h1

what do I do?

March 6, 2011

Well, I’ve been on the job about a month now… and although this isn’t the first time I haven’t written in a while, I’ve definitely noticed that a full-time job makes it harder for me to find the time to write!  I know I just need to prioritize it (along with a few other things, like seeing Kels, reading and meditating on spiritual ideas, and exercising on non-derby days.  Also sleeping.)

But despite less personal time, I really am loving my job.  I didn’t have a full grasp of what I’d be doing before I started, but the more I found out about what they’d like me to do, the happier I was.  It’s kind of a neat combination of things I know I love (planning events, doing community outreach, designing visual materials, and managing media output) and things that are new and challenging (working with municipal leaders to pass resolutions in support of state legislation).

I’ve also been delighted to find that there are some quality-of-life aspects to the job that definitely make up for the less-than-ideal salary.  Being able to work flexible hours (9-5 some days, 10-6 others… and I can also work extra on some days and less on others, as long as it evens out) has been invaluable to my derby schedule.  Also, I can bring Harriet in one or two days a week, which saves both money and worry.  And I especially like the folks I’m working with.  I really connect with my boss and the coworker I work with the most, which makes it feel like I’m just working with friends.

Finally, I’m so, so please to have a job in which I can truly believe in my work, and which is teaching me skills I want to use further down the road.  This organization (or at least my two co-workers) is extremely adept at teaching process, and I already feel like I’ve learned more here than I would have through a year or more of the ‘learning by doing’ I was engaged with at the EJ League.  I still appreciate my experiences with the EJ League… I think that was (and is… I’m still on the Board) a valuable way to learn, but I can appreciate the different teaching style of Clean Water Action that much more because of the contrast.

Can I take this moment to explain the campaign I’m working on?   I’ll try to keep it brief.  Also, if it gets you down to think about our waste, just focus on the fact that there are so many good things happening all over the world to change how we do things.

The concept of “Producer Responsibility” is that manufacturers are required to take-back their products after the consumer is finished using them.  Think of mercury thermostats or electronic waste, which presents a big problem in a regular landfill.  Part of the idea behind this is that if the producer is taking back their products, they’ll have more incentive to design products that are recyclable, durable, or less toxic.  A bonus is that it relieves a huge financial burden on the municipalities, who can now use that former waste-management money for more useful things, like schools and infrastructure.

All around the world, states and countries have passed such laws, especially dealing with the worst offenders: mercury products, electronic waste, paint, etc.  But what’s really neat is that RI is trying to pass a framework law.  See, passing a law for each product individually can take a lot of time and effort—multiple years of work, in many cases.  A Framework Producer Responsibility law would provide a policy framework that can be applied to an array of products. By streamlining the process, we save time and administrative costs, create a more predictable regulatory environment, and allow policy-makers to respond more rapidly to hazards as they arise.

I’m happy to discuss this more if you’re interested… one of the most common questions is how manufacturers feel about it (one of the key answers to that is that producer responsibility laws have been in place all over the world for the past ten years… in places like Germany and Canada companies are used to this process; we just haven’t gotten the guts to require it here in the US yet.  Another key part of the answer is that companies can actually deal with their waste more cost-effectively than can municipalities, and can sometimes even make more profit off selling refurbished products.  So, it’s not all negative).  Anyway, like I said, it’s an effort on which I’m really proud to be working.  Hooray!

Even Harriet loves Clean Water Action!

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One comment

  1. I’m so glad that you’re enjoying your work and your coworkers! (Also, Harriet is adorable, but you already knew that.)



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