June 28, 2021
GreenBlue is pleased to announce that Dr. Alyssa Harben has joined the team as a Project Manager with the Sustainable Packaging Coalition.
What inspired you to work in the sustainability field?
My journey to sustainability work started in 2013 when I took my first course that discussed Packaging Science. I studied packaging, labeling, and consumer behavior at California Polytechnic State University of San Luis Obispo for my bachelor’s degree, and then attended Michigan State University’s School of Packaging for graduate school. Packaging excited me as a subject area because it surrounds us in modern society, but is often overlooked. After I finished my doctorate in the spring of 2021, I decided to pursue a career in packaging and sustainability to be able to work with other creative, talented, and curious people who want to work together to solve complex global problems. As a member of the packaging community, I believe that the privilege of having packaged products in every home comes with the responsibility to optimize those packaged products for usability, waste reduction, and the lowest negative net impacts on the environment.
What do you hope to achieve at GreenBlue?
I hope to have an impact on consumers’ understanding of packaging and its role in sustainability. Building up new knowledge in the areas of packaging, sustainability, consumer behavior responses to packaging and labeling, and regulatory impacts can help us provide actionable knowledge to both consumers and SPC members. As a researcher and an educator, I believe that it is important to bring the new knowledge we develop to where people are at, rather than wait for people to come to us to ask questions.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
In my spare time, I enjoy pop culture, knitting, and spending time outside. As a lifelong self-proclaimed nerd, I also enjoy reading both fiction and non-fiction and learning new things from books, documentaries, podcasts, and museums. I love to travel and explore museums, visit pharmacies, and shop at grocery stores in different countries to see the variety in packaging. One dream travel location is the Packaging Museum in Heidelberg Germany.
Going on a leisurely walk with my partner and taking the time to pay attention to the birds and plants and other tiny signs of the passage of the seasons.