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Acting Executive Director Carolyn Scotchmer on her favourite green space and the person she most admires


Carolyn Scotchmer

TD Friends of the Environment Foundation (TD FEF) would not be what it is today without the help of some very passionate staff who tirelessly work to ensure many grassroots environmental projects across Canada get the support they deserve. We connected with one such staff member, Carolyn Scotchmer, who is the Acting Executive Director for TD FEF. Here she shares a little bit about herself.

When did you become interested in environmental issues?

I loved to spend time in nature when I was a kid, but it wasn’t until I got to University that I really realized that there were careers in it. I had actually written my MCATs and was applying to med schools when I realized that I’d prefer to help people by helping the planet.

What do you like most about the work you do?

I like that if I hear about a really great project, I can actually help make it happen by helping them through the application process. I also like that our work gives us a national view of what’s going on in the country and we can connect groups that might otherwise not meet.

What’s your favourite green space in your neighbourhood?

Allan Gardens in Toronto.

If you could visit any green space in Canada, which place would you visit?

I’ve been to Newfoundland but never to Gros Morne. I love going to new places and dramatic landscapes.

Who do you most admire?

That’s a tough question and varies from day to day, but I recently had the opportunity to listen to Olympic medalist Clara Hughes speak. Instead of talking about her accomplishments, she talked passionately about the Indigenous communities that she’d been honoured to visit and highlighted the many things she’d learned from the people she’d met.

If you were a tree, which tree would you be and why?

An American Beech. I just think they are beautiful trees. They can be a bit hard to get established but they are very long lived. Plus, animals love to eat the little nuts.

What’s one thing you like to do when you’re not thinking about the environment?

I like to read. I’ll read pretty much anything, but well-written young-adult fiction is actually my favourite.

What’s your favourite quote?

I love quotes so this is a tough one, but for today: “We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us” – Joseph Campbell

What’s your best tip for living green?

To live mindfully and think through the complexities of the decisions we make. Sometimes the ‘green’ choice isn’t obvious. For example, disposable water bottles are a huge issue, but so are reusable water bottles that are given out at events and not used—they take far more resources to produce.

What do you think is the biggest environmental issue we’re facing today?

Historically, the environmental movement was not particularly inclusive in language nor approach. If we really want to fix this, we need to do a better job of creating space for everyone involved.

What’s the most significant global change you think we’ll see in the next 5-10 years?

I think that it will be in the sphere of technology and hopefully it will be something that moves us closer towards sustainability.


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