Sostane Portland

Erika Maher


I am a graduate student in Environmental Studies, and I just moved here from St. Louis, MO. I’d really like to get involved with a local network of community members who are working for environmental and social justice.

Green Steps Taken

My husband and I use PGE’s green option for our electricity. We keep our home cool in the winter, and only use the heaters when absolutely necessary. We try to eat local/organic whenever possible, and do not eat meat, except for sustainably harvested fish, and occasionally buffalo. We ride the MAX whenever possible, but drive small, fuel-efficient vehicles. We are both looking to work in the environmental movement for our life careers.

Surprising Successes

My neighbor and I dug and planted a terrific vegetable garden in the backyard of our urban apartment building in St. Louis. Neither of us realized how well it would do and that it would actually give us huge amounts of produce. It really made us think about how easy the project would be for many families with even a little yard space in both urban and suburban areas. What a great alternative to grocery store shopping.

Having Trouble With

Our only struggle is that for the time being we must live in the suburbs where public transportation isn’t as pervasive as it is closer in to the city. My husband has to drive to work every day when he’d much rather take the train/bus, but that would add at least an hour to his commute time. We hope to move closer in once we get financially settled after being in town for a year or so.

Giving Back

We purchase as much sustainable grocery products as possible, recycle, compost and minimize waste. I am attempting to get enlisted with AmeriCorps for positions starting in January. My husband is the Sustainability Coordinator for Clackamas County Community College.