The EcoGrrl Interview: Jessica


J. Mills

Jessica works in Human Resources for one of my recent clients tech right here in Portland.  She keeps everything running smoothly, and always manages to smile even when a hundred things are being tossed her way.  What a cool gal – so glad to have gotten to know her!

What or who inspires you most? Easy, my daughter. I want her to look up to me and to be a role model for her.

What do you turn to when you need strength? My husband, parents, sisters. Depending on the need, I turn to someone to talk things through.

How can women best support and/or empower other women? Encouragement over competition. It’s still a male dominated world out there and anything women can do to help others achieve their goals is better for all of us in the long run.

What do you love to grow? What would you like to try growing someday? I don’t have a green thumb or a big desire to do that. I always enjoy getting flowers in the spring and such but always enjoy watching my husband take care of the plants and vegetables. Though someday I would like to have more of a garden especially with more berry bushes.

What are your creative outlets?  Is there anything you’ve always wanted to try but you haven’t? I like most crafty things and DIY-ing over the house. I like to crochet, sew and find things to redo at a garage sale or goodwill.

In what environment(s) do you feel most in your element? At home, I love the kitchen and relish mastering a new recipe when I have time on the weekends. At work it comes when I can help a coworker answer a question or give them the resources they need.

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

  1. Big Brothers Big Sisters – I volunteered for BBBS for a while and love their organization and what they do.

  2. Leukemia Lymphoma Society – I lost a good friend to a rough battle of cancer.

  3. First Downs for Down Syndrome – the Kansas City chapter is near and dear as my cousin has two children with Downs and they have been a huge part of her life for years.

What recent “green” change have you made in your own life?  What’s next? Moving towards green cleaners in the house. Understanding the many things baking soda can clean in your house! Next year as a family we are going to work to continue to eater cleaner with less processed foods. For myself I want to try my hand at making more of my own house cleaners – I also think it will stretch our dollar more.

Where in the world do you consider a sanctuary?  Why? I don’t know that I have a place I consider a sanctuary.

What advice would you give to your younger self? Ask to try that thing you want to do (you never know your parents might say yes!).

How can we as a society be more radical in supporting a healthy planet? Forcing people to make greener choices. More counties can move towards what Multnomah did when it came to garbage and recycling. Those little things will force people to move in that direction when they really don’t have a choice.

Putting stricter regulations on food production and growth. A healthier population with less unknown chemicals in their body will help everyone in the long run.

What sparked your interest in environmental issues?   What’s the first “eco” thing you ever did? Nothing huge moved me towards paying attention to the environment but reading the various articles and paying attention to labels can go a long way. Recycling is the probably the first eco thing. When cities started putting recycling bins with garbage that gave everyone an outlet to use.

How do you live simply? Realize that I don’t need a ton of stuff. We can do with a lot less.

Could you leave us with a favorite quote of yours? “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”  ~ Steve Jobs


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