Sustainability Leadership From The Grassroots: Gwendalynn Roebke

KGNU is partnering with FLOWS, a sustainability leadership and climate action group based out of CU Boulder for a new series on grassroots sustainability. We’re sharing the stories of FLOWS leaders and how their culturally diverse and often international backgrounds make them, and the communities they work with, valuable assets to the sustainability movement.

Gwendalynn Roebke is a student at CU Boulder and a member of the Foundations for Leaders Organizing for Water and Sustainability or FLOWS program.

“We weren’t broke when I was growing up but I’m from a house of six people and we constantly had to do hand-me-downs.”

Like many FLOWS members, Gwen has discovered that many of their childhood experiences prepared them for sustainability leadership.

“On my mom side [of the family] a lot of people fix things when they’re broken and if they’re not fixable then you find something else to do with them. It’s this idea of never throwing stuff away. Sometimes people think that’s hoarder culture but it’s this idea that we didn’t have anything so we can always make something new.”

For Gwen’s family, and the families of many other FLOWS leaders, food is also an area where limited means lead to sustainable living practices.

“Feeding kids too is a lot of money and a lot of work. So teaching your kid to cook and how to cook in a sustainable way is also something that I’ve noticed a lot of parents do.”

This FLOWS radio series is made possible by a grant from Boulder County.