Catherine (Cate) Brennan
Graduation Year: Class of 2013
Hometown: Jamestown, RI
What does sustainability mean to you?
Sustainability is all about leaving the tiniest footprint possible on our current environment and ecosystem while preparing for the well-being of its future.
Which URI project or program related to sustainability should we be
the most proud of?
I think the new green buildings on campus are great. They set the standard for other surrounding businesses, and challenge students and faculty alike to consider their impact on sustainability.
How are you involved with campus sustainability at URI?
I was 2010-2011 president of Slow Food URI, which is a club focusing on local food, sustainable farming practices and biodiversity. In other words "slow" food is everything "fast" food is not. I'm still an active member of Slow Food URI and I am also an active member of SAS (Student Action for Sustainability) and work for the URI Recycling office.
What can URI do to be greener?
Try to get local food in our dining halls! We are a University surrounded by beautiful and bountiful farms yet because of our dining services bidding system it is very difficult to be able to incorporate them into the dining hall menu. It is a goal of Slow Food to have 20% of the food here to be local by 2020.
What do you do in your personal life to be green?
I think the most important impact anyone can make regarding sustainability is talking about the current problems on the planet and brainstorming ideas on how to change them. No one is ever going to be productive if they are not aware of what's going on and not presented with a solution. I try to start conversations like this with my friends and especially in my classes, where many issues of sustainability are present in our curriculum.
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Oceanographers at the University of Rhode Island have analyzed long-term data from several anemometers in southern New England and found that average wind speeds have declined by about 15 percent at inland sites while speeds have remained steady at an offshore site.