Abbie joined The Offset Project in 2010 and is now leading all sustainability programs as well as spearheading commercial waste reduction initiatives in the Monterey Bay area. She holds a masters degree in international environmental policy and sustainable business and development from the Monterey Institute of International Studies, and is a 2004 graduate of Middlebury College. Abbie also contributes to the Product Stewardship Institute, which collaborates with businesses and local governments to formulate extended producer responsibility legislation for toxic products and packaging. Abbie serves on the Monterey Food Scrap Resource Recovery Coalition and on the Carmel River Watershed Conservancy board.
Each day I am inspired to create a world in which landfilling becomes an antiquated practice. While we are a long way from eliminating waste in the state of California, never mind across the globe, this long-term vision inspires a call to action right now, today. Through the hierarchy of waste reduction (reducing, reusing, recycling, composting and upcycling), we are able to lessen environmental impacts on many levels, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, conserving water and controlling pollution. Not only does waste create toxicity issues, but it also demands that new products be mined and produced in its place.
Waste reduction starts with purchasing materials that will not need to be landfilled after their first useful life. I am also in tune with studying the lifecycle analyses of various products in order to understand which materials may be the least harmful to the environment over their entire lifespan, not just at the end of life.
I believe what makes myself, and The Offset Project 501c3 unique, is that we not only understand high-level certifications and environmental regulations and requirements, but we have a deep and well earned understanding of the nitty gritty details of waste diversion --- with an emphasis on gritty.
We've been inside hundreds of dumpsters, hand-sorted thousands of bags ourselves, worked on the ground in kitchens attempting to source separate their own “waste”, trained and worked with stewarding crews, hauled food waste, and much more in order to understand ALL the logistics of carrying out "zero-waste" concepts.
Our self-deprecating sense of humor and passion for the environment carries us forward each year. Once again, we work not only with governments and law and policy makers, but we work with the haulers, the waste management districts and the businesses themselves in order to understand all of the possibilities and roadblocks on the way to zero waste. Through this understanding, we have been able to achieve some of the highest waste diversion numbers in the country, from 93 percent at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am PGA event (131,000 spectators, players, volunteers and staff) to 96 percent at the Big Sur International Marathon.
I also have one year of experience working with the national Product Stewardship Institute based in Boston, which collaborates with government and business in order to write and inform legislation on extended producer responsibility for toxic and otherwise problematic products at the end of their useful lives. These include materials such as plastic packaging, paint, carpet, mercury thermostats, phone books and batteries.
Lastly, I have specialized knowledge of implementing environmental programs beyond waste diversion, such as water and carbon foot printing, in order to achieve environmental certification for example.
The Offset Project also specializes in selling renewable energy credits to events that have reduced their GHG emissions as much as possible on their own. This funding is then funneled into local renewable energy projects such as solar installations on schools and electric vehicle charging stations.
List of events and projects worked on: