This climate champion will upend the way you think about city government jobs
Chris Castro joined the City of Orlando as the Director of Sustainability and Resilience in 2016, but his title doesn’t even begin to capture Chris’s drive to fight climate change and environmental injustice. In just a few years, he’s helped start solar co-ops. He’s increased electric vehicle adoption. And he’s helped low-income residents invest in clean energy.
Chris believes that greening a city doesn’t just help fight climate change. It also helps communities and families prosper. One of his most exciting initiatives reduces the massive carbon footprint of the food we eat– and also helps feed families. It’s called fleet farming, and it turns front lawns into working farms.
Fair warning: Chris is going to completely upend the way that you think about city government forever.
- 03:52 – Chris talks about the origins of “fleet farming” and mindset for starting anything: “Think big, start small, scale fast”.
- 06:19 – Chris describes “swarms” as an strategy for community engagement in fleet farming.
- 07:44 – Details of commercial food production today, how it impacts climate change, and the solutions Chris is implementing.
- 10:57 – How planting 5,000 palm trees nurtured Chris’ work ethic.
- 12:22 – Yesh brings up “Ideas for Us”, the global nonprofit Chris started, and Chris describes its University of Central Florida origins.
- 15:17 – Chris talks about the concept of “intrapreneurship”
- 16:06 – Chris’ perspectives on the upsides – and downsides – of having a mission-driven career.
- 20:19 – Yesh asks what Chris’ advice for young people coming up (spoiler alert: as much hands-on, experiential learning as possible).
- 22:10 – Chris goes into detail about green initiatives he’s bringing to Orlando.
Want to learn more about some of the initiatives that Chris spoke about? Follow these links:
The jobs of the future to fight wildfires
Yesh talks with US Forest Service research ecologist Frank Kanawha Lake about how he's bringing Indigenous ways of knowing to managing fire into the 21st century.
The fastest electric vehicle fleet makeover in the west
Yesh talks with the ebullient Gilbert Blue Feather Rosas, who raised millions of dollars to bring electric buses to one of America’s biggest school districts.
How a psychology major is on the frontlines of decarbonizing a global industry
Yesh talks with Christie Gamble, Senior Sustainability Director at CarbonCure, a company that’s on a mission to decarbonize the concrete industry.