Continuing our obsession with local women in science and related fields, it seemed fitting that our Earth Month chat would be with Natalia Von Hausen, whose commitment to our environment shines through in her work with Clean Energy Design, Protect Our Cape Cod Aquifer, and Cape Cod Green Drinks.
Are you a Cape native?
I am actually a wash-a-shore, originally born in Santiago, Chile. Home now is definitely a mix of both Cape Cod and Santiago as my roots and entire extended family still reside there but my parents, sister, niece, nephew, and my newly found family that are my friends are here.
Tell us about your day job!
My day job is with Clean Energy Design, LLC as the Director of Communications and Autocad Specialist. We help both residents and businesses of the Cape get off-the-grid through solar photovoltaics, solar thermal, and small-scale wind turbine systems. Lowering the carbon emissions one home or business at time!
What is Cape Cod Green Drinks and how can people get involved?
Cape Cod Green Drinks is a local chapter of an international non-profit organization. Our goal is to provide a platform for local businesses, individuals, or movements to reach our community that are sustainable or progressive. Anyone can get involved, it is a collaboration, and I welcome anyone and everyone to help with the small tasks that put it together. The next event, Eco-wear, Eco-aware, will be April 27 at Shift in Hyannis from 6-8pm and will be focused on environmentally and sustainable fashion!
What are some easy-to-implement actions that Cape Codders can take to make a positive difference for our water supply?
Protect Our Cape Cod Aquifer simply asks our members and all our fellow Cape Codders to consume consciously and locally. We live atop a sole-source aquifer which when contaminated will result in us not being able to acquire clean drinking water. Inside our homes, the type of detergent, shampoo, conditioner, lotions, sunscreens, dishwasher soap, bleach, toilet paper, everything that is going down your drain will eventually end up in our aquifer and then back into our homes. Considering our outside world, the use of herbicides in our yards harm the fragile ecosystems that lives parallel to us, instead we can use natural herbicides such as vinegar. Research is key!
What inspired you to pursue a career in science?
I am still working on what exactly my career will be specifically in, but science is important to everything that is life. I think the beauty of the natural world (jungles, beaches, mountains, oceans, deserts) has always made me question the interconnected processes and the relationship with humans.
What’s your favorite way to spend a Cape Cod day?
This answer definitely changes with the season! But I would have to say that in the Spring, my day would start with a coffee at Snowy Owl in Brewster and walking over to Karma to pick up some delicious local-grown food (in their backyard), and going for a long walk at Fort Hill in Eastham.
Are there any books or podcasts you LOVE that you’d recommend?
RadioLab is a great podcast with amazing story telling, the Nerdist for laughs, and Citizen Radio for a refreshing take on politics. A great book I’ve recently read was Dark Places by Gillian Flynn and I am also reading Mini Farming: Self Sufficiency on ¼ Acre on the side; I am trying to grow some food!
Thanks, Natalia, for all you do to promote sustainability on Cape Cod! Meet her in person at Shift on April 27 for the next Green Drinks, or with Clean Energy Design at Harwich Pilgrim Congregational Church on April 29 (10am-1pm) for a discussion of solar basics for home and businesses.