Max is a student sustainability coordinator with UB Campus
Dining & Shops.
What does sustainability mean to you?
This is a word that gets thrown around a lot. For me,
sustainability is about staying productive and efficient while
maintaining a focus on green/eco-friendly practices. I think of
myself as a realist, and I know it’s often very hard to have
zero impact on the environments we occupy for work, living, etc.
Sustainability is an effort to consciously minimize wasteful
habits, simplify the ways we consume and protect the resources we
What are you doing to help UB become more
For almost three years I have worked as a student sustainability
coordinator for UB Campus Dining & Shops (CDS). That title
sounds fancy as I type it out, but what I do is really quite
simple. I serve as a voice for both CDS and the students we serve.
When we have a project we’re excited about, I share our
ideas/initiatives with students in a number of different on-campus
settings. On the other hand, I am always asking for student input
about our sustainability initiatives and projects. It’s
important that the people we serve have a chance to share their
support and criticism of the work we do.
How do you involve UB’s faculty or staff in your
Again, my work requires me to listen to other peoples’
opinions all the time, which I am happy to do! I love hearing ideas
about how CDS can continue to grow as a nationwide leader in
sustainability for college dining services. I have a number of
working relationships with faculty, staff and students at UB that
have allowed me to enjoy giving guided tours of Crossroads Culinary
Center (C3) for nutrition classes, working directly with employees
who handle CDS’ composting, several collaborative Earth Week
projects, and a number of other communal, group sustainability
How has sustainability impacted your academic
Networking. This job has allowed me to meet and work with
amazing people at UB that I would have otherwise never known. I
have to give a shout out here to Shivani Kamodia, my
co-sustainability coordinator. Shivani joined us this year at CDS
and her contributions have made the work we do significantly better
and more engaged with a broader UB audience. Meeting people who
really care about sustainability has changed the way I think about
my role as a member of the UB community. While I’m here I
want to make an impact that will leave UB a better place for future
students to enjoy when I’m gone. That desire branches out
into all of the work I do, from pestering my roommates about the
importance of recycling to the work I do with CDS and in the
What is the one thing you would like people to know that you
do in your personal life to further sustainability?
Well, the most important, everyday item in my arsenal is my
reusable water bottle… THIS IS A MUST! It’s actually
so basic (seriously, if you don’t have one you need to get on
that for both style points and a clear conscience) I’ll give
you something better: I think about it. The most important thing
you can do to practice sustainability is keep it in mind.
It’s so easy to forget the little things that make a
difference, so I leave notes to recycle, not waste food, etc. in my
apartment for both my roommates and myself. Guilt is a powerful
tool. I encourage people to think more about sustainability so that
the practices of a living a more sustainable life become habit.
How could UB improve its sustainability efforts?
I’d like to see more students carrying reusable water
bottles. If the university could organize a campaign encouraging
students to use them, I think that would really help. I’m
repeating myself here, but this is just essential to me. There are
refillable water bottle stations across campus and each bottle
saved makes a difference.