Volunteer Spotlight: Laurie Husted
By Topher Anderson, Citizens’ Climate Donor Relations Officer
I recently had the pleasure of talking with Laurie Husted, the Chief Sustainability Officer at Bard College. Her drive and creativity in that role are evident — as we spoke, she was walking around campus to collect students’ mini-fridges. She said, “This week, I heard the idea to organize a mini-fridge recycling drive for students as they left campus. I realized this idea was too impactful to leave undone. Someone needs to do it, and that someone is me.”
Laurie’s commitment to Bard’s campus mirrors her advocacy with CCL, where she is a longtime volunteer and a monthly Evergreen Donor. As a group leader, she meets with new members to welcome them in, and she builds a community that celebrates every small victory. She’s a big believer in the Monthly Calling Campaign because it’s a “small, consistent action with big results.” And she loves that CCL gives people the opportunity to make a big difference.
When CCL asked members to become monthly Evergreen Donors in March, Laurie jumped in. She now makes a monthly donation to support CCL’s work, and I asked her why. Laurie said, “I’m not an Evergreen Donor with any other organization. I do it with CCL because it’s money really well spent — even that small amount makes a difference and goes a long way towards pushing the solution.” Laurie’s Evergreen giving shows us that small, consistent actions have a big impact.
Her choice to become an Evergreen Donor amplifies her steadfast advocacy. More than 1,600 Evergreen Donors allow CCL to empower hundreds of thousands of citizens like Laurie across the country. Evergreen Donors allow us to remain nimble in an ever-changing political landscape through their stable, consistent support. And this year, from March through May, all Evergreen donations have been triple matched thanks to a gift matching pool created by a group of our Climate Guardian Donors. Because that’s what CCL does. We match each other’s strength to become exponentially stronger!
Get to know Laurie more by reading our conversation below. And if you’d like to become an Evergreen Donor like Laurie, you can sign up to make a monthly gift at cclusa.org/donate.
How did you first get involved with CCL?
My first touch with CCL was the People’s Climate March in New York City in 2015. The streets were packed, and I was stuck next to the same people for hours, not able to move much. The guy next to me was a CCLer, who handed me his card and told me about CCL. I thought, “Oh, well that’s nice, but I’m already doing a lot.” I tucked it away literally and metaphorically. Then in 2016, I felt that I had to do more. I had to be pushing for a national solution. So I came to a local CCL meeting, and the rest is history.
What inspired you to tackle climate change specifically?
My earliest conservation memory was sitting on the hood of my dad’s car with my step-sister as a young girl, and moving the frogs out of the way of the tires to clear the road. It got me thinking about how we all affect the environment, and how I fell in love with the environment.
Then, I connected this environmental concern with “climate” when I began working for Bard College 16 years ago as the Chief Sustainability Officer. The students inspired me to think beyond our campus, and they pushed the university to set a carbon neutrality pledge by 2035. It became my job to help the university hit that goal. In the process of planning and implementing this goal, I realized this won’t become commonplace on all college campuses without some sort of federal policy too.
What do you like most about CCL?
Bipartisanship. Being able to talk to anyone about climate and find common ground. Also that our solution works!
What are your main projects, or efforts with CCL?
I take the monthly calls seriously. It’s a small, consistent action with big results. And I also focus on taking care of my fellow volunteers so they can keep going and stay energized. Now that the world is opening up post-COVID, I’ve started inviting newest members to local coffee houses in our community. It has been refreshing to emerge from COVID, meet new people, and build community with other CCLers.
What keeps you motivated to do this work?
CCL is so good at meeting us where we are and helping us achieve success. Celebrating every small victory keeps me motivated. Sometimes, I know that there are other CCLers around the country achieving similar victories, and that it will all add up to bigger and bigger successes. And other times, when I feel down about climate and how difficult this is, the CCL community supports me and gives me the space to be resilient.
What does being an Evergreen Donor mean to you?
I dedicated this donation to my grandmother, and the conservative people in my life. While I’m not conservative, I believe my conservative “Gran” would have worked side-by-side with me at CCL.
Topher Anderson is a Donor Relations Officer for both Citizens’ Climate Lobby and Citizens’ Climate Education. He’s also a lifelong Hoosier (Indiana resident) and a five year CCL group leader and liaison. If you have any questions about donations or Hoosiers, please contact Topher at . Thank you for allowing CCL’s work to thrive with your generosity of time and funds!