Green Mary’s Sonoma County Greening Team:
Events, Festivals, Conferences • Waste Diversion, Composting, Recycling • Keeping it Real, Keeping it Green
In 2002 Mary was at the Health and Harmony Festival in Sonoma County as the volunteer coordinator when she heard environmental activist Julia Butterfly-Hill fervently address the disconnect between putting on progressive festivals and the careless generating of waste. “It’s not enough to listen to cool speakers and espouse progressive values if you’re wreaking havoc on Mother Earth, your hostess,” was her anti-trashy message in a nutshell. “I won’t be back until this event is GREENED,” she said in regards to the festival.
Mary left the gathering with a longing to do more, and left the position of coordinator to start her own business and the Green Mary events greening business was born. The business started with the greening of one event the following year in 2003 and has grown to where Green Mary and their event waste-diversion and greening servies have managed the greening of over 250 event dates in 2016 alone. And she still LOVES her work, the people she gets to work with, and often lies awake at night devising ways to do more and do better.
Born in New York City, Mary Munat moved to Alameda from New Hampshire in 1987. A soldier in the US Army Reserves then, she worked part-time as an Army journalist, as a car salesperson and costumed balloon deliveries, too.
Mary dreams of the day that “greening services” become obsolete as changes on every level of society embrace waste-free events!
In her spare time, she’s an avid skier, a foster mom to shelter dogs, a big-time reader and meditator who loves napping, talking anti-trash, watching movies, working out, eating and time with friends.
Kristine first learned about Green Mary while working as Race Director for Girls on the Run Sonoma County in 2015. When the opportunity to work with Mary came up, she knew it was a fantastic opportunity to utilize her experience in operations management and event planning, while contributing to a worthwhile cause. Kristine enjoys helping to keep the sustainability business a sustainable business and finds sorting through trash to be very calming. She is currently working to influence her local school district to think green and implement better waste practices throughout their schools.
Born in San Francisco and raised in Petaluma, Kristine enjoys volunteering her time as Board President for Girls on the Run Sonoma County, traveling with her husband and three children, and running as far and as frequently as life will allow.
I have been with Green Mary for seven years and am now the head of greening operations out in the field. I was born and raised in the bay area and when not at work, I spend a lot of my spare time with my family. I have a strong connection with the earth and enjoy everything that is outdoors from the mountain ranges to the ocean. I love to try new foods and I’m always looking for new experiences.
Living in such an active community has made me conscious of the change happening everyday. Working for Green Mary has not only taught me about the environment and how to care for it, but I really appreciate that it has been an outlet to thousands of others passionate about being the change we would all like to see in the world. I continue to learn everyday from my peers and colleagues.
Being part of a zero-waste company brings me so much joy. When I go to work I’m part of something huge, pushing us toward ending global warming and reducing green house gases. At the end of the day there’s no better feeling than helping to save the world.
Tyler has been a green angel for 4 years. He has been managing crews for the past year and improving his skills as a waste diverting engineer.
“4 Years?? Time flies when you are digging through waste! My time with Green Mary has been a delight. I not only get to work at great events in the Bay Area, but I feel good about the work that I am doing. Solving the problem of waste is a huge environmental concern and I am happy to be contributing to the solution. I hope the example that we are helping set in the Bay is replicated throughout the country!”
Saisha (aka Sensaishanal) joined the Green Team in September of 2009 during Alice’s Now & Zen Concert in Golden Gate Park (it was her first job ever) and years later (with some breaks in between) she’s still here rockin’ it in the compost department!
Saisha reports always finding peace of mind while working with for and with Green Mary. It brings her much satisfaction knowing that she is making the world a better place for not only her two kids, but all of the other children that will inherit this place that we call Mother Earth. And the ground scores are always an added bonus.
Tynan was introduced to green team work as a volunteer for Lightning in a Bottle Music Festival in 2015. In the time since, he has piloted and led a green team model for small events in Arizona and traveled up and down the west coast helping to green events, conferences, and festivals of all sizes.
Tynan carries a degree in Sustainable Built Environments from the University of Arizona, and hopes to turn his passion for sustainability into real world change.
Sheila Islam is from the Greater LA area and moved to the Bay Area in Fall of 2006 to attend San Francisco State University. She majored in Environmental Studies with an emphasis in Environmental Sustainability and Social Justice. While in this program, Sheila took a class titled “World of Garbage” that had an tremendous impact on the way Sheila thinks of waste, products, resources, and consumption.
Sheila brings her passion for all social justice issues and her knowledge on environmental issues to the table in her work at Green Mary. Sheila enjoys waste diversion as much as she loves gardening because she is actively able to see the fruits of her labor. When she is not working for Green Mary or gardening, Sheila enjoys spending time with her cat (Ducky), reading sci-fi and fantasy books, laughing at memes, staying up to date on current affairs, attending social justice workshops, riding bikes, and nature walks.
Fun fact about Sheila : She was interviewed by DemocracyNow! in Paris while attending a demonstration that urged decision makers at the UN Climate Change Conferences to come to an legally binding agreement that would curve climate change.
“I began recycling back in the early 70’s when it was a struggle to find a place to take the stuff. In 1995 I began working as a teacher at Healdsburg High and, through my club, the Progressive Club, organized. In 1998 or so two different garbage companies were competing for the contract with Healdsburg and I knew the environmentalist from each company. The company that won the contract provided the high school with 30+ blue, twenty galloon recycling bins. We then organized for regular pickup and soon had all but one teacher on board. The superintendent liked it because the company recycled for free so that we could reduce our dumpsters from three to two. The students in the club were environmentalists and those hours could be applied to community service hours which was a graduation requirement. We did door to door recycling for 13 years or so and used the money we made from gleaning the redemption items to fund our 5 years of Earth Day Festivals in the plaza. We did recycling every week, rain or shine, until I retired from that job in 2014.”
Ryan Gottlieb is a Bay Area local, growing up in Santa Rosa and Relocating to Oakland to continue his education in biological and psychological sciences. He first started greening as a teen, volunteering for local festivals and has continued to thrive and share his passion for environmental impact awareness with others. His favorite parts about event greening are looking at the waste produced after events are complete seeing what a huge impact his and the rest of the team’s hard work has made in limiting how much waste is headed to the landfill, and the appreciation of event participants when they learn “what goes where”.
On his down time he enjoys reading supernatural or dystopian novels, hiking, running, or any other excuse to be in the forest. Ryan also maintains his local community by clearing the neighborhood sidewalks and gutters of debris to reduce pollution to the bay.