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The independent news website of The Kent Stater & TV2


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Sustainability Living-Learning Community seeks more participants to spread sustainable awareness

Ella Katona
The Green Zone Living-Learning Community takes place at Dunbar Hall at 225 Midway Dr.

The Green Zone: a Sustainability Community occurs in Dunbar Hall throughout the school year and has various events aimed for students interested in sustainability and to meet other students with similar interests.

Melanie Knowles, the sustainability manager of the Green Zone: a Sustainability Community, oversees the community for students.

“Part of the idea is if we can get students from many disciplines and a variety of majors together that are interested in sustainability, they will have a better understanding of how it works,” Knowles said. “It is mainly to form a community over this common interest.”

This is the Green Zone’s third active year as a community. Knowles said she has noticed a great drop in participant interest. All students are welcome to participate in the campus wide community. 

In the past, Knowles said the Green Zone has taken part in numerous events from various majors’ colleges amongst the Kent State community that involved being more sustainable.

“One year, the students were really interested in how sustainability was incorporated into culinary services, so we invited the person at the time who was the Sustainability Manager of Culinary Services, and she gave a presentation about everything that they are doing to be more sustainable involving food,” Knowles said. “We also have had a workshop with the fashion school on how to mend clothing by embroidering shapes to make it not just repurposeful, but also stylish.”

The Green Zone has partnered with the Business Learning Community, which had a presenter come in and talk about the United Nations sustainable development goals they had for the United States, as well as internationally.

Even with scheduled events offered for students, Justin Wilhite, an assistant director for Residential Communities, has also noticed a struggle with active participation with the Green Zone, and other Living-Learning communities on campus.

“Some LLC’s are more tight knit and active [than] others, so just growing more participation and relationships may help with this,” Wilhite said. “We want students to get to the point where they can make their own meaning on things, to encourage them to have a more complex way of thinking about the world and we are trying to prepare them, so I definitely think the Living-Learning communities help us achieve that goal.”

Knowles said it is important to her that students see sustainability of high importance and to also think of it with deep meaning in their daily lives.

“By implementing sustainability into our daily lives, it makes more sense financially and we are improving better health for individuals and our community,” Knowles said. “Our students who take part in the Green Zone will also learn about this and see it in practice. In the end, our hope is that they take this information and this experience out with them into their lives after they graduate, so that it expands our footprint way beyond the university.”

Ella Katona is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected]

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