Due to a few technical difficulties with our blog we are reposting SIFT CEO Linda Norris’ Green Collar Jobs Q&A.We thought it was about time to profile SIFT CEO Linda Norris in our Green Collar Jobs Blog post. Linda has been the CEO of the Sustainable Initiatives Fund Trust for about three years and is a passionate advocate for sustainable living. She is always looking for innovative and creative ways for SIFT to have a positive impact on the community and to ultimately reduce waste going to landfill. You can find more information about Linda here.
1. What do you do to live more sustainably (with low impact) in your life?
I live on a small farm in Loburn, North Canterbury, where we produce our own lamb and beef, as organic as it can be, and some of our own veges. We compost everything we can through EM Bokashi, and even our new home proudly displays a number of great features from recycled materials like flooring, doors, and of course furniture from the Christchurch Supershed – all good to go with a little TLC. We buy quality goods that last and use local businesses for services, employ local people, and we know most of our neighbours. I drive a low carbon emission diesel vehicle. We help out in our community by doing rubbish clean ups and with environmental projects at the local school. We recenlty picked up a massive 55kg of well concealed waste dumped in our hedgrows in one weekend, about 80% of it was recycled! I have taken a group of four 8/9 year olds to talk on community radio station Plains FM “Green Biz” about their fun waste diversion project through TradeMe.
2. How do you live more sustainably at work?
Our office fitout used almost entirely recycled furniture and we use web-based business tools to minimise cost and maximise reach. We minimise paper usage, reuse what we can, and travel with good IT systems, and any one of us can work from home if need be, reducing emissions. We use suppliers that are carbon neutral as far as possible e.g. Digiweb and Green Cabs, and we use video conferencing instead of travelling out of town.
3. What do you think is the biggest environmental issue we need to deal with in Christchurch/New Zealand?
Maximise our Earth’s resources. We can all do our bit to help the environment. It’s just an excuse to say you are too small to do something.
4. What makes you smile?
My children! I have 3 boys, two at primary school aged 10 and 8, plus one aged 41 (sorry Dean!)
5. What is your biggest pet peeve?
Unncessary waste: Cheap and nasty “stuff” being sold in NZ that we all know will end up in our landfills. Buy quality that will last and buy a product that can be up-recycled or reused.
6. What is your favourite colour and why?
Forever Green of course! A sort of clear and sparkly green. I’ve always loved green – it reminds me of our Earth and is very grounding and so creative.
7. Do you have a favourite place in the workd? Describe why?
Ooh tough choice…La Paz in Bolivia, South America – it means Peace, or close to home Totaranui in the Abel Tasman National Park – great family holidays: walks, wildlife & water – we stay at the Dept of Conservation bach – we are soooo lucky, it’s such a special place.
8. What’s your connection to SIFT?
Chief Executive Officer of Sustainable Initiatives Fund. I’m the chief waste minimiser!
9. Do you remember your favourite teacher and why they were your favourite?
Definitely Mr Calver at Maidstone Grammar School for Girls. He taught me maths at high school level and always used to have a saying “a tick if it’s right, cross if it’s wrong, and if in doubt cross it out!” He was very inspiring; I still love maths as do my children. Teachers are so important as they influence young minds. I went on to train as an auditor with Deloitte; I think that Mr Calvert may have influenced my career choice!
10. What do you want to leave behind?
A greener, more peaceful and prosperous world. A happy and content family.
11. What do you think the future will bring?
Different political boundaries will emerge; technology will enable different groups of people to help solve world problems; and creativity will leapfrog a real opportunity for innovation in science and the environment. Technology and creativity have to be inextricably linked.
12. Who is someone you really admire and why?
Duke of Wellington, the greatest soldier that every lived.
13. What is happending outside your window right now?
Beautiful night sky in Loburn, North Canterbury, it’s 1am!
14. What is your favourite breakfast?
Homemade meusli, freshly squeezed grapefruit juice (organic ofcourse), fruit, live yoghurt.
15. What is the best piece of advice you can give us?
Replicate SIFT into the North Island, so that the whole country can benefit from the “Canterbury waste model”. Keep the strong connection between business and community – nuture your people. It’s people that matter and will drive change.