By JOURNEY Staff
If you saw someone doing a good deed for the environment, would you follow their example? Jessica Correa thinks so.
The 2016 Trent University graduate never dreamed of having her own business, especially fresh out of school. But she has been able to connect her environmental studies with an “enviro-preneurial” idea and make money at it. The result is Random Acts of Green.
“It’s all about small changes. Every one doing what they can, and doing a little bit more each time. If they can’t, let’s create a strategy,” said Correa, 24, originally from Oakville, Ontario, but who has lived in Peterborough for the last six years while at Trent.
It’s also about sharing those small changes on social media to encourage the behavioural changes needed to make a difference, she said.
“I’m all about local, and showing your neighbour doing something, because it really resonates for people. One of the best ways to get people to change their behaviour is to show them.”
It all started last November when Correa began a Facebook page, more or less as a hobby. Spurred by her research at school – she has a Bachelor of Environmental Sciences/Studies and a Master’s degree in Sustainability Studies – she captured photos of citizens doing random acts of green around town, and shared them on social media. It grew from there to include consulting jobs, such as greening an event for businesses or organizations, providing green social marketing,.and recording green events, such as when Trent University hired her to capture all its green actions at June’s graduation. And it’s all for pay.
“I didn’t realise it was a business until February. It started expanding. It was a whirlwind,” she said.
She now calls herself a “sustainability consultant”. She can found riding around town on her bike, wearing her green second-hand clothes, and, just to add a little humour, maybe her giant green glasses.
“It’s also about creating different ideas and being innovative and fun and cool,” she said.
Correa had planned to begin PhD studies at the University of Waterloo this fall to study online environmental marketing. She has deferred that to continue with her new job.
“I’m going to do it until I can’t anymore, but I’m hoping I can always do it.” she said. “It’s scary and definitely a risk. If anything I’d like to inspire other millennials who are fresh out of school and looking for work.”
“I realise you can create your work. I have started to think differently about job opportunities. There are other ways of doing things that aren’t the norm.”