As a graduating senior this upcoming May, jobs are certainly on my mind. I have been trying to decide which field to enter, where my talents and passions lie, and if those two are even compatible! One of my passions is to further the sustainable cause, yet I am not a hard science major nor do I plan to go to graduate school for such. How do I reconcile this? What kind of jobs, if any, could a liberal-arts-creative-type find into the working world of sustainability? Does imagination fit in at all in the professional world of environmentalism?
Actually? Yes. In fact, the sustainable career sector was much more expansive and inclusive then I had originally believed. According to one report from LA Times,”green jobs [grew] from 2010 through 2011 at a rate 4 times faster than all other industries combined.” Not only this, but if creativity really does “underpin innovation” as professors and advisors have reiterated to me throughout my college career, then wouldn’t that mean that successful people in the environmental movement are young with fresh, creative ideas? I took to the internet and discovered that my hypothesis was true. I found a list of 5 young “green” entrepreneurs who put their creativity to good use when by funneling their talents and passions into sustainable entrepreneurship and now are extremely successful.
- Adam Werbach was 23 when he became president of the Sierra Club and the youngest person to ever hold that position. During his presidency, the club established the and protects the largest national park in the country.
- Ephren W. Taylor II made video games at age 12, created an extremely profitable technology company called GoFerretGo.com at age of 17, and now is the youngest african american CEO of a public company. That company is City Capital, where he has started green initiatives that work on developing biofuel technology.
- Kyle Berner has began a company modeled after TOMs shoes at age 28. His company Feelgoodz produces shoes made out of sustainable materials including bamboo, hemp, rubber, recycled paper, and recycled hangers.
- As a recent college graduate and a passionate writer and blogger, David Anderson founded Green Options Media which supports a plethora of sustainability blogs that provide people with the information they need to make sustainable choices. (Much like ours!)
- Maggie Dawson, age 29, is currently the executive of a company that sells an alternative to laundry detergent made from dried soap nuts. Maggie’s Pure Land Products is a very successful company that now sells its products in many retail stores in many countries.
These stories of young, creative, and green entrepreneurs and professionals is not meant to intimidate but rather inspire. Their innovative ideas were founded in creativity and did not all stem from backgrounds in hard sciences. This means that if you are passionate about the environment, there are many different ways to manifest that passion using your own talents and strengths to build a career that both helps you and the planet.
Written by Julie Elliot, class of 2015