Lily Urmann, the Green Labs Facilitator at the Sustainability Office shares her experience at the National Bioneers Conference.
Even though this was my third time attending Bioneers, I was constantly blown away by the influx of new experiences and inspirations. I was grateful this year to be part of the Youth Leadership program, where I was surrounded by motivated young adults out to change the world. The dire state of our planet is often scary and overwhelming to think about, but the capacity of humans and our ability to collaborate on solutions keeps me hopeful. That is why I love Bioneers. Not only are there incredible speakers who bless the stage in the morning and awesome workshop panelists who blow my mind, but there is an entire community of attendees that create change all over the world.
This year, I was especially excited about exploring the topic of Green Chemistry, Biomimicry, and education. I am involved in the Green Labs at UCSC, a student-run program where we encourage labs to become more sustainable through behavior change - including waste reduction, energy efficiency, and procurement. I am passionate about Biomimicry and using nature's designs to solve human-problems, and Green Chemistry is the basis of this model. The workshop at Bioneers called Green Chemistry and Biomimicry in Education provided more information and inspiration to take back to UCSC and implement into Green Labs. From this workshop, and discussion with the speakers afterword, I am planning a Green Chemistry lecture series at UCSC for lab directors, student researchers, and anyone else to come and learn about this new model for sustainable chemistry and the science of Biomimicry!
Artwork and homemade solar cell from blackberries (Green Chemistry from Beyond Benign)