By Sally Greider
Sophomore, English and Public Relations major
Students call students to action in sustainable living with Sustainability Hut By: Sally Greider, English and public relations sophomore There is a mean, green, sustainability machine roaming around the University of Florida, educating the campus community on environmental issues.
The Sustainability Hut, a student-run environmental outreach program at UF, is planning activities to help students learn how to make a difference in sustainable living for Earth Day.
“UF really functions like a small city,” said Allison Vitt, the outreach and communications coordinator for UF’s Office of Sustainability. “We have the same kind of sustainability issues that a small city might have.”
The hut provides a way to inform UF’s community about issues and help students make a difference for the environment in small ways every day, Vitt said.
“Behavior change is really a big part of sustainability,” Vitt said. “It’s important that every student does his or her part.”
The Office of Sustainability is holding a campus Earth Day on Arpil 8, Vitt said. The program will host presentations, awards and speeches discussing the importance of environmental issues.
“Every day is Earth Day for me,” said Jeremy Toms, an environmental studies graduate student and intern at the hut for the past three years. “The Sustainability Hut will definitely be there.”
“The Office of Sustainability does a lot of stuff behind the scenes. Most people don’t know it exists,” Toms said. “Outreach is kind of something the Office of Sustainability is missing, so we amend that.”
Claudia Menasce, an environmental studies senior, is involved in planning the huts activities on Earth Day.
“We are brainstorming some fun stuff right now,” Menasce said. “Without trying to get people to make an impact on themselves, there won’t be an impact on the world.”
Menasce started interning at the hut a year ago, because she has always wanted to help educate others about the environment.
“Sustainability is both for the environment and for people,” Menasce said. “We are making smart decisions here, and on Earth Day everyone can see them in action.”