“There’s so much societal pressure on the right way to practice sustainability. I need to do what feels right and what I can continue to show up for.” – Haley Stratton
On this episode, we are wowed by Haley Stratton – an energetic environmental scientist and eco-artist!
This was such a lovely episode, and it really felt like we just got to sit down with a really good friend and chat about cool stuff. (The best perk of this podcast, really.) Whether it was because of our mutual love of nature, or just how much positive energy Haley radiates, we didn’t know, but we left this interview feeling giddy and so grateful for the opportunity to sit down with Haley and learn more about environmental science and eco-art.
What does an Environmental Scientist Do?
It turns out that “environmental scientist” has a lot of meanings. While it’s always dedicated to using data to keep the environment safe, it can actually mean anything from being in the field all day identifying protected habitats, to sitting in the lab studying the biology of environmental hazards, or even advising on global environmental policies with scientific data!
In Haley’s case, being an environmental scientist is a mixture of field work, reporting, recommendations, and monitoring.
She’s based in Colorado and works for an environmental consulting firm as a biologist. Her goal is to ensure projects move forward while avoiding, minimizing, and mitigating any environment impacts.
Environmental scientist are often called in on land development projects to make sure construction activities are done legally. They make recommendations and help get any necessary permits from government agencies like the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Agriculture, the US Fish and Wildlife services, etc.
The Holistic Approach
Haley made it a point to talk about how the approach that she takes to her work is holistic. Especially when we asked whether her recommendations are actually taken.
It starts with the field work. When she’s assessing a site, she’s doesn’t only include the wildlife she can see, she looks at the whole picture. So that also includes looking for habitats for wildlife that might be the area, protected lands, and any adjacent habitats that might be impacted by the development. Everything is so connected that she wants to be sure to do a thorough job!
Then, she talked about how her reports are designed to be simple to understand for the reader (and pretty with her map designs). She wants to make sure that the folks she’s reporting to know what she’s saying and understand her recommendations.
Then (and this part is super cool) once the projects are underway and completed, Haley continues to go back to the sites to make sure that the ecological restoration regulations are followed. A lot of times in a permit, there are additional regulations that say a company has to make sure to restore the lands around a development site. Haley is the person that makes sure that happens!
Environmental Scientist Turned Business Owner
She is so dedicated to keeping the environment safe in her work as an environmental scientist that she brought those same thorough sustainability practices into her own life.
Haley loves candles. The cozy warmth of the light and the flicker of the flame give her such delight! When she started looking into commercially available candles, she learned about how dangerous they are! Burning paraffin wax releases carcinogens into the air – and she has bunnies with very sensitive respiratory systems.
Well then, she’ll just have to make her own.
Enter: Craftovert Co.
Somehow, in between her field work, map making, and reporting, Haley found the time to create her business, Craftovert Co, where she makes sustainable home goods like refillable candles. Her clean-burning candles provide warm & comfy vibes without sacrificing sustainability and without adding dangerous carcinogens to the air! And this is where her science background comes into the business; she created her own proprietary recipe that allows a tiny candle to burn for about 15 hours.
She also figured out how to use both sides of her molds in a creative way… One side casts the handmade concrete containers and the other side molds the drop-in candle refills. (So smart!)
For more information about Haley’s day to day as an environmental scientist, her candle making journey PLUS all the ways that she can use “craft” to make up new words (craftermath is our favorite), give the episode a listen!