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Kristen Janson


Kristen is planting shrubs and plants on the Fourchon Ridge in southern Louisiana as part of the 2013 Alternative Winter Break program

What does sustainability mean to you?

Sustainability, in my opinion, is a way of life; it involves making decisions in a way that consider one’s effect on the environment. The goal is to work with the planet, and not against it.

What are you doing to help UB become more sustainable?

To help UB become more sustainable, I am involving myself on campus as much as possible. I am a member of Alpha Kappa Chi, an environmental fraternity, and working through them to promote awareness on campus. I believe education is central to sustainability.

How do you involve UB’s faculty or staff in your sustainability work?

I try my best to establish relationships with UB’s environmental faculty and staff. I invest time in getting to know them and learning from their lives, and have invited several to speak to the fraternity about their experiences. 

How has sustainability impacted your academic pursuits?  

Sustainability has impacted my academic pursuits in that it has determined my future. I have committed myself to studying the environment and making a living by living sustainability and teaching others how to be sustainable.

What is the one thing you would like people to know that you do in your personal life to further sustainability?

Personally, I use as many reusable resources as I can in my day to day life – I drink a lot of coffee, so I make sure I use my travel mug, and whenever I shop, I bring reusable bags. It has become a way of life for me; it has actually become a habit to use reusable items to the point where using paper or plastic is uncomfortable for me.  

How could UB improve its sustainability efforts?

I think the biggest thing UB can do to improve sustainability efforts is to promote reusable water bottles and cut down on plastic bottles. As I mentioned, the key to sustainability is education. UB needs to focus its mission on sustainability, and then teach its students to do the same, leading by example.

Photos from the Louisiana Wetlands Alternative Spring Break Trip (credit: various)

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