborative atmosphere where employees can mingle and aren’t confined to their desks. The office is also dog friendly–which is especially exciting since I just adopted a new puppy!–and just a 15-minute walk from my apartment. It’s pretty much the ideal workplace!
I could go on and on about how great interning at GreenBlue has been so far, but I think I will end it here by saying how excited and grateful I am for this opportunity. I can’t wait to see what experiences the next few months will bring!