Clark County Green Business recently welcomed Abbie Swenson to our team. Abbie will be serving with us for 10 months as an AmeriCorps member to enhance environmental initiatives in the region. Read on to learn a little more about Abbie's background, interests, and the green business projects she'll be supporting while she's here.
Where are you from?
I am from a small town in central Minnesota. My favorite part about growing up there was spending time on or near any one of the thousands of lakes. I received my undergraduate degree in Minnesota as well at Gustavus Adolphus College. Go Gusties!
Upon graduation I moved to Minneapolis, where I worked as a consultant at Optum. In addition to consulting, I volunteered with our employee-led Green Team, where I planned the company's first Earth Day event, advocated for the removal of single-use utensils and an increase in organics composting, and developed presentations and educational opportunities for employees. My experience with the Green Team is where I discovered my passion for sustainability!
What projects will you be working on for Green Business?
One effort I will be working on is an extensive food waste reduction campaign to help meet Washington's statewide goals of 50% food waste reduction by 2030. Additionally, I will be creating virtual events to support, educate and engage the Clark County business community. I will also be supporting the Green Business Certification program, connecting businesses with county waste reduction resources, and supporting businesses through the new statewide Plastic Bag Ban.
What aspect of serving with Green Business are you most excited about?
I am excited to learn about the unique challenges that businesses face across industries in their efforts to reduce waste and be a more environmentally sustainable business, and how the Green Business team can work to mitigate some of these hurdles. I love the concept of "business as a force for good," and I'm excited to see how businesses in Clark County serve the members of this community and engage in environmental stewardship.
What do you like to do in your free time?
In my free time I love to read, hike, try new coffee shops and ice cream shops, paddleboard, snowshoe, shop for secondhand treasures and attend concerts. I am also learning to play acoustic guitar, and this winter I am hoping to learn how to ski! I am new to the PNW so looking forward to many hikes, camping trips, and visits to the coast. And checking a few more National Parks off my list!