It's funny to me that so many people infuse themselves with vigor and cause during their college years, only to settle quickly into mediocrity in their post-degree lives. Haha. So many young adults who stood for change during their schooling eventually evolve into office drones who don't feel they've got a say.
But that doesn't have to be the case. Lori Crook and Jen Alt at Nickelodeon are prime examples of surviving in the real world while not abandoning your ideals.
These two ladies have turned their office upside down with environmentally friendly changes; particularly with Nick Magazine. They've taken the bull by the horns in order to make positive change and were kind enough to sit down with me and discuss the entire process.
Interview with Lori Crook and Jen Alt
Elizabeth Seward: How did all of your colleagues react when they saw that you were going to make eco-friendly changes to your office and the magazine? Were they supportive?
Lori Crook: I would say yes. We are lucky that our big wigs that run this company are really supportive. I think that has partially been because we've been able to qualitatively present our successes. We've been able to quantitatively show how much we have been saving in terms of resources. It's pretty huge. In addition, we have gotten really good press-especially this year.
E.S.: Budget wise, I don't know, is printing with recyclable paper and vegetable oil inks...is that cheaper for you in the end?
L.C.: It depends. I mean, basically, a lot of paper companies put premium on recycled content. Not all of them do, but a lot of them do. But if you have an overall strategy that also involves reducing the weight of your paper and buying recycled paper...Our paper company has been absolutely supportive of us, though. As an overall strategy, we have not spent more money than we would have otherwise. A lot of times, reducing your impact is actually reducing the amount of material you are actually producing.
E.S: Has this whole thing altered either of your lifestyles?
L.C: Jen already knew everything, so it's probably affected me more. I think it's been a really amazing thing. Everyone in our group is so proud of it. Everyone is excited about it. It gives them something to be proud of and excited about and it makes them wonder what else they can do.
E.S: What kind of advice would you offer up to anyone wanting to change their own office? Or even their school? How would you suggest they start implementing something like this?
Jen Alt: I would say to start at the grassroots. Start at the small scale approach. I just put a box out for battery recycling and a little sign. I'm collecting so many batteries out of that little thing! Stuff like that you can do.
Jen and Lori's exceptional work at Nick Magazine prove that you can change your office, your classroom, your...whatever. You've just gotta want to!