Students 'walk the green carpet' for Campus Sustainability Month

'Walk the green carpet' event encourages students to become more sustainable

From choosing public transportation to composting, students learned the importance of Campus Sustainability Month and "walked the green carpet" at an event held at the Dean's Patio at the W.P. Carey School.

Students discussed ways they could become more sustainable when it comes to waste and how making small changes in their lifestyles could ensure a better future for the environment.

Finance junior Troy Delaney, who was at the event, vowed to become more sustainable by reducing waste. 

“Me and my roommates noticed that we create a lot of trash and one of the biggest things in our trash cans is paper plates," Delaney said. "So we just need to step up and maybe do the dishes more instead of using paper plates because it creates a lot of trash.”

Though reducing food waste is an easier target for students, Delaney said there are many ways people and communities can be more green. 

“It’s a multi-factor problem,” Delaney said. “There are so many different ways that you can be sustainable: from going solar with your energy ... (to) not using hot water or cutting down on paper plates … or even if you wanted to go vegan. There are so many ways to do it.”

Delaney said he believes that events like this educate the community on their carbon footprint

Sustainability junior Vanessa Villalobos, who is a sustainability projects coordinator in the School of Sustainability, said that advocating for sustainability not only impacts the environment but also the people around her. She said the event was about facilitating a dialogue about what students can do to reduce their impact and commit to a more sustainable lifestyle

"This event was basically where we allowed students to make sustainability commitments, and when they do that they are allowed to strut their stuff and say, 'I am green, I am walking the green carpet,'" Villalobos said. 

During the event, Villalobos shared what she does to make her own food consumption sustainable. 

“I don’t eat meat because it saves water, it saves land space, it reduces methane, which gets into the air, and I try to be zero waste, which means I don’t throw anything out. Everything is recyclable or compostable," she said. 

Food choices are important because much of the food Americans buy today comes pre-packagedl. Villalobos said buying produce reduces the amount of waste from food consumption.

Taking personal action to better the environment is one of senior program coordinator with ASU sustainability practices Lesley Forst's central beliefs.

“To me, I think taking personal action and doing your part is really important, but I think also we don’t talk enough about reaching out to our communities and trying to influence the people we are around all the time,” Forst said. “I think there is a lot of power and benefit in that.”

She emphasized that there is a great opportunity to make a change simply in educating friends or family because people are often more willing to learn from someone close to them.

“I think sustainability affects not only humans but it affects all living beings on the planet, the plants, the animals, your dog, your cat," said Villalobos. "It affects everyone."

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