Last week the University of Maryland hosted the Smart and Sustainable Campuses Conference at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Baltimore, just steps from the Inner Harbor. Elle Everhart, the Program Assistant for Budget and Sustainability, was able to attend the conference and has had some time to reflect on the experience.
I attended both the main conference days and the pre- and post-conference workshops. The conference was, as you can imagine, full of sustainability professionals that are working at their universities to create change across all areas of their campus. It was really inspiring to be among so many wonderful people and to have the chance to hear about what things they have accomplished at their schools. The sustainability coordinator from Texas A&M, for example, has started focusing on the social aspects to sustainability, educating students about human health and welfare and their connections to living a more sustainable life. The sustainability coordinator at Western Kentucky University has also created lasting change for her campus by partnering with a local farmers’ market.
Many of the ideas that were discussed at this conference are things that I would love to be able to bring to Loyola this year. From streamlining our Green Office Program, to creating a website, to organizing an entirely new marketing campaign around sustainability issues, I have a lot of ideas that I think will help push Loyola towards an “evergreen” future. Many of these are already in the works and updates will be available in the coming months.
While many of these colleges and universities are larger than Loyola, I believe that we still have the ability to make a huge impact in our community and for our planet. We might not be the largest university in the world, but if we are able to pull together and work towards a common cause, we will effect more change than we currently think possible.
If you are interested in learning more about what projects I am currently pursuing, or you are interested in coming out, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.