Thursday, May 22, 2014

June 2014 Sustainability Profile: Sierra Ellison-Swabey

Each month, our newsletter features a person or group on campus that is working toward a more sustainable world. This month features Sierra Ellison-Swabey, who has been creating a catalog for Environmentally Preferred Products for the Procurement Services Department on campus.

Position Title: Green Purchasing Intern- Provost Sustainability Internship (PSI) Program

Favorite Green Tip: My green tip would be to start using reusable water bottles. I never really used them when I was little, but since coming to Santa Cruz, I have started using them and I love it! I like that there are so many different varieties of reusable water bottles, and now you can get one that matches your taste and personality. They are a great way to stay hydrated, save you money by not buying disposable water bottles and help the environment by using less plastic.

What does “Sustainability” mean to you? 
Sustainability is a concept that can have many different definitions. To me, sustainability is buying, using, and disposing of a product responsibly. To use a product or resource in a manner where there is minimal waste, and in a way that is least harmful to the environment is the act of being sustainable. This is just one way to look at sustainability.

How does sustainability relate to your role at UCSC?
I am a PSI intern working in the purchasing department this year, and my project was to create a favorites list of Environmentally Preferred Products (EPP) in CruzBuy. You can read more about my project here. Sustainable practices in purchasing are very important, and I encourage everyone to think carefully about products before purchasing them.

How do you practice sustainability in your daily life?
Well, I always use a reusable water bottle or tumbler; I use reusable bags; and I take public transportation or carpool as much as possible. Whenever I go to my hometown, I always carpool or take a train. I have also started walking to classes this year and have found some great short cuts that help me get to class on time.

Have you had a favorite sustainability moment at UCSC?
My favorite sustainably moment was at this year’s winter Inter-Organizational Sustainability Retreat. There were so many passionate people at this event, and some really great ideas on ways for campus to become more sustainable. It really inspired me to become a more sustainable person.

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