Meet Green America Leaders: Rachel & Adam

Submitted by greenamerica on December 9, 2016

Why Rachel Strasz and Adam Schofield have been Green America Leadership Supporters since 2000. 

Rachel Strasz and Adam Schofield have composted their household organic waste for more years than they can count. When they moved to Vashon Island, WA, from Scotland in 2015, they were surprised that even though the island belonged to the same county as Seattle, the city had a municipal composting program for food, yard, and other organic waste, and Vashon did not.

The two did a little digging and soon connected with Zero Waste Vashon (ZWV), a nonprofit group working to minimize the island’s trash output. ZWV had been encouraging Vashon residents to take advantage of a program—launched by the county in 2013—to collect the island’s organic waste and transport it to a waste transfer center south of Seattle, which would process it for municipal composting.

Rachel, Adam, and a few of their friends noticed that while the program was succeeding when it came to yard waste, not as many people wanted to make regular trips to the drop-off point on the island with their food waste. So they formed a small volunteer group to collect food waste from their neighbors and take it to the drop-off for them. Today, several households share food-waste collection and drop-off duties, helping move Vashon Island ever closer to zero waste.

It’s the kind of values-driven, community-based thinking that Adam says they share with Green America: “Green America sets a good balance between [offering] practical tips and legislative and consumer campaigns,” he says. “I like how you span both these areas, giving people things they can do at home on a day-to-day basis, and then running campaigns that have impact at the higher level.”

The couple first joined Green America in early 2000. Though they can’t remember where they first heard of Green America (“It’s been so long!” says Adam.), they do recall that they were drawn to the diversity of issues the organization embraces.

“I appreciate the balance between social-justice work and environmental work,” says Rachel. “A lot of organizations have a hard time doing both. Green America does a good job of bringing them together and showing how they are linked through climate change, social and community investing, etc.

“Maybe the most important thing,” she adds, “is that Green America gets results through its campaigns, especially getting corporations to make changes.”

Rachel and Adam made their first gift of $30 to Green America in February of 2000. It wasn’t long before they became members of Green America’s Leadership Forum. (Leaders donate $1,000 or more.) This year, they decided to give their Leadership gift throughout the whole year by also joining the monthly Sustainer Circle and making regular, ongoing monthly gifts.

“I’ve always tithed—since I was a teenager—and I wanted to divert some of the money that might go to corporations to Green America,” says Adam. The automatic monthly Sustainer charge on the couple’s credit card is easy to keep track of and prevents renewal mailings, he notes.

Best of all, he says, “I know that it’s more beneficial to Green America because you have the guaranteed income. I encourage other people who are giving annually to Green America to consider joining the Sustainer Circle. It offers Green America more [funding predictability] as an organization.”

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