Recycle Runway Blog

Moving and Sustainability Published: 10.13.2014 at 5:45 pm by Nancy Judd


Our Traveling Caravan

This summer my spouse, Nicole, and I moved from Santa Fe, New Mexico to Portland, Oregon. We made the move partially to be near family (Portland is my home town) but also for sustainability reasons. Almost daily we read articles about the long-term drought facing the southwest region of the US, and it seemed clear to us that water is becoming even more precious and scarce, and this area will be challenged to support the number of people that are currently living there. Our decision to leave was based on our desire to not be an additional burden on this ecosystem. It is unclear exactly how climate change is going to alter our communities, but we feel strongly that it is important to live in a place with abundant water, and Portland is certainly that! The City also makes it easy to live more sustainably– it is very bike-able, has a great public transportation system, is renowned for its recycling and composting programs, has multiple local organic farmers markets, strong neighborhoods that promote community building, and many other progressive sustainability programs! Plus it is a very, VERY fun place with tons of creativity. I look forward to working in this dynamic community!

Leaving Santa Fe after 20 years was not easy for me. Recycle Runway was born, incubated and lovingly supported by my Santa Fe and New Mexico community. I created my first trash fashion while working as the recycling coordinator for the City of Santa Fe, when in 1998 I co-founded the Recycle Santa Fe Art Market and Trash Fashion Contest and created a bubble wrap dress to promote the event. After that I made a dress every year and soon had a collection of recycled garments that I had created and that others had given to me. While working as the Executive Director of the New Mexico Recycling Coalition, I met many other recycling coordinators around the country who invited me to organize recycled fashion shows in their communities which I enjoyed doing for seven years.

In 2008 I stopped organizing recycled fashion shows because I realized that I could reach more people (that were not already thinking about the environment) with my message of sustainability using exhibitions located in high-traffic public locations such as airports, shopping malls and museums. I also decided to make this my full-time work, and could never have succeeded if it weren’t for the assistance of WESST, a local non-profit funded by the Small Business Administration that helps entrepreneurs. I feel a deep sense of gratitude to all the people in Santa Fe and New Mexico who fostered Recycle Runway and I will miss them dearly.

Nicole Loading the Moving Truck

Nicole Loading the Moving Truck

The act of moving is not a very sustainable activity but there are certainly ways we found to incorporate reuse and waste reduction into the process. In the next blog post Nicole, who will begin helping me with my blog-posts and social media campaigns, will discuss some of these activities. Nicole grew up in many different countries because her father worked for the State Department so she was curious about the relationship between sustainability, moving and nomadic cultures and did some really interesting research into the topic. Tune-in to our next post to find out what she discovered.

Thanks again to all my friends, colleagues and family in New Mexico!

« Back to the blog

8 responses to “Moving and Sustainability”

  1. Good to hear from you and know about your process, decision, transition and success. Bravo. Wishing you the best in all endeavors and in Portland…enjoy!

  2. Joanie Spumoni says:

    Nancy – It is wonderful to hear from Recycle Runway again. It’s exciting to hear of your plans and reflect on where you’ve been in the past that created the vision you have now. I miss you and Nicole like crazy, but am delighted to hear your news from Portland. Be well. Sending lots of love.

  3. Kim says:

    Nancy, The best of luck to you and Nicole in your new adventures. I can’t wait to hear what you will be up to next.

  4. Marie L says:

    Nancy: I didn’t realize you were in Portland. It’s one of my favorite towns. I was there last week for a Business Incubator training conference and was able to visit Powells Books and walk around downtown from the hotel. A friend and I visited another of my favorite places, Multnomah Falls, on our Sunday afternoon off. … I wish you and Nicole every happiness and continued success in your business ventures. – Marie

  5. Wendy Higgins says:

    Hi Nancy!
    thank you for your ongoing communication. You are so clear and honest about your self and your activities. I am always inspired by the way you move in the world.
    It’s great to hear that you have landed in such a GREEN spot on the planet and will be broadcasting your wisdom and insights from there.

    Your question of the sustainability of human life (as we currently do it) in the SW is in my heart and awareness every time I turn on the spigot, irrigation to the garden and orchard, or take a shower. This summer’s drought in our area of Santa Fe (285 corridor) was frightening to me as I struggled to keep the most precious plants, bees and soil life alive….what are we doing here????

    I know in my gut this is the definition of unsustainable and have not yet gotten the “marching orders” from my deepest knowing to move. And we may just join you and Nicole there in that emerald NW some day soon.

    Much love !

  6. Anna Richards says:

    Dear Nancy, All the best to you and Nicole in Portland. You are an inspiration! Warm regards to your family,

  7. Dover says:

    Hope to connect with you in person soon!!

  8. Lisa says:

    Dear Nancy,
    Santa Fe will miss your smiling face, your talent and your ongoing contributions to consciousness! Keep up the good work! You are an inspiration to many.
    Blessings and love,
    Lisa Styles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *