Kent State’s sustainability: how the blue and gold keep it green on Earth Day

Maddy Haberberger, TV2 Reporter

Earth Day is April 22nd – celebrated across the world, the day is seen as an opportunity to reflect on our impact on the environment, and promote practices that keep our planet clean and healthy. Here at Kent State, Melanie Knowles and the Office of Sustainability work with the university to ensure that the blue and gold keep it green.

“We work with dining services on food and sustainability, we work with residence services with outreach to students in the residence halls about their energy and waste, we work with more than a handful of student organizations that focus on various aspects of sustainability,” says Knowles.

The Office of Sustainability’s initiatives have had an impact across our main campus – 14 residence halls and academic buildings have been certified by the US Green Building Council, and campus-wide energy consumption has decreased more than 20% over the last 15 years.

Knowles believes anyone can practice sustainable activities like recycling or conserving energy – and although some may feel like their individual impact might be enough, it’s crucial that everyone is conscious of their impact on our environment.

“But the idea that our environment our our planet or even our local community is somehow a separate component is just really a fallacy,” says Knowles, “because the food that we eat, the water that we drink, the air that we breathe in, all of those parts of our environment become a part of our body.”

Climate change, waste production, and environmental impacts have become hot ticket political topics in recent years – issues that Knowles and other environmentalists believe should be bipartisan. Everyone from senators to college students is realizing that their future and our planet’s future is in our hands.

As Knowles puts it, “This is an opportunity to create a better world and a better life for generations to come.

Maddy Haberberger is a TV2 correspondent. Contact her at [email protected].