Breaking News
0

First jobs: How to get started saving the planet

Stock MarketsJan 04, 2019 06:10AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Carter Roberts, President & CEO of World Wildlife Fund, attends a discussion on elephant survival at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) in New York

By Chris Taylor

NEW YORK (Reuters) - (The writer is a Reuters contributor. The opinions expressed are his own.)

How exactly does one get started on the road to saving the planet? We talked to a few environmental heroes about the jobs that got them started in life and activism.

Carter Roberts

President & CEO, World Wildlife Fund in the U.S.

First job: Dishwasher

It was in the kitchen of a French restaurant in Atlanta called Bernard’s. My job was washing dishes, surrounded by hot water on hot summer nights in Georgia. But I also had to do anything and everything needed to get the kitchen through the night, including cleaning out the grease traps, where months and months of grease had accumulated. Rodent control was also part of the job, and they weren’t the cute animated rats like the ones in the film "Ratatouille."

My job was the bottom of the heap, but by the end of the summer I had learned how to make dishes like Oysters Rockefeller and chocolate mousse from scratch. I was basically the assistant chef for those two dishes, which I prepared before the evening began and we all descended into hell.

What was great about that job is that it was a combination of the most humbling, backbreaking work, along with the most sublime high-end creative work. It was a combination of heaven and hell, and nobody had any idea what went on behind the swinging doors to the kitchen. At the end of every hot summer night, when the last customer had left, we broke out some beer from the freezer or had a little wine together. We had survived another day.

Mark Tercek

President & CEO, The Nature Conservancy

First job: Paperboy

That job had a big impact on my life. I delivered the Cleveland Plain Dealer, which came out every day, no exceptions. It had to be delivered by 6:30 am – that was the rule, because the local dads usually had factory jobs and they wanted to read the paper before they went to work.

I started at age 10, and back then paperboys had to purchase newspapers from the publisher at wholesale, and then sell them at retail. So I would buy them at seven cents, and sell them at 10 cents. If any customers didn’t pay - and sometimes they didn't - I would actually run a loss.

It taught me a lot about entrepreneurship. I had to show up and deliver every damn day. And the weather was rough: This was Cleveland in winter, it was freezing cold, and I would be out there at 5:30 am. At that time of day, there are some not-so-nice people out on the streets.

One happy outcome was that they actually had paperboy scholarships, and because of that I got into a top boarding school. From there I went on to Harvard, and then Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), and eventually served as board chair of the school I had gone to as a boy. So delivering papers turned out to be an enormously pivotal time for me.

Rhea Suh

President, National Resources Defense Council

First job: Senator’s assistant

When I got back to Colorado after doing my Fulbright fellowship, I was really burned out. So I got a season ski pass, and waitressed and just wanted to hang out – much to my parents’ chagrin.

But eventually I got bored with myself, and I had always been interested in politics, so I decided to volunteer for somebody. I literally got out the Yellow Pages and started cold-calling elected representatives.

The third one down the list was Ben Nighthorse Campbell, whose staff liked the fact I had an environmental background. Two weeks later they offered me a job. Partway through his term he switched parties, so that was pretty eye-opening. I had to pick up all my stuff and just move to the other side of the political aisle.

That was during the Gingrich Revolution, so at the time it was the most partisan thing I had ever been through. But boy, does it pale compared to what we are going through now. The world has changed during my lifetime – and not for the better.

First jobs: How to get started saving the planet
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind: 

  • Enrich the conversation
  • Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed.
  • Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically.
  •  Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and links within a comment will be removed
  • Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user.
  • Don’t Monopolize the Conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also believe strongly in giving everyone a chance to air their thoughts. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email