This summer, Barbara Fowler joins the GreenBlue team as a senior manager focused on GreenBlue meetings and conferences. Learn more about Barbara in the interview below.
What do you hope to achieve at GreenBlue?
For the past 10 years I have been working producing events in packaging, paper, biopolymers and other industries where sustainability is embedded in their supply chains. I’ve learned it is all interconnected and I hope the experience gained and the relationships built throughout this time will make GreenBlue stand out for great events with outstanding content and attendee experience and that showcase the many projects happening at the organization and provide worthwhile networking opportunities for our members and companies interested in moving the needle in sustainability. Another goal is to further advance the educational and training opportunities GreenBlue provides and develop new ones as the organization continues to grow.
What inspired you to work in the sustainability field?
After spending so much time talking about sustainability and getting to know all these people that have devoted their lives and energy to it, it became apparent that I needed to do more than just scratch the surface. Events serve as places to gather around purpose and what better purpose than working to preserve the environment, reduce waste, educate the consumer to make better choices and get inspired by such a lofty goal as working to make a significant difference on how we leave this planet for future generations?
What do you find most inspiring about working in sustainability?
I am inspired by the possibilities: there is so much to do. I am inspired by passionate people with goals that go beyond their role or their company and that will have an effect much bigger than just the bottom line or a trend. I am also inspired by science-based sustainability that goes beyond a fad or a feel good story.
What do you find most challenging?
Running into misinformation of what makes an initiative truly sustainable. Quantifying the tradeoffs of one decision over another. Infrastructure and systems challenges. Misconceptions of what renewable really means.
What is the one thing you would like people to know that you do in your personal life to further sustainability?
We try to buy local and reduce food waste at home. We try to use the car just when it’s really needed and walk as often as we can. I’ve been trying to teach my children about water use and how it’s a finite resource (yes, they love to play with water!).
Favorite outdoor activity
Here in Wisconsin we are lucky to have a host of options to spend time outside in beautiful settings such as lakes, national parks and natural reserves. We live very close to the Wisconsin Riverfront so we enjoy going for walks there. We enjoy going to Door County every summer. I was born and raised in Mexico City, so from time to time need a big city fix and truly enjoy walking around admiring the wonderful architecture of Chicago.
Hearing my kids belly-laugh, seeing them achieve new milestones and becoming great friends. Traveling to discover new and familiar places. Delicious food! Catching up with old friends and picking up like it was just yesterday we saw each other. The New York Times and freshly brewed coffee on a Sunday morning.