The EcoGrrl Interview: Aaron



Aaron is a manager at Fluid, an awesome energy efficiency & sustainability consultancy here in Portland.  He used to run Ecohaus, then went out on his own as a green consultant which is when I met him some years back.  Time flies, but it’s been great to see him grow in his career and continue to make an impact. I totally dig what he has to say in this interview! 

Oh and PS – know any men who would like to participate in this interview project?  Let me know, I need more guys participating!

What or who inspires you most? My family, and the knowledge that the actions that I take today can impact many future generations of the people who make up my family!

What do you turn to when you need strength? When I need strength, I seek someone who has experience or knowledge in the area that I feel a lacking.

How can women best support and/or empower other women? Women can support and empower other women by exhibiting a balance of confidence and humility. Men are typically not good role models of how to be a compassionate leader, and this is a skill that is best learned by observance.

What do you love to grow? What would you like to try growing someday? I love to grow trees. It is amazing that such a little person can grow a huge tree that will stand the test of time and provide many people with shade, shelter and clean air. I would like to grow another Madrona tree. Our old house had one that I grew from a 3” start to a 20’ tree and I miss it.

What are your creative outlets?  Is there anything you’ve always wanted to try but you haven’t? My creative outlets are making books of my photography, driving my car on a racetrack and learning to pull the perfect espresso shot. I have always wanted to try glass casting, fusing or blowing.

In what environment(s) do you feel most in your element?   When I am driving my car on the track, when I am engaged in a dynamic discussion with a medium sized group and when I am out paddling on a lake or river.

Who are your top three nonprofits you support and/or volunteer with and why?

  1. Basic Rights Oregon – I cannot believe that in 2012 all people not share the same basic rights in our state and country.

  2. Sustainable Northwest – This amazing nonprofit is a model of how the world of environmental sustainability can coexist with social and economic sustainability.

  3. Idaho Youth Ranch– Well, my sister works there, and she is an amazing and inspired woman, so they must being doing great work enhancing the lives of children and families  in Idaho

What recent “green” change have you made in your own life?  What’s next? We have replaced most of the incandescent bulbs in our house with CFL or LED. It made a big impact on our electric usage. We hope to do some significant airsealing and insulation in 2013.

Where in the world do you consider a sanctuary?  Why? My home is my sanctuary! I truly feel most relaxed and safe when I am home with my wife, son and loyal dog.

What advice would you give to your younger self? Never be afraid to try. You will definitely sometimes fail, but you will most likely succeed beyond your dreams a good bit also!

How can we as a society be more radical in supporting a healthy planet? We can turn to simple, low-cost changes to make a big impact – rather than looking for a high-tech, flashy solution that allows us to have our cake and eat it too. Use less…of everything!

What sparked your interest in environmental issues?   What’s the first “eco” thing you ever did? My best friend in college did a presentation on organic farming. I thought she was a crazy hippie, but her lessons have stayed with me throughout my life. I have been recycling since I was little – my parents were great role models and took our recycling to a recycling center long before there was curbside pick up.

How do you live simply? I try to make conscious decisions whenever I make purchases, I try to use less and strive for balance and I try to take pleasure in the little things in life.

Could you leave us with a favorite quote of yours? “I saved Latin, what did you ever do?”  ~ Max Fischer


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