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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Sustainability day touts green initiatives

Sustainability+Day
Photo by Photo by Olivia Adam
Sustainability Day

Student organizations and campus departments joined forces to talk about sustaining the world by living local Wednesday in Rudder Plaza.
Texas A&M hosted its seventh Campus Sustainability Day included over 20 organizations and several different campus departments that came out to promote sustainability at Texas A&M. The featured booths covered a range of topics that included agricultural and cultural sustainability.
One of the booths at the event was hosted by the Texas A&M Office of Sustainability. The office handed out American-made, eco-friendly shirts to encourage avoidance of products made in sweatshops.
Shelbi Orme, a senior intern at the sustainability office who acts as an outreach specialist, said Texas A&M students should care about sustainability because it affects more than the environment.
“In reality we have social sustainability so that people are working together and there’s equality,” Orme said. “We’re really trying to push that message out today, that sustainability isn’t just about going green but it’s also about working together as a sustainable society.”
Howdy Farm, a student-run sustainable farm on west campus, was also present at the event. Environmental studies freshman Olivia Wolford said the organization hopes to serve and educate the community through smart agriculture.
“I think it’s useful for students to be aware that the everyday small choices that they make, in our case, the food you eat, does have a huge impact on sustainability and does have a huge impact on the planet,” Wolford said.
The Texas A&M Utilities & Energies Services Energy Stewardship Program also hosted a booth. The program is an initiative by the university to effectively create sustainable energy on campus through education and research.
Syed Ali, stewardship program supervisor, said the program actively works to improve the efficiency of campus energy.
“We produce ourselves some energy so that we don’t have to buy it from outside,” Ali said. “We [also] monitor how the energy is used … and we help pinpoint where the wastes in that energy are, and how to reduce that.”
Shannon Mills, communication sophomore and member of One Love, a social environmental justice organization, said she hopes events like this will help to inform people but also help them form their own opinions on the issues.
“We only have one Earth that we’re living on right now and it’s important to take care of it and learn as much about the environment that you’re in so that when you hear about something that’s actually impacting you … You form an opinion on it that’s right and correct with information,” Mills said.
The Aggie Green Fund, a committee including both students and faculty, were taking sustainability ideas from attendees at the event.
“We review student-submitted abstracts that attempt to make the campus more sustainable,” said Sarah Giles, environmental studies sophomore and member of the Aggie Green Fund. “We’ve done utility systems, we’ve done irrigation, and we’ve done the water bottle filling stations — those were all student ideas.”
Giles said she hopes Sustainability Day will help involve more students in campus sustainability initiatives.
“Today is really aimed at getting the students involved and getting people around to hear about things they were otherwise ignorant or maybe didn’t care much about,” Giles said. “[We] try to get them involved and get their ideas and see what they value to be more sustainable on their campus.”

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