Is there a better way to become interested and involved in environmentally friendly issues than with the Girl Scouts?
That’s what opened Tracy Williams’ eyes to recycling and the need to protect our environment. It started when she was a Girl Scout and continues today with six of her daughters, who also are scouts.
Williams is area manager for Altrade Supplies, a Milpitas, Calif.-based distributor of a variety of biodegradable products. Its motto is, “Leading the way to a Green Earth.”
“I’ve been a Girl Scout all of my life,” Williams says. “And six of my eight daughters are scouts. One of the things we do is recycle. We’re serious about Girl Scouting and recycling.”
She’s also serious about the products Altrade Supplies sells, such as biodegradable food service products, including cutlery and eating utensils; biodegradable cleaning agents; industrial safety supplies, including personal equipment to protect an individual in case of a fall, spill-control equipment and traffic safety equipment.
“Finding out about products made out of sustainable materials has really been interesting, such as the biodegradable food service products that I sell,” Williams says. “I was intrigued by that; that’s what really interested me in what sustainability was all about.”
About a year ago, George Brooks, an environmental scientist and the company’s sustainability director, introduced her to Valley Forward.
“We call him our green guru,” she says. “I was all excited to learn about this big green movement that was going on and what my place was in it. Valley Forward is an environmental organization that has been around for about 40 years, has a voice in the community, great knowledge, and has a handle on the sustainability movement.”
She joined to learn more about green efforts.
“Valley Forward is a great program and a great group of people,” Williams says. “People mingle with each other like family. It has enabled me to get out into the world and talk about my products.”
Williams became active in several Valley Forward committees, hoping to match her skills with what Valley Forward offers. She joined the membership committee because she enjoys meeting people, and she served on another panel involved in arranging events and luncheons.
Environmentally friendly products boost Arizona’s quality of life, Williams says, “by lessening our carbon footprint overall.” Her goal for Arizona is the three “R’s”: “Recycle, reuse and reduce.”