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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Waste Not: Consumption and Waste at UCSC with Annie Leonard

On the morning of Wednesday, February 12, the Permaculture and Whole Systems Design class in Kresge College welcomed Annie Leonard, the creator of The Story of Stuff, to campus for a lively class period, including tales from her travels to waste sites around the world, information about impactful environmental work being done to solve waste issues, and some inspiring advice to students on making change. Students engaged in asking questions and discussion and left feeling entertained, informed, and inspired.

That afternoon, Annie Leonard and students, faculty, and staff attended a zero waste luncheon hosted by the Program in Community & Agroecology. There, they filled themselves with delicious homegrown and homemade spring rolls and salads as they casually conversed about various topics such as composting and renewable energy.

That evening, Annie's Story of Stuff video was shown, and following this, Annie Leonard spoke with panelists from the UCSC sustainability community about the "stuff" that enters and leaves our campus and how we can be more conscious about consumption and waste. Panelists included Ben Crow (Sociology Professor), Kathryn Cunningham (a Buyer with Procurement Services), Brad Angell (Planned Maintenance Coordinator with Physical Plant), and Gabi Kirk (Alumna, Environmental Studies 2012, Former student sustainability organizer).

More than 120 people attended this discussion and gained insight on global inequality, sustainable procurement, and grounds services. Attendees were encouraged to ask questions and get involved with an interactive Q&A.

At the end of the day, there was a reception and book signing, where people socialized and connected over appetizing hors d'oeuvres.

Thank you to all who came to the event. And thank you to the UCSC Sustainability Office, Common Ground Center, Education for Sustainable Living Program, and the Student Environmental Center for hosting this event!

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