Although I am an avid log-turner, flower sniffer, and animal enthusiast, my latest business card reads “Nature Store Staff & Educator.”
Hi! I’m Lydia, the newest member of the Maine Audubon team at Gilsland Farm. I jumped on board this past February and have enjoyed my time learning the ins and outs of the Nature Store, education programs, and the wonderful community here.
A native of Massachusetts, I graduated from Hampshire College in 2016 with a BA in Conservation Biology and Environmental Sustainability. Since graduating, I have spent my time working as an environmental educator for Mass Audubon’s Drumlin Farm as well as Nature’s Classroom. After working and living in Old Orchard Beach and falling in love with Maine, I decided to move to Portland full-time.
In school, I wrote my thesis on conscientious consumer action as a supplemental tactic for conservation — in other words, looking at the everyday choices we all make as consumers, and how we can use them reduce the detrimental effects so many products have on wildlife, human health, and ecological integrity. I am really excited to help our Nature Store visitors make informed choices about what they buy — choices that are both economical and environmentally sound.
Too often, convenience is the enemy of sustainability. From individual plastic packaging, to microplastics in our face wash, to chemicals in our cleaning products, the things we buy have adverse effects on the wildlife and habitats we love that we may not anticipate. My goal is to help make sure visitors to the Nature Store have the information they need about the products we sell so that they can make informed, responsible decisions.
As part of this, I am excited to be curating a new section of the store focused on sustainable consumer alternatives — everything from snacks to soaps. Consumers deserve to know what’s in their products, where they’ve come from, how to best use them, and how to properly dispose of them. Along with this transparency, all of the products in this new section will be sourced as locally as possible, vetted by myself or other Maine Audubon staff, and will have sustainable (or zero) packaging. In addition to our education programs, conservation projects, and legislative advocacy, we want to empower you to take action with your purchases!
So, please stop by the Nature Store and say hello. Let us know what products you might like to see in this new section (or leave your ideas in the comments below). And keep an eye out for great new products in this section of the store, which will be taking shape over the next few months.
I’ll be back soon to share updates about new products and ideas for how we can all be more sustainable consumers!