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Reader Profile: Nicole Matthesen
Philly

Reader Profile: Nicole Matthesen

This 5 Gyres Ambassador is a regular at Green Philly and Women for a Sustainable Philadelphia events. Let’s meet Nicole!

Name: Nicole Matthesen

Title & Occupation: Marketing & Creative Services Associate, Graphic Designer

Hometown: Philadelphia

Current Neighborhood: Fairmount

How long have you been reading Green Philly? 5 years

What’s your fun fact?

I can tango, salsa, and bachata dance.

How did you become interested in sustainability?

Ever since I was young I’ve had a love of nature and wildlife. As I got older, I discovered environmental documentaries and books, which led to a passion for conservation. When I moved to the city I became engaged in community events, volunteering and the cities initiatives that helped me discover (and fall in love) with sustainability.

What is one thing that you think Philadelphia should do to become a more sustainable city?

I’d like to see our government act to evolve our linear economy into a circular economy. A circular economy is where materials come back to the manufacturer through a revised value chain that creates economic incentives or policy initiatives. I think we should tackle packaging waste upstream. Facilitating collaboration with product designers, system engineers, and recyclers to design in tandem how we close the loop. This could help with the challenges we face regarding recycling and sorting.

How do you bring sustainability and environmental awareness into your daily routine or the people around you?

I try to lead by example, whether that’s using mugs, dishes, or silverware at the office. Or grocery shopping with reusable produce bags (and refusing plastic packaging). I hope these small acts influence others because if more people did this it would add up to massive change. I also control my purchases by buying intentionally – only getting what I need, considering it’s true cost, and its source – this allows me to live with my values first. Whenever there’s an opportunity I love to share resources and encourage others to live a sustainable lifestyle. The more aware we are the more control we gain liberating us from the “throw away” lifestyle.

Nicole Matthesen hiking

What’s one recommendation you’d make to other readers to live a more sustainable lifestyle?

Plan ahead! I always carry my bamboo togo wear and a reusable water bottle in my bag. This way anytime I’m out, I don’t have to default to single use disposables. A little preparation can go a long way.

Why do you attend Green Philly events?

I love the opportunity to connect with other like-minded people in the city and share ideas and resources. It’s also a great way to learn something new while finding and participating in different sustainability initiatives taking place in our city.

Anything else you’d like to share?

Living sustainably really comes down to living more intentionally and is possible for anyone. And remember that living a sustainable lifestyle won’t happen overnight. If you feel overwhelmed just ask yourself what’s one thing you can do in your life to create this kind of change. When you start small you can build momentum.

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Julie Hancher
Julie Hancher is Editor-in-Chief of Green Philly, sharing her expertise of all things sustainable in the city of brotherly love. She enjoys long walks in the park with local beer and greening her travels, cooking & cat, Sir Floofus Drake. View all posts by Julie Hancher
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