When and why did you become a Sustainability Coalition volunteer?
I've long been a member of the League of Women Voters, and when I moved to Corvallis in 2016 I joined their Housing Committee since I'm a retired architect. I noticed there were a lot of groups working on housing, and I joined the Coalition's Housing Action Team. Later, I joined the Energy Action Team because I have had long-term interest in residential energy issues.
What role do you play in the Sustainability Coalition?
I offer a free Retrofit Clinic -- a 2-hour Zoom consultation where I try to help people figure out how to make their homes more energy efficient. I'm trying to address the gap between "everything we need to do" and "what makes sense for me and my home." It turns out that about 40% of the possibilities apply to any given home, so it can be complicated to figure out what to do in your particular situation. I'm using my background as a licensed architect to help people see what makes sense for their case.
What in your background led you to be interested in volunteering with the Sustainability Coalition?
I've tried to be engaged in community activities. When my children were little that meant Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts, League of Women Voters (when I first joined I was "the very young one", but now I'm at least as old as anyone else), and church activities. The stunning thing about the Coalition is the way it's organized to welcome everyone and find ways to use individual and group talents to drive real change. In addition, it was clear to me that my background in architecture could be useful for Coalition projects.
What do you feel is the impact of your volunteer work on the community?
I can do 9 -12 Retrofit Clinics in a month. I'll never get around to everybody, so I'm hoping that as the people I've worked with upgrade their homes, they'll share their success with everybody they know, spreading that far beyond the 64 clinics I've been able to do so far.
What are the goals you most want to accomplish through your volunteer work?
I'd like to spread the word that energy efficiency isn't rocket science or weird new technology. The heat pumps (Heat/AC and Hot Water) that can cut home energy use in half use the same basic technology as your refrigerator. And since all our equipment and appliances have a life span of 20 years or less, and much of it is approaching that age, there's a lot of opportunity to do the right thing for the planet.
Is there a special project or event that comes to mind when you think of your work with the Coalition?
The first Annual Meeting of the Corvallis Sustainability Coalition that I went to stands out -- the reach of the umbrella over different disciplines, groups, and interests is exemplary. There is something for everyone to get involved with, and the enthusiasm has a firm structure guiding it.
What is it about the Coalition’s mission that appeals to you personally?
The fact that the Coalition gives me the support I needed (and still depend on) to find something that I could do myself instead of sitting around being angry that nobody was doing anything. I'm helping a very small piece of the 128.7 million homes in the USA that need to be upgraded to meet our energy budget limits, but it's been fun to meet and talk with people.
What’s something about you (a fun fact) that not many people know?
I love to tell people who know me as an architect that Bill and I have five children, and I love to tell people who know our family that I'm an architect, retired now. All made possible by a superb husband and mostly delightful children who made it possible for me to survive.