Kelly Cramer, Project Associate Sustainable Packaging Coalition
Tell us about your background.
I identify as a first generation Southerner; my parents are originally from the Upper Midwest, but I grew up in Franklin, Tennessee. I spent the last five years in Portland, Oregon, where I studied environmental law at Lewis & Clark Law School. Some of my formative experiences include exploring the Smoky Mountains during college, a summer in San Diego spent eating bean burritos and staring at the ocean, and having the fortunate opportunity to spend some brief but meaningful time in Latin America. I’ve been an environmentalist probably ever since a Keep America Beautiful commercial made me cry when I was 5.
Why were you interested in working with GreenBlue?
I was initially drawn to GreenBlue for its pioneering spirit; because GreenBlue is so oriented toward the future and innovation, it means the organization has unlimited potential for growth. Closely related to innovation is GreenBlue’s emphasis on collaboration. What’s compelling about collaboration is that GreenBlue is able to accomplish a tremendous amount for sustainability very quickly — sometimes simply by listening and facilitating conversations in a dynamic, objective way.
Coming from a legal background, I understand how trying to better the environment in an adversarial context comes with its own set of challenges: litigation and policy reform can take a lot of time and money, and involved parties usually have to resolve conflict in a relatively traditional way. Working with that sort of constant intensity and within such defined boundaries can often be impactful, but GreenBlue occupies a unique space outside that framework. It’s a space I find to be incredibly rare and powerful.
What are you most looking forward to working on at GreenBlue?
On a practical level, I’m excited about encouraging more and more companies to join the How2Recycle program, and see the label designs I help implement on products I use myself. Conceptually, I’m enthralled by the potential to help guide the future of sustainable materials management, and design strategies to support a circular economy for next generation environmentalists.
Fun facts about yourself?
I live on a farm and am pursuing friendships with six daring and elusive peacocks; my favorite writer and poet is Jim Harrison; I’m fascinated by pop culture, celebrity and television.