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Kathleen Da Silva

Kathleen

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 sustainable?

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 sustainability work?

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 pursuits?

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 difference.

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. 

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