But for Business Success Center (BSC) outreach program manager Kim Biedermann at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, taking small steps to live a more sustainable lifestyle just comes naturally.
In her position as the outreach program manager for the BSC, Biedermann is responsible for connecting local businesses and organizations with the UW Oshkosh campus, but that’s not the only connection she’s making. Biedermann also works to connect people on campus and beyond with sustainability efforts.
Biedermann earned her bachelor’s degree in environmental science from the UW-Green Bay in 2005. She then went on to earn her master’s degree in environmental law in 2006 from Vermont Law School.
Biedermann worked as the northeast organizer for the Wisconsin League of Conservative Voters, the community development director for the City of Omro and the community development educator for the UW-Cooperative Extension, before accepting her position with the BSC last February.
She also uses her background in environmental science through many volunteer outreach programs, including serving as the co-chair of the Oshkosh Sustainability Advisory Board.
“Through the board, we make recommendations for the City Council to consider,” Biedermann said.
The board has written a sustainability plan to make the city more environmentally friendly.
She also serves on the core team for the Oshkosh Civility Project, a nonprofit organization that addresses civility in the community and advocates through training and events. She is on the board of directors for the Fox River Environmental Education Alliance (FREEA), a new nonprofit organization is dedicated to providing environmental education opportunities to the public through events and activities.
In addition, Biedermann is on the Development, Outreach and Education Committee for the Northeast Wisconsin Land Trust. This group is dedicated to protecting and preserving natural spaces in northern Wisconsin.
Biedermann’s sustainability efforts extend to her personal life as well. She is an avid biker and outdoorswoman, as well as an advocate for alternative modes of transportation. In fact, Biedermann is often seen biking to work at UW Oshkosh in the morning. She is even the proud owner of a new composter.
“I’ve found that I’m known as the ‘person who bikes’ around here,” Biedermann said.
She doesn’t just talk-the-talk, she also walks-the-walk by advocating for greener living by doing her own small part every day. To Biedermann, living a sustainable life does not necessarily mean taking drastic measures but taking small steps every day to ensure that the impact being left on the environment is minimal.
“It’s relatively easy to do, most people do it without even realizing it,” Biedermann said.
She believes that getting to know your local community is an important step to becoming more sustainable.
“If you take a vested interest in it, it’ll get you motivated to become more involved in sustainable efforts,” she said.
The UW Oshkosh Gender Equity Council recently awarded her for her contribution to the UW Oshkosh campus and the community through her sustainability efforts, in addition to recognizing a number of women from on and off campus who were also involved in sustainability.
As the weather gets nicer, Biedermann suggests getting out and exploring your local community.
“If we all just start learning from each other, we can each make a difference,” Biedermann said. “Everything has an impact.”