Sandra Ann Harris brings a wealth of worldly experience to her career as a sustainable brand manager and marketing communications professional. Her diverse background in journalism, marketing strategy and account management along with her work in the non-profit sector for a humanitarian aid organization brings depth and authenticity to her projects. She is the founder and president of ECOlunchbox. The social venture she founded has sold hundreds of thousands of lunchboxes and averted from use and disposal millions of pieces of trash.
What do you do best?
I initiate both personal and professional goals by connecting with my passions. These are set and reached through collaboration and communication with others: family, friends and colleagues.
What makes you the best?
I have had an eclectic career with many interesting opportunities, including extensive work in investigative journalism, humanitarian aid and online marketing. These professional experiences combined with my interest in environmental sustainability, healthy living and fair trade/humanitarian aid resulted in the launch of ECOlunchboxes in 2009.
How will you stay the best?
All of these past opportunities drive my desire to constantly seek out new knowledge and experiences. Change and dynamic expression are valuable parts of flowing through life.
What are your aspirations: business & personal?
I aspire to make positive change through good green works. Plastics dependence is creating unhealthy human exposure to toxins, such as BPA, that are hormone interrupters and cancer causers. Additionally, plastics are poisoning our oceans, such as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch where plastics debris has grown to the size of the state of Texas. So there are healthy and environmental risks associated with continued plastics dependence. My hope is that through making stainless steel food containers and no-plastic, no-vinyl, non-leaching artisan cotton lunchbags and accessories available, people can see there’s another way. There’s a path to a new, more sustainable way of living… and starting one bite at a time during lunchtime can crack the door to even larger changes in our daily habits.
What fascinates you?
I’m a social entrepreneur. My background is investigative journalism and humanitarian aid. What makes me tick is making change, and that’s what we’re doing at ECOlunchbox lunch by lunch. We’ve sold more than a quarter million lunchboxes so far and averted the use and disposal of 10s of millions of pieces of plastic trash. All this started on my kitchen table and we’ve been scaling little by. But we need the love and financial support of the public to continue our work bringing new products to market. That’s why we have launched the Kickstarter campaign. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1329361238/blue-water-bento-ocean-friendly-lunchware
“If you don’t risk anything, you risk everything.” Erica Jong
Along the way there have been a few people who have helped me see my own potential and supported me in my career development. Some of these people have been bosses, such as my editor at my first journalism job, but others have been family members, including my parents and sister and husband, or close friends. I am so thankful these mentors have believed in me and when the going gets rough I can hear their words in my ears and persevere!
I am an avid hiker, backpacker, backcountry skier, gardener, etc… I love being in nature. The more the better! Some of my most contented moments are outside enjoying earth’s beauty and bountiful inspiration. I want this for my children and children’s children. We need to seek our connection to Earth.
They aren’t products, but there are several organizations doing some amazing work regarding plastics, including 5 Gyres research institute, Surfrider organization, Washed Ashore recycled art program and more. More research regarding the health and environmental dangers of plastics is needed.
It’s important to me to take steps to protect the health of our planet (and ourselves) through preservation, conservation and making sustainable changes to our lifestyles. I do this in my personal life and in my professional life with ECOlunchbox.