Kathleen da Silva is an Honors student and volunteer with the
Office of Sustainability.
What does sustainability mean to you?
To me, sustainability comes down being able to maintain our
world in a healthy condition with every action we take. From the
structure of our buildings, to recycling, even the food we eat. It
comes down to wanting less and needing less which provides us with
the opportunity to make a huge positive impact on the world.
What are you doing to help UB become more
Currently, I work as an assistant at the Office of
Sustainability. I have worked alongside Erin Moscati as well as Jim
Simon to help get all aspects of the campus more involved. So far,
this has been done through education by coming up with ideas for
the promotion of Recyclemania for students, faculty, and staff, and
to even developing several engaging programs that Resident
Assistants will be able to use with their residents.
How do you involve UB’s faculty or staff in your
Currently, we are hoping to involve the paraprofessional staff
in helping to promote the idea of being sustainable to the
residents through programming. As well, a video promoting
sustainability is to be shown to all faculty, staff, and students
during orientations. This video will help introduce new members of
the UB community to the important task of not only maintaining but
improving our sustainability practices.
How has sustainability impacted your academic
Learning about the important of sustainability has helped me to
become an all-around better student, as well as a future employee.
Though I am not pursuing a career directly related to the
environment, I will use my knowledge to help implement policies
that will help to promote sustainability issues in the future.
What is the one thing you would like people to know that you
do in your personal life to further sustainability?
Whenever I’m eating at the dining hall, I always make sure
that I compost my food, and get my friends who are with me to do
the same. I try to promote recycling as much as possible, and
before throwing anything out I try to see if I can find another use
for the item. It’s not as hard as you think to be
sustainable—it just requires little changes that make a big
How could UB improve its sustainability efforts?
UB has already made a huge step by designing and buildiung five
new LEED rated buildings, but improvements are necessary on the
buildings that already stand. It would also be beneficial to
increase student, staff, and faculty involvement in Recyclemania,
composting efforts, and waste reduction to greatly increase our
efforts throughout the campus.