Kim is an alum of Wheaton College. Check out their recent spotlight.
Kim Salley joined the Alumni Affairs & Development’s Green Team in the summer of 2009. When the founding member and leader, Henry Kesner (also featured here), departed Harvard in April 2011, Kim assumed his responsibilities for educating the 300+ person office. Among her many projects to reduce waste and conserve energy, she is most famous for her Earl the Green Squirrel and Gilbert the Green but not so Gifted Goat cartoons which she writes and illustrates. Part of leading people towards sustainability is being able to reach them effectively and cause them to act. Kim’s cartoons cut through the clutter to remind people about important environmental issues or procedures that should be followed for the benefit of everyone. Her passion is infectious and was the driving force behind getting 80% of her office to sign on and commit to the goal of achieving leaf 4 in the green office program. Kim exemplifies how a green leader should inspire those around her and the people of Alumni Affairs & Development are lucky to have her.
Where did you get the idea for the cartoons?
Henry Kesner (the original founder and leader of the AA&D Green Team), had asked me to design a mascot to represent the team. He suggested that I create a dog mascot, but because I love both squirrels and goats, I thought a pair of mascots who could learn from each other would be a more effective alternative. Thus, Earl the Green Squirrel and Gilbert the Green but not so Gifted Goat were born.
What change would you like to see Harvard make in order to become more sustainable?
It would be great if, over time, more buildings could become LEED certified. As a Harvard Staff member working in a non-Harvard owned building, it would be wonderful if partnerships could be built between the Harvard and non-Harvard community to make it easier for employees to compost at work. I also believe that having support from the top down is vital in making Harvard more sustainable.
How did you become interested in sustainability?
I have always been an avid recycler and conscious of the Earth/global warming, but it wasn’t until Henry Kesner asked me to be a part of the team, that I realized how much more we could do in the office to be green, and that educating staff was key to a successful green campaign and general awareness. Since taking on this role, I have enjoyed researching ways I can be more “green” and how these tips and tricks can be translated to practices in the office. Creating Earl and Gilbert to disseminate this knowledge has been an exceptionally fun challenge. I have to thank AA&D’s extraordinary Green Team, comprised of over 40 dedicated and inspiring individuals who strive to set green examples daily. Their passion for sustainability is remarkable and I whole heartedly enjoy collaborating with a team who wants to make a difference in this world.
What is your favorite comic (other than Earl and Gilbert)?
As a child, I always loved to read Garfield.
Here's one of Kim's cartoons: