Volume 3, Issue 2
Sustainable Aggies LLC
This year, the Department of Residence Life piloted the Sustainable Aggie (SA) Living Learning Community (LLC). The SA LLC is a themed/interest LLC for residents who wish to learn more about sustainability and what it means to live a sustainable lifestyle. Residents learn from a variety of guest speakers covering all 3 pillars of sustainability: social, environmental, and economic. They also have the ability to attend several field trips in the Bryan-College Station area that exemplify sustainable practices.
Recently, Sustainable Aggies were able to tour Aquatic Greens Farm in Bryan. Aquatic Greens is an aquaponics farm where owner, Sharon Wells, grows a variety of fruits and vegetables throughout the year. Not only that, but Aquatic Greens promotes social sustainability through teaching teens and adults with learning or cognitive disabilities how to grow food and other valuable skills. This work fits in perfectly with Mrs. Wells’ background as a Special Education teacher. After she left the school system to pursue the farm full-time, Mrs. Wells had previous students ask if they could help her run the farm which she gladly accepted. She is now working to expand so her workers can work with other businesses that Mrs. Wells’ collaborates with.
Sustainable Aggies will also have the chance to tour a local honey farm run by Residence Life’s very own Facilities & Operations Construction Project Manager, Mr. Steve Laube. Another field trip that is planned for the spring semester is to tour a solar farm near Houston to learn more about renewable energy production in Texas.
The SA LLC has also had several groups come to speak to them about sustainability related topics. An important part of sustainability is understanding that it is all encompassing. The 3 foundational pillars must work together in order to create a sustainable world. The SA residents listen to speakers who represent each of the pillars to understand how the various components work individually and collectively. These guest speakers are outlined below:
- Aggies 2 Aggies came to talk about culture and how it relates to social sustainability.
- LIFE 101 spoke on how to budget and maintain a healthy diet throughout the year. Residents were able to create their own budgets and learn some simple meals that can be prepped ahead in the halls. This topic focused on the students’ personal economic sustainability.
- The Aggie Eco Reps hosted a program on carbon emissions. SAs were able to calculate their own carbon footprint and learn ways on how they can change their lifestyles to reduce it. Residents were also able to win sustainable prizes by answering questions of consumption and utilities correctly!
- Yadira Hernandez, sustainability intern for Chartwells, talked about dining’s commitment to being more sustainable. She discussed their new “Skip the Straw” campaign and informed residents about how Chartwells is moving to increase composting in all dining locations on campus.