During Pacific Standard's "Women and the Environment" conference, the magazine's writers are chatting with speakers and attendees about why they're getting involved—and where we go from here. Below, a chat with Kelsey Maloney of the Santa Barbara Bike Coalition.
What inspired you to attend the conference?
Well, I'm a woman and I'm passionate about the environment, so I thought it'd be a great place to interact with other women in our community who are passionate about environmental issues.
What kind of action do you want to see in your community?
So many different fronts! With the bike coalition, we're most interested in sustainable transportation solutions and encouraging biking rather than driving—just thinking about our lifestyles and our carbon footprint and little changes we can make, like riding a bike or eating local food.
What are some unique strengths that women bring to the climate struggle?
Collaboration: working together and being able to listen deeply and also collaborate with people from different areas and different sectors, whether business, government, or non-profit.
Was there a particularly formative experience that inspired you to seek climate solutions?
I grew up in Manhattan Beach and I really love being in the ocean—I grew up surfing and swimming, and those images of the oil spill and just the thought of potentially losing clean water and recreation is what I'm most passionate about. Just being in connection with the ocean.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.