C3 Intern Spotlight: Stephanie Watson

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Our two summer interns, Michael Bateman and Stephanie Watson, recently wrapped up their internships with the Charlottesville Climate Collaborative. We’re grateful to both for the huge contribution they made to the Charlottesville Climate Collaborative and its programs, including the Better Business Challenge and soon-to-launch Home Energy Challenge!
Before they left, we asked them to share some of the highlights, takeaways, and bits of advice from their internship that others, including local businesses and residents, can use to shrink their carbon footprint.
First up is Stephanie, whose internship focused on policy research in support of climate action opportunities for the Charlottesville community, as well as program support for the Better Business Challenge. (Click here for our Q&A with Michael.)    
What do you consider to be one of your biggest successes or rewarding experiences over the course of your C3 internship?

Supporting a team that is passionately working towards reducing carbon emissions in the Charlottesville area and learning a lot, policy-wise, [about] climate action opportunities in the area. Additionally, having an opportunity to meet more individuals and environmental groups in the area to broaden my knowledge and understanding of energy reduction activities that are in my community was rewarding.
Based on your C3 experience, what is the biggest takeaway or piece of advice you can offer to others who want to do more to reduce their environmental footprint?

I think one of the biggest pieces of advice is to take the steps that make the most sense for you or your family, but remember to TAKE that step. Take the time to learn the full life cycle of the products you consume, whether that be a food item or where your toothbrush came from.
I think that by taking the time to understand all of the efforts it took to make that product, including all of the people [or] animals [or] technology that were a part of bringing that item to your hands, may allow you appreciate that item a bit more, and realize just how much the average individual consumes on a daily basis.
Also, find one day a week to walk, carpool, or take public transit to work. Not only will you reduce your environmental footprint, but maybe you will learn just a bit more about your own community or neighborhood.
What are your plans for the future?
I will be completing my masters degree in public policy this coming 2018-2019 academic year at UVA’s Batten School. My plans at the moment, post graduate school, are to work for an organization in environmental policy working to bridge the gap between policy design and implementation to further generate positive impacts and value for future generations.
We wish Stephanie the best of luck in grad school!