By Kathryn Andes
On Jan. 30, Sacred Heart University welcomed Scott E. Thompson, Chairman of the Sustainable Fairfield Task Force. For Thompson, living an environmentally friendly life is easy. He drives an electric car, the Nissan Leaf, uses solar power at his home, and eats green everyday.
Thompson started his “Green SHU Colloquia” by introducing easy actions that students at Sacred Heart can do to become more “green”.
The easiest actions that students can take are first to use reusable water bottles, food containers, and grocery bags. Thompson also stressed the “Skip the Straw” campaign, and explained that many restaurants in Fairfield are participating in the campaign such as “The Colony Grill”.
“We need to be more socially conscious consumers,” said Thompson.
Thompson stressed that students need to get informed and get involved. Thompson listed environmental blogs to read such as the Sierra Club, Mother Nature News, Grist, and Green Car Reports.
Thompson also suggested “green” sports and activities that are an alternative to those that produce greenhouse gases. Such as sailing rather than riding a motor boat and kayaking rather than dirt biking.
“We should follow what the town of Fairfield says they are going to do. That includes transportation and food. Students can get around via bicycle and walking. There are plenty of different ways that students and the university can target to reduce the amount of waste and our impact on the environment,” said Keith Gallinelli, Advisor for the Green SHUs and Director of International Admissions at Sacred Heart.
Thompson also talked about how eating lower on the food chain, or eating vegetarian and vegan can help the environment.
“By far the number one thing that anybody can do is to eat lower on the food chain, because not only is it affordable, it will save you money, and eating lower on the food chain is a great way to have a positive impact without hitting the wallet at all,” said Thompson.
According to peta.org, “It takes more than 2,400 gallons of water to produce just 1 pound of meat. Only 25 gallons of water are required to grow 1 pound of wheat”.
“You could save so much time, energy and resources just by replacing meat products with more plant based foods into your diet,” said senior at Sacred Heart and President of the VEG club, Kayla Kanakry.
Thompson also emphasized the importance of eating with a reusable plate and fork, rather than eating out of plastic containers.
“If you can carve out 30 minutes a day to go to the cafeteria instead of going to the vending machine, you will be able to eat green, no problem. Give yourself 30 minutes a day to relax with your friends, and eat a nice meal, you’ll do better, I guarantee your grades will be better,” said Thompson.
“Currently something I try to incorporate in my daily routine is bringing reusable utensils and containers for lunches, ones that can be cleaned and re-used,” said senior and President of the Green SHU club, Courtney Paccione.
“One word: HOME. This place is our home and that’s it. Earth is all we have and we need to take better care of it,” said Kanakry.