Philip is an environmental engineering major and participated in
the 2014 Alternative Winter Break trip to Southern Louisiana.
What does sustainability mean to you?
Sustainability means to be more aware of our environmental
impact and to be more proactive in changing our lifestyles. It
means to reduce our consumption and to live in a more modest way so
future generations can maintain a sustainable quality of life.
What are you doing to help UB become more
I study environmental engineering here at the University at
Buffalo and I work at the Office of Sustainability. I am involved
in Recylemania through I Recycle, Do You? to promote recycling
around campus. Recently, I joined a group of environmental students
that are starting a campus garden. We’re working hard in
developing this sustainable way of producing food! I went to
Louisiana as part of UB’s Alternative Winter Break program
with thirteen student volunteers as well as Jim Simon and Liz
Hladczuk. We were there to offer environmental service to the bayou
and coastline of Louisiana. One of the projects we worked on was to
prevent the erosion of the coastline by making Christmas tree crib
barriers along the intra-coastal waterway.
How you involve UB’s faculty or staff in your
I am working with Jim Simon and Erin Moscati at the Office of
Sustainability on projects like Recyclemania. We encourage more
recycling and reducing waste in the university. I have taken
environmental related classes such as Engineering Impact on
Society, which focused on the Grand Challenges of the future and
sustainable solutions to those problems, and Environmental
Engineering taught by Professor Jensen, which culminated in a final
project to design and build a filter that would clean turbid water
using only everyday household items.
How has sustainability impacted your academic
I am currently in the environmental engineering major and the
biggest reason for choosing this field is to find sustainable
solutions to the big engineering problems of today’s
society. After I graduate, I would like to work on projects related
to renewable energy and water treatment. Ultimately, I want to be
able to offer service overseas to communities that do not have
access to clean water and sanitation.
What is the one thing you would like people to know that you
do in your personal life to further sustainability?
My roommates and I make a big effort to recycle by having many
designated bags in the kitchen for cardboard, glass, plastics and
non-recyclables. We take all the recyclable materials to Wegmans
because the complexes where we live do not have separate recycling
How could UB improve its sustainability efforts?
UB should encourage the reduction of energy usage in the dorms
in terms of shutting the lights when no one is in the room,
stopping the faucet from running when it is not necessary and
reducing waste. Also, I think sustainability should be built into
the curriculum and raise awareness so students can start thinking
about how to reduce their carbon footprint and to live in a more
modest, healthy life.