Graduation Year: Class of 2013
Major: Communication Studies
Hometown: Southport, CT
What does sustainability mean to you?
To me, sustainability is the responsible and efficient use of the resources we gather from the environment, as well as protecting the planet from those who would misuse its resources. We have a staggering amount of resources but only one planet from which to take, so we should do our best to maintain it properly.
Which URI project or program related to sustainability should we be the most proud of?
I think it's cool that we've started growing some of our own produce for use in the dining halls and involved local farmer's markets with campus events as well. It was definitely nice to see the farmer's market tent set up on the quad offering cheap and delicious snacks to passing students.
How are you involved with campus sustainability at URI?
I'm an intern at the Sustainability Office in the Campus Planning & Design department. The Sustainability Office helps coordinate the university's plans to turn our campus into a 21st century green facility, making sure that we are putting all of our resources to the most efficient use possible. We also manage the Green Teams program, which helps offices at URI go green during their day to day operations.
What can URI do to be greener?
I think that one of the smallest things we can do, that will have the biggest impact, is to turn off all the lights around campus when they don't need to be on. I've seen academic buildings with many lights on in the dead of night on a Saturday, when they are most definitely not in use. Dorm halls can have the lights on a low setting in hallways at night and turn the lights off during the day. Many more small changes like this over time will definitely add to the impact of greening the campus.
What do you do in your personal life to be green?
Again, I find simplicity and small changes to be most effective. At home I usually wash all my dishes right after using them and leave them in a drying rack to avoid using the dishwasher all together. I unplug my laptop when its fully charged and don't turn the lights on in my house until after it gets dark. Leaving all of the blinds open during the day lets the maximum amount of sunlight in and keeps the house warm without using too much heat, even in the winter. Among other things, I think the methods above have taken quite a chunk out of my bills.
Natural Resources Science Professor Peter Paton has been in the news a great deal this winter providing expert commentary about an unprecedented invasion of snowy owls from the Arctic into the Northeast and Midwest.