Another in a series of miniprofiles of sustainability-minded people who are working to reduce humankind’s footprint on the planet. To recap, they're "mini" not only because they're short, but because all the questions are 10 words or less, and the answers are requested to match. Please, no counting.
ELAINE STRUNK, Cambridge
Director of green, The Lenox Elaine says her job has a dual focus: “I look for a return for the business, but also a return for the environment.” She has a degree in environmental policy, worked for the city of Phoenix in urban planning and architecture, and worked in environmental education. “I used to work with kids. Now I work educating staff and guests."
Green epiphany: “These were values that my family held. When I went to college, they didn’t have any recycling, so I’d save it up and take it to my sister’s house a couple of towns over.”
Green hero: “Mindy Lubber," president of Ceres, a Boston-based nonprofit whose goal is to integrate sustainability into capital markets. “I really like how she straight-talks. She’s passionate, but she’s educated.”
A sustainability practice you recently added: “For me, it’s been the food. … Buying local, buying sustainably, and really understanding where my dinner is coming from.”
An example of greenwashing that really bothers you: “People who think, ‘Oh, we’re 100 percent green now,’ when they’ve done just one thing.”
The one thing you wish everyone would just get right? “The campaign, this election.”
Where can hotels make the greatest gains? “There’s a lot of low hanging fruit: Changing light bulbs. Performing energy audits. Monitoring thermostats. Not heating and cooling rooms aren’t sold.”
A technology you’re most hopeful about: “Right now, we’re really looking into solar thermal.”
A question I should have asked you? "How do our guests respond to it?"
And your answer? "When we incorporated in-room recycling, we got an amazing response. I think that’s what people are looking for — involvement."