Becca Walkinshaw was chosen for the 2015 Local E+ Award because of her courage and willingness to put herself out there for the greater good. She created her own position at work and has led a multitude of efforts to make Gallegos Sanitation more sustainable. Becca created collaborations with various local businesses and schools in order to educate more people about landfills, waste reduction measures and recycling. She also volunteers as an advisor to the City of Fort Collins ClimateWise program, the Chamber’s Environmental Committee and the USGBC. Join me in learning more about Becca and her efforts to live her values at work!
Local 2015 E+ Award Recipient Becca Walkinshaw
Q: What inspired you to try something different? Becca: I didn’t ever think or feel that I was doing something different. Rather, I felt curious about the waste and recycling field, and naturally looked for engagement opportunities to “learn and play” at work. GSI has always allowed me to explore such opportunities. For example, When I first started back in 2008, GSI said yes when I asked to bring pet worms into the office, build a worm compost bin and provide training to for GSI staff about the “Why in Worms”. I taught staff that worms are an important tool in regards to foodwaste recycling and waste reduction. Ideas like this, over time, with a mix of curiosity, project management and a supportive team, helped GSI formalize a full time position for a Sustainability Coordinator and strengthen the culture of social and environmental awareness.
Q:What challenges have you had to overcome to get where you are today? Becca: I have had many challenges over the years, but 1) believing in myself and 2) staying true to what I believe have been reoccurring. I work with so many strong personalities that sometimes it is easier to just agree. But in order to create change, conversations around all possibilities need to occur- not just one person’s point of view. Also, having children was a big challenge for me because I feared that if I took time off for maternity and didn’t spend as much time at work, I would lose the “position” I had worked so diligently for. But that was not true at all, GSI has and continues to be extremely supportive of me being a working mother.
Q:What has been the most rewarding part of your efforts so far? Becca: The most rewarding part of my efforts is the positive energy and synergy I receive from those who share the same values. As a working parent, I appreciate learning about ways implement sustainable practices into my everyday life- whether it be diverting waste from the landfill or building community, I LOVE sharing these experiences with others.
Q: What advice would you give to other people that are courageously taking risks and challenging the status quo? Becca: Sometimes I feel that if I am NOT stressed or if I am feeling content- then maybe I am not making an impact. I am slowing learning this is NOT true. Your career does not need to be turbulent to be impactful. It is about taking small steps over time that build upon each other. Consistent, small steps will lead you on a steady path towards making change.
Q:What do you plan to do next? Becca: I am experiencing wanderlust and am making plans to travel more!
Q: How can people get/stay in touch with you? Becca: I can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Nominate Someone for a 2016 E+ Award
Know someone that is making a positive difference in our community or beyond? Nominations for the 2016 E+ Awards are open.
Three recipients will be chosen for the 2016 E+ Awards for: Having the Courage to Show-up Authentically, Taking a Risk, and Challenging the Status Quo. One Awardee will be selected for each of the three categories:
Youth (Nominee is under 21)
Local/Regional Impact (Northern Colorado)
National/Global Impact (Beyond Colorado)