Lunch with a Leader, a community event will be at 11:45 a.m., Tuesday, May 21, at Mesa Library.
Five LA residents who are truly leaders in the field of ZERO WASTE wil be the speakers. Sue Barns will talk about the Zero Waste Los Alamos team and food waste; Angelica Gurule will discuss recycling in general in the county and our efforts towards zero waste events (including concerts and other events); Tiffany Pegoda and Elchin Zafarov will educate us about composting; and our own Jody Benson will talk about what the Zero Waste Restaurant Team has discovered about what some of the ~28 Los Alamos/WR restaurants are doing to go green. Each of them will talk for about ten minutes and that will allow us lots of time to ask questions about this crucial topic.
Sue Barns grew up in Northern New Jersey but fell in love with Los Alamos during family visits. She came to work at LANL as an Oppenheimer Postdoctoral Fellow in microbiology in 1996 and remained until 2008, when she left to train service dogs for Assistance Dogs of the West in Santa Fe. She now volunteers locally for environmental groups, PEEC, and the LAC Environmental Sustainability Board, and is chair of the LA Zero Waste Team and the Save-As-You-Throw Research Subcommittee.
Angelica Gurule serves as the Environmental Services Manager for Los Alamos County. She holds a Master of Science in Sustainable Environmental Resources Management from the University of Malta and a Master of Science in Information, Science, and Technology from James Madison University. In addition, she is a nationally certified Sustainable Resource Manager, accredited through Penn State University. She worked at LANL on pollution prevention, sustainability, and waste reduction and later at the Department of Game and Fish, contributing to wildlife conservation.
Tiffany Pegoda is the owner of Zia Waste, a new worm composting business in Los Alamos. In 2014, she received her certification in Sustainable Resource Management from the New Mexico Recycling Coalition and Penn State Altoona. Tiffany is a proud member of the New Mexico Clean and Beautiful Advisory Committee and the International Worm Farming Alliance.
Elchin Zafarov, permafrost expert, climate scientist, environmentalist, and co-founder of the smart composting LLC Biotechsavvy, promotes the idea and implementation of anaerobic digestion, so-called liquid composting. One anaerobic digestion unit converts organic kitchen waste to cooking gas and fertilizer, transforming peoples’ lives towards sustainable living.
Jody Benson’s family moved to Los Alamos when she was 10 and her father was recruited as one of the first private practice physicians to come to the town after the gates opened in 1958. Like most people of her generation with a liberal arts degree, she worked many jobs in the U.S. and the world before returning to Los Alamos with no retirement plan at age 40. Although she has worked on environmental issues for decades, she never knew that we waste 40% of food produced in the U.S., or about what a huge and critical impact food waste has not only on climate change.