Friday, April 23, 2021
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Sustainability Corner: The Greenlight District

This column will provide the latest in environmental news on campus and in our community. More importantly, it will provide tips and topics on “green living” to save students money, help them live healthier and help the planet.

Let me begin with an introduction.

A recent visit to Germany reminded me how wasteful some Americans can be.

“Germans are only allowed to throw away so much. We have no other choice but to sort our trash,” my aunt said after I caught her stomping in her slender trash bin.

She proceeded to show me the detailed diagram of where to dispose every type of packaging and organic material she could possibly accumulate.

European countries aren’t just picky about their trash. They’ve also made incredible advances in the widespread use of renewable energy and public transportation.

Almost every house in Germany has solar panels, more than half of Copenhagen’s population commutes by bike and electric trains and buses conveniently stretch across the continent for easy traveling.

Europe has been a leading example of environmentally sustainable living for decades, so why is it taking the U.S. so long to catch up?

Sustainability refers to maintaining our earth and its resources for the future.

UMKC is already promoting sustainability by offering many resources to encourage an environmentally friendly lifestyle.

This includes the numerous U.S. Green Building Council LEED certified buildings across campus and the various environmental organizations promoting positive change.

UMKC also offers the affordable on-campus bike repair, “The Hub,” and an award-winning environmental ethics course.

Did you know UMKC ranks as top 50 in Sierra Club’s (one of America’s largest environmental organizations) “Coolest Schools?”

You might be ambivalent toward changing your habits or might not see the importance of living a greener lifestyle, but your daily actions can affect those living in separate hemispheres and the lives of future generations.

Our environmental practices can affect weather, our health and even the economy. I believe in our generation of college-aged students to make a difference in the way we live in Kansas City and on campus to provide a cleaner and healthier future for everyone.

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