2014: Member - Aubrey Fonfara

About me. I grew up in rural Wisconsin, next to the Mississippi River surrounded by bluffs and farmland. I graduated from Hamline University in 2009 with a double major in Communication Studies and Environmental studies, and afterwards spent a year abroad teaching English in Europe. I’m really interested in the social side of sustainability, and working directly with people on how to be more conscious about our impact on the environment.

About my service. I’m currently serving with the city of Minneapolis, where I’m working on several projects related to waste reduction and recycling. My main project is to revamp the city’s internal recycling program by making assessments and providing better recycling infrastructure for all fire departments, police precincts, maintenance facilities, and Minneapolis City Hall. A huge part of this job includes creating and providing education to employees and custodians to make sure everyone understands why recycling is important, and to teach people to recycle effectively so we can all work together to reduce waste. Minneapolis is also getting ready to launch a city-wide organics collection program, so I am also helping to provide outreach to the Minneapolis community on organics and recycling education - including planning a big Minneapolis Earth Day event in the spring.

Why I serve. I serve because I believe that every small thing we do can make a huge difference. Environmental issues often seem big and overwhelming, but GreenCorps is a testament to the idea that by being involved in our community, and inspiring others to value ideas like recycling and green living, can ultimately create collective and effective change. My service is giving me the opportunity to focus my interests on social sustainability and work directly in community outreach and education to share my passion for environmental preservation.

My favorite place to visit in Minnesota. It’s so hard to choose… I’m still becoming acquainted with the Twin Cities as it seems like I discover something new here every day. But I think my favorite places are the North Shore or the bluffs of the Mississippi in the southern half of the state.