We are pleased to introduce you to My Green Lab's new Sustainability Programs Coordinator, Jazmine Stenger-Smith! With a drive for living sustainably and a passion for science, Jazmine joins the Programs team assisting laboratories through the entire My Green Lab certification process. A lover of the outdoors, Harry Potter, and her family and friends, Jazmine grew up and resides in California.
Learn more about Jazmine, her interests, and her sustainability journey below!
Please tell us a little bit about yourself & your background.
I was born and raised in Ridgecrest, CA; a small town in the middle of nowhere California, nestled between the Eastern Sierras and Death Valley National Park. I received my bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry and minor in Molecular Biology from Colorado State University. My family has heavily influenced my aptitude for science - let the record stand that of the two Chemical Engineers (my parents) and the PhD in Inorganic Chemistry (my sister), I was the only one to receive an A in Organic Chemistry. After I graduated, I set off to expand my skillsets; first I became a Science educator at the High School I attended, then a QC Technician for Abbott, and finally landed an R&D Scientist position with ThermoFisher Scientific. During my time at ThermoFisher Scientific, my lab went through the My Green Lab certification process (receiving a PLATINUM score!) which ultimately led me to becoming part of the My Green Lab team.
What is your role at My Green Lab?
My role and responsibilities as a Sustainability Programs Coordinator for the Programs Team is aiding laboratories through the entire My Green Lab certification process. I lean heavily on my experience as a scientist that went through this process and understand the challenges and triumphs of getting certified.
What inspires you to do the kind of work you do?
My inspiration mainly comes from my family and friends but also my lab and volunteering experience. More specifically, my late grandma (Ma) taught me the very important life lesson of helping others because in the end, it makes for a better world. I also attribute my drive and motivation to my best friend Leah Ostermann, she was the one that encouraged me to begin my lab sustainability journey. As a scientist, I saw first-hand the mountains of waste/single use products and energy demanding equipment that were contributing to climate change which inspired me to make a difference in my lab.
What are your personal sustainability goals?
I try to make or share one behavior modification every month. Some of my biggest accomplishments include setting back my air conditioner to high temps and turning off when I’m not home, reducing my plastic consumption by visiting my local refillery for cooking oils, soaps, and hair products, and thrift shopping (ask me about my thrifting finds!). I still have work to do though – composting, not rinsing dishes before using the dishwasher, and regularly shopping at my local farmers market are on my list for future changes.
What are your hobbies outside of work?
I spend my spare time exploring Mother Earth and her majestic places, usually accompanied by my equally adventurous family and boyfriend. This includes hiking, skiing, and exploring cities and landmarks. I frequently volunteer for the Surfrider Foundation and I have two rescue dogs, Duke and Ziva, who are my outdoor accountabilibuddies that make me move my body every day. Most recently, I began my yoga instructor certification voyage and hope to finish my course by the end of the year!
What are your favorite books / movies?
Harry Potter, hands down, is favorite book and movie series. The Order of the Phoenix is my favorite book and Prison of Azkaban is my favorite movie.
Where do you call home?
This is a tricky question because I’m at a fork on my path of life. I currently live in Carlsbad, CA but would call Ridgecrest, CA home (although my parents just sold my childhood home, so I'm in this weird limbo). I will be moving to Ventura, CA to live with my boyfriend in the next few months – so maybe the short answer is I’m a nomad looking for a place to grow my roots!
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