The EcoGrrl Interview: Tricia



Tricia is an environmental program manager who has done numerous projects with city government.  I was originally introduced to Tricia by one of our other interviewees, Kyenne, as a coaching client.  It was so fantastic to work with her and see her amazing passion for the environment – she has much to say and much to offer! 

What or who inspires you most? Trees inspire me. I love trees – they are beautiful, strong, resilient, varied, useful, amazing plants. I love to plant them, teach others about them, read about them, walk amongst them, learn about them… They bring me peace. I think, what stories could they tell us? Think about a California redwood or giant sequoia, and all the years they live! People who inspire me include my parents (dad is alive, mom is dead), Gloria Steinem, Gandhi, the current Dalai Lama, and people who face challenging situations with strength and positive attitudes.

What do you turn to when you need strength? I often go for a walk. Walking is peaceful whether it is fast or slow. I can be in my own world of thought. Sometimes walking and not thinking is just as helpful as walking and thinking. Sometimes playing with or curling up with the cat provides strength. They share an unconditional love and trust. Sometimes thinking of my mom or other people and animals that I have loved but are no longer with me, can give me strength and support.

How can women best support and/or empower other women? Be supportive and helpful, communicate, share, and provide advice and information.

What do you love to grow? What would you like to try growing someday? I love to grow houseplants inside and plants outside, like trees and flowers. I would love to have my own garden where I could grow vegetables, fruit etc. We have trees and flowers in pots on the back patio of our apartment, and we also have some plants in the apartment planter boxes (we have a nice property manager!).

What are your creative outlets? Is there anything you’ve always wanted to try but haven’t? Lots of things I have not yet tried! I just recently agreed (or was convinced) to try bike racing in 2013! I love playing soccer (yes I think that is creative). Reading. I would love to get better at emergency preparedness and wilderness survival. Learn to be an expert plant person aka botanist. As noted above, I love plants. I often take my plant enthusiasm and knowledge to others’ houses, parks etc to share and implement planting plans. It is wonderful to see things grow!  I love taking photos and putting photo things together. And giving photo related things to people. I hardly ever bake but I enjoy it a lot.

In what environment(s) do you feel most in your element? Walking in the woods. Solving complicated policy and science related matters, usually in a government and non-government related situation. Connecting people and ideas. Helping people.

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

  1. Friends of Trees – I love being a crew leader for Friends of Trees!!

  2. Audubon Society of Portland – An incredible organization!

  3. American Cancer Society – I know/have known far too many people with cancer and many have not survived. But the ACS has always been a source of information and resources, a place to meet amazing people, and chance to give back to the community and to fight cancer.

What recent “green” change have you made in your own life? What’s next? This summer I bought a commuter bike so that I can bike all around town. I usually walk everywhere but sometimes I take public transportation or the car. I’m so excited by my bike – my boyfriend calls it my smile-a-mile-wide bike! I’ve been riding my road bike up steep hills, long distances, and on a trainer so I get to be a stronger biker. I’ve been getting rid of more stuff – reduce, reduce – even more than usual donations to charity have been made by me this year.

Where in the world do you consider a sanctuary? Why? Home in my bedroom. Places in the woods. Redwood State and National Parks in California. The top of Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park.

What advice would you give to your younger self? Much of what I noted in response to the question about living simply would apply here.

How can we as a society be more radical in supporting a healthy planet? Have less stuff. Don’t believe that the economy should be entirely consumer purchasing based. Fair trade. Fair wages and health care for all. Respect others. Women and men are equal. Don’t support fracking and tar sands.

What sparked your interest in environmental issues? What’s the first “eco” thing you ever did? One of the first memories of eco reading material were books by Walden and Emerson. I thought they were amazing. As for eco things I did at first… I am the youngest of three kids so I always had the hand me downs from my sisters and from a neighbor gal who was much taller than I. Lots of used clothes, books, toys, and bicycles were what I would have used. I grew up in the Midwest so I always thought very practically and simply, which I attribute to my parents, my working class town, and the Midwestern ethic (which I treasure).

How do you live simply? Get rid of items not being used – donate them to charity, recycle them etc. Don’t buy or purchase minimally items that have packaging. Decide if you really need an item. Shop sales and charity shops, craig’s list, trade with your friends, garage sales etc for items. Remember to be appreciative and grateful for all that you have. Don’t go to bed angry. Say to whom you love that you love them. Borrow and use the library. Take good care of what you have as possessions, relationships, and yourself. Be optimistic and realistic. Forgive. Move on. Be genuine.

Could you leave us with a favorite quote of yours? “Strength is not defined by what you can resist, but by how much you can expand.” ~ Whole Living Magazine


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