Paige Ritchie represents her generation well. Her nominator Alicia, a colleague of Ritchie’s, says, “I believe that Paige is a great example of her generation's movement toward caring about things that impact not just themselves, but others.”
Paige is involved with so many environmental initiatives that it is difficult to list them all at once. Her interests range from sustainable transportation to renewable energy to food security, and she takes an active role in helping all of these fields move forward. Looking specifically at her work in food security, Paige writes a food blog as part of her responsibilities as a Peer Educator for Sustainable SFU. In this blog, she promotes Sustainable SFU’s Harvest Box program, which gives students a convenient way to access to local, fresh food. Furthermore, she comes up with creative recipes that incorporate the items in the Harvest Box for that week. “This means that she doesn't just cook the carrots, but she instead chooses recipes that focus on the beets, turnips, or squash, so that people know how to use these items, and can see pictures of how delicious they can be!” says her nominator.
She often reminds her readers that while eating sustainably is a good goal, it is also a complex one, and this is often something to work towards, rather than a black-and-white life choice. “I also really like this aspect of the blog because I think that in general, people are taught to be afraid of making mistakes, instead of being allowed to embrace mistakes as a natural and important part of learning.”
Through her blog, Paige has helped inspire other students to follow in her footsteps, achieving a more sustainable diet. Paige represents the very definition of an environmentalist by making changes at a personal level, and spreading that knowledge to others in a positive way, helping others to learn through her very own actions.
Alicia says it best: "Paige's commitment to environmental sustainability is clear in many ways, and through this commitment, she has become an inspiration to those around her. This is because she goes beyond studying and working in this field, to live her life in a way that reflects her beliefs, illustrating that caring for our environment is more than a job, it is a lifestyle.” Paige is someone who is genuinely submersed in maintaining an environmentally conscious lifestyle, and is sure to have fun while she’s at it!
Great work, Paige, and congratulations on claiming #18 on this year’s Top 25 list!