ECOSS recently held its second PINKAPALOOZA Block Party, celebrating businesses and diverse communities that are being empowered to be more environmentally sustainable. At the celebration, ECOSS invited employees, former and current, as well as community members to tell their environmental stories. Here is one of the night’s stories:

Joycelyn Chui is one of ECOSS’ multicultural outreach managers, working to empower businesses and communities of color to be more environmentally sustainable. Photo Credit: Rachel Lee.

“大家好! 中秋節快樂!

Hi everyone! My name is Joycelyn. I was born and raised in Hong Kong. I’m trilingual in Cantonese, Mandarin and English.

My father was the one who inspired me to become an environmentalist. Although Hong Kong is known for being a financial metropolis, there were still a few clean beaches where we would go swimming in. My love for the ocean led me to become a fisheries biologist at University of Washington.

Despite having an environmental science degree, as an immigrant, I lacked a lot of knowledge on how people interact with the environment here in Pacific Northwest, such as cleaning drinking water, sorting waste or using green cleaning solutions. Clearly, there was a disconnect.

But the transformation began when I started a career at ECOSS. I learned how to live a greener life and was inspired to educate people around me. Especially those who don’t natively speak English because most of the time, they just simply don’t know what is the right thing to do.

I believe the strongest kind of leadership is to lead by example, where people around you will be influenced and empowered to lead themselves.

Photo Credit: Char Davies.

The first Chinese restaurant I served when I started working was very resistant to change. It took more than a couple visits and education until they finally agreed to set up food waste collection in their kitchen and became compliant with Seattle’s solid waste regulations. A month later, I received a call. It was the restaurant owner. He asked if I can help him set up food waste collection at home. I was really pleased to see him taking initiative to lead himself and his family to become better stewards of the environment we all share. Clients like him are my motivation to continue my environmental education work.

ECOSS is not simply providing environmental solutions. We are building trust with communities. A lot of our clients have become ambassadors of our mission.

When you support ECOSS, you support a healthier environment through behavior change like the restaurant owner. You also support building a new generation of environmentalists like me. Thank you ECOSS for helping me embark on a career I feel passionate about.

ECOSS is making changes — One step at a time, one community at a time, one person at a time. Together, we are overcoming barriers to cleaner water, equitable communities and healthy salmon populations.”

Thank you Joycelyn for being an environmental leader and bringing your passion to ECOSS.

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