Meet Our Advisors: Elizabeth Sawin
August 24, 2022
As a way to introduce our new Advisors to our larger community, we’ve asked them to answer a question or two that gives us a better understanding of their background or how they approach their personal or professional lives. Our second profile is from Elizabeth Sawin, who answered the question:
Do you have strategies that you can share that help you manage the burden of working with such heavy topics such as biodiversity loss and the climate crisis?
I’ve worked on climate change for 25 years, and I have definitely felt the need to develop strategies to keep pursuing seemingly difficult goals through periods of bad news and setbacks, from disappointing election results to global climate summits with less than ideal outcomes.
Over the years a few things have helped me the most:
- Finding small ways to live (imperfectly of course) a life that is simple, and lower in fossil fuel use. That looks different for everyone but for me and my family that has involved intentional community (I live in a cohousing community associated with a working farm and forest.) My family has grown as much of our own food as we can, partly for sustainability, but mostly because we enjoy it. I love learning what plants have to teach and enjoying really delicious really fresh food and the satisfaction of having a pantry and root cellar full of food we grew.
- Remembering that while everyone needs to do something, no one has to do everything. I try hard to find the small pieces of all the work that needs to be done that I’m really good at, and to really appreciate all the people doing things I wouldn’t be good at.
- Reminding myself that the systems we need to create to protect the climate, biodiversity, and future generations are going to be a lot more beautiful, equitable, pleasant, and enlivening than the systems we inhabit today. And I believe that little seeds of those systems are all around us everywhere, whether that’s me and my neighbors trying our best to make good decisions via consensus to regenerative farmers restoring soils to cities that are more green and walkable. So when I find one of those little spots of possibility, I try really hard to notice and celebrate them.