We’re thrilled to introduce you to Namrata Jain, My Green Lab’s Marketing Consultant! Born and raised in India and living in Vancouver, Namrata is passionate about sustainability, and prior to joining the team was one of our My Green Lab Ambassadors.
In 2020, Namrata earned her Ph.D in Chemistry from the University of British Columbia. “My years of experience working as an academic researcher in chemistry labs opened my eyes towards the scope of improvement in reprioritizing resource-use, particularly in labs and other research settings. I believe in the power of tiny steps and that every little bit of effort towards a common cause helps bring about big change,” says Namrata.
Outside of her work in sustainability, she spends most of her time outdoors and is an avid traveler and photographer. Read on to learn more about Namrata and her sustainability journey!
Please tell us a little bit about yourself & your background.
Hi everyone! My name is Namrata, and I joined the My Green Lab (MGL) team in March 2021. I was born and brought up in India, where I also did most of my schooling and finished my undergraduate education with a Bachelor of Technology degree in engineering from IIT Guwahati. Subsequently, I earned MSc. and Ph.D. degrees in chemistry from Western University and the University of British Columbia (UBC), respectively - both in Canada. I had the pleasure of working at the Michael Smith Laboratories building at UBC during my Ph.D.
My Ph.D. thesis was based on the characterization of catalytic proteins for use in bioethanol production and understanding the mechanisms of carbohydrate digestion by gut bacteria. I finished my doctoral program in 2020.
While at UBC, I co-founded a sustainable science and green chemistry focused student group called GreenChem UBC and helped it grow for 4 years as a chair. I also worked as a sustainability ambassador with the UBC Sustainability Initiative. While in this role, I provided consultation to on-campus groups about running zero-waste events.
Apart from my full-time work at MGL, I currently work as a social media consultant for the non-profit Beyond Benign, providing educators with the tools, training, and support to make green chemistry an integral part of chemistry education.
Additionally, I volunteer as a Business Strategist and Job Board Project Manager for another non-profit, SCWIST (Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology), which is dedicated to unlocking the potential of women and girls in STEM.
What is your role at My Green Lab?
I work as an independent contractor for MGL in the capacity of a Marketing Consultant and manage MGL’s public-facing digital marketing strategy and tools, including the website, social media (along with our social media consultant, Corey), and email marketing. MGL’s monthly newsletters are composed and dispatched by me. I also manage the MGL Ambassador program and organize the monthly ambassador meetings.
A core aspect of my responsibilities is managing the external presence of the MGL team, ensuring brand uniformity, as well as corresponding with MGL’s sponsors, partners, and collaborators.
What inspires you to do the kind of work you do?
A large part of my inspiration comes from the urgency surrounding climate change and the drive that I see among individuals and organizations to help fight it. My years of experience working as an academic researcher in chemistry labs opened my eyes towards the scope of improvement in reprioritizing resource-use, particularly in labs and other research settings. I believe in the power of tiny steps and that every little bit of effort towards a common cause helps bring about big change. I am glad to be working with organizations that are directly involved in driving change towards sustainability.
What are your personal sustainability goals?
Having been raised in a household where minimizing waste and sharing resources was encouraged, sustainability has been ingrained in me from before I made it my career. Some of my continuing goals are to be more conscious of the personal choices I make as a consumer - choosing to buy from ethical sources, reusing, and decreasing personal waste. I aspire to continue starting and facilitating conversations about sustainability within my social community.
What are your hobbies outside of work?
I spend the most amount of my off-hours exploring the gorgeous outdoors (mostly natural, but also cafes and breweries) that I am surrounded by. I am fortunate to have travelled across Canada, the US, and India. I love planning these trips with my husband as much as the trips themselves (think color coded maps). I like taking pictures and sharing them on my platform (plugging my Instagram: @namratajain.ca).
I am a huge podcast nerd and love exploring indie, lesser-known podcasts in addition to the classics. Some of the hobbies I am hoping to reengage in are reading, singing, and home-decor.
What are your favorite books / movies / podcasts?
A few of my favorite books include Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (by Yuval Noah Harari), A Thousand Splendid Suns (by Khaled Hosseini), and The Tipping Point (by Malcolm Gladwell). A book that I read during my formative years was the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (by Stephen Covey) and I find myself going back to it often.
One of the many privileges of being bilingual is that I enjoy and relate well to movies/TV shows spanning two cultures. Some of my favorites are Black Mirror, The Office, Highway (2014, Hindi language), and Wall-E.
Most of my entertainment comes from podcasts and some of my favorites are RadioLab, You’re Wrong About, Work-Life with Adam Grant, and The Amelia Project. Guilty pleasures include true-crime shows like The Teacher’s Pet and Serial.
Where do you call home?
My home since early 2015 has been the beautiful city of Vancouver, Canada. Though I have lived in many different cities across India and a couple in Canada, Vancouver felt like home as soon as I first set foot here. I love the oceans and the mountains (and even the rain). I also love the various initiatives the city of Vancouver has in operation to make the city more sustainable (including a Climate Emergency Action Plan to reduce our carbon pollution by 50% by 2030).