3rd Year Mechanical Engineering
Minoring in Global Development, Pre-Med
How and when did you first become interested in sustainability?
I have always been an advocate for the environment but I started making serious lifestyle changes a little over a year ago.
What sustainability focused programs/organizations have you been a part of during your time at Tech?
I signed up for the S.O.S. [Students Organizing for Sustainability] list serve my freshman year. This past semester, I have served as my sorority’s, Phi Mu, sustainability co-chair, attended Greek Sustainability Committee meetings, and taken charge of my sorority’s recycling program. Every week, my committee takes out all the recycling within the house. Since paper products are not accepted in the recycling bins, I take a load of paper every to the bins behind Alpha Xi. I have also convinced our chef to buy biodegradable coffee cups, late plates, and straws and to stop buying Styrofoam. I also plan on going on the Japan sustainability development study abroad program in summer of 2019.
Explain your involvement with the food donation program.
I am responsible for taking Phi Mu’s food to the donation center every Friday.
How impactful has this program been for the homeless shelter?
They need as many donations as they can get! The shelter doesn't have a lot of financial resources, in fact a lot of the people who work at the shelter are volunteers, so they heavily rely on food donations.
Are shelters specific on types of food accepted?
They accept anything! As long as it’s sealed. We often taken our food over in aluminum pans with the tops labeled.
Do you see the possibility of such a program becoming campus-wide and what first steps would be required?
I would love to see other Greek houses donating their food every week. It starts with someone caring about the cause and volunteering to take charge. It’s just a matter of convincing the chefs to work to recover food and finding someone to drive the food down the street to the shelter. Honesty, it’s a low commitment that only takes me about 20 minutes every Friday.
What specifically can organizations do to help this cause?
I think if organizations had one liaison our goals would be better met. It just requires one person to make a change in every Greek house.
How do you see this program growing in the next two years?
I think within the next two years more houses will begin to donate their food. I also think there will be a larger push to have more sustainable products within house kitchens. In two years, catering companies need to develop better incentives to invest in green products even if they are costlier, such as Styrofoam alternatives.
If you are interested in getting your own organization involved in a similar outreach program contact Joanne at email@example.com.
For more information on Georgia Tech’s own student-run campus food pantry visit http://klemiskitchen.gatech.edu/.