Profile Response: Lisa Lin, Houston, TX


HWWLT Logo on yellowLisa Lin is a Sustainability Manager within the City of Houston. What does that mean? Recent projects include optimizing energy use in city buildings, creating a bike master plan, implementing the anti-idling ordinance, electrifying the city’s vehicle fleet, developing a downtown car share, expanding the city’s bike share program, and sponsoring a farmer’s market at City Hall Plaza.

Lisa trained as an architect and designed buildings for a few years. “I worked for a commercial firm. We addressed energy and sustainability as code required. I wanted a more tangible connection to energy use and conservation.”

images imgresThe two primary threads of Lisa’s sustainability approach can be summed up in the three R’s – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – and a fourth one: Resiliency.


imgres-1Houston is a pilot city for the ‘one bin’ waste recycling initiative. It takes single stream recycling to the next level, in which people no longer separate any waste. Diapers, food, organics, plastics, cardboard, everything is separated mechanically at a centralized facility. The goal is less than 5% of all waste will end up in a landfill. That’s a great approach for handling our waste but, “How about creating less waste from the start? I tell my school groups, remember reduce and reuse come before recycle.”

Lisa’s other focus is resiliency. “Stop talking about why the hurricane was so strong. Think about how we can get back on track in a positive way quickly.”

How will we live tomorrow?

imgres“I see this division between sustainability professionals who feel that Big Data and technology will solve our problems and how that absolves us from personal responsibility.”


About paulefallon

Greetings reader. I am a writer, architect, cyclist and father from Cambridge, MA. My primary blog, is an archive of all my published writing. The title refers to a sequence of three yoga positions that increase focus and build strength by shifting the body’s center of gravity. The objective is balance without stability. My writing addresses opposing tension in our world, and my attempt to find balance through understanding that opposition. During 2015-2106 I am cycling through all 48 mainland United States and asking the question "How will we live tomorrow?" That journey is chronicled in a dedicated blog,, that includes personal writing related to my adventure as well as others' responses to my question. Thank you for visiting.
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