An important part of being a top environmentalist is leading by example. Obviously, promoting sustainability through visible public initiatives is a great way to get people engaged and educated about ‘going green,’ but making changes in your own life is how you really convince people that change is possible. The Starfish’s number 20 Environmentalist Under 25 embodies this principle in everything she does.
If you ever find yourself in McMaster University’s Office of Sustainability, you just might end up infected with serious case of “green fever,” and odds are you caught it from Office Coordinator Karin Gordon. Karin’s enthusiasm and passion for sustainability is what inspired her nomination as one of Canada’s top young environmentalists.
Whether she is biking to school, tracking down locally grown food, or coaxing her vermi worms into producing compost, Karin walks the walk every day with a smile on her face. It’s hard to see someone having so much fun while living sustainably and not think that it is something worth pursuing. Approachable and well informed, Karin is eager to share the tricks of the environmental trade with anyone interested enough to listen. Want to upcycle an old plastic bottle into a stylish new lamp? Karin is the woman to ask. Having trouble tackling some of those fierce Hamilton hills on your bike? Why not get some tips from a master.
But Karin’s passion goes beyond her personal life. It is amplified through the work she does all over the city. Starting out as a volunteer at the Mac Farmstand farmers’ market in summer of 2012, Karin’s commitment to sourcing locally grown food and building relationships with local farmers led to her promotion to Farmstand’s coordinator for the 2013 season.
Karin also understands that an important part any initiative promoting sustainability is monitoring and measuring its effectiveness. With this in mind she spearheaded a campus-wide research project aimed at measuring the impact of McMaster’s newly implemented Flex Pass parking permit. Karin’s research has shown that the new option – which allows students and staff to purchase and reload a 10 day parking permit –has freed users up to pursue alternative modes of transportation to and from school.
Through her personal commitment to the environment, her work promoting sustainability around campus, and her research into green decision-making at McMaster, Karin Gordon has earned her place as one of Canada’s Top 25 Environmentalists Under 25.