Making Green Choices with Your Career – 5 Options to Put On Top of Your List
Climate activist Greta Thunberg made headlines in September 2019 when a video of her impassioned speech at the United Nations Climate Action Summit went viral. We all listened to what she had to say and we heard her loud and clear. When she was proclaimed Person of the Year by Time magazine and landed the cover, we all realized the message can’t get any clearer—we need to do better when it comes to the environment and we need to act now.
And with all the recent environmental disasters that are happening in the world, it’s about time to take a hard look at environmental issues and consider what we can do to help.
One option is to open your mind to a career that will have a positive impact to the environment and the world we live in. Below are five green career choices to explore.
The effects of the Australian bushfires are devastating as it has led to 16 million acres of land going up in flames and are gone forever. It’s even more so devastating if you put into account how it has led to the loss of 27 human lives and over a billion of animals and wildlife. If you have an affinity for animals, then a zoologist could be your top pick. Zoologists can choose to focus on different species such as mammals or marine life. And while the main responsibility would be to study the behaviour of animals, you also have to be prepared to commit to understanding the role of animals and their respective habitats and discovering the best ways in which we humans can best co-exist with them.
LEED-Accredited Design Professional
If you’re more of an outside-the-box thinker and look forward to getting your creative juices flowing, then a career in architecture will be an ideal option for you. Combine this with your love for the environment and you can look into a career as a LEED-accredited design professional. LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environment Design, is one of the most internationally recognized green building certifications. The concept behind LEED was spearheaded by Robert K. Watson of the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) in 1993 and focuses on the environment-conscious design, construction, operation, and maintenance of structures. Canada is abundant in LEED-certified structures, such as the VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitor Centre in Vancouver, BC, Eighth Avenue Place in Calgary, AB, Manitoba Hydro Place in Winnipeg, MB, TD Centre in Toronto, ON, and the Planetarium Rio Tinto Alcan in Montreal, QC. Perhaps in the future you can add to the list.
If your heart is in advocating for environmental causes and working directly with individuals or communities affected by mishaps due to neglect or abuse, a career as an environmental lawyer could be your best option. Environmental lawyers offer advise on environmental issues ranging from hazardous waste to water quality. Think Erin Brockovich who built a case against the giant gas and power company Pacific Gas and Energy in California by coming up with substantial evidence that linked a rash of illnesses to high levels of hexavalent chromium found in the drinking water and traced back to a PG&E compressor station. Brockovich became a worldwide sensation after Julia Roberts played her in a blockbuster movie and won an Oscar, but of course the bigger reward was gaining justice for a community.
If being confined in offices isn’t your thing, a career to consider is that of a geoscientist, which as the name suggests will make you responsible for studying the earth’s composition, history, and natural resources. Taking this path, however, would require a great deal of travel and subject you to hot and cold climates, so physical fitness is a must for this job. In some cases, geoscientists may team up with environment scientists and in some level may expect to work indoors such as in labs to do research. A bachelor’s degree in geology is a good place to start, although a degree in engineering, physics, biology, chemistry, mathematics, or computer science will suffice for employers. In any case, coursework in geology is a must.
Like with the geologist option, a career as a conservation scientist is suitable if you have a fondness for the outdoors. This job involves coordinating with property owners and governments and work together towards the same goal of utilizing natural resources properly, which include national parks or forests. They work hard to serve in the best interests of the environment while at the same time making sure the needs of private citizens and/or business owners or the community are met. If this is something that interests you, completing a bachelor’s degree in forestry or anything related like agricultural or environmental science will put you in the right track.
There you have it, five options for a greener career path. There are more of course and you can keep exploring and researching and see what best fits you.