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January 23, 2013
Shakeera is a junior at Penn State Altoona and sits on the Youth Advisory Board of the Born This Way Foundation.
My name is Shakeera; I am a student at Penn State University. My major is environmental studies with a minor in biology. Here at Penn State environmental concerns are very important to us and we have established environmental action plans that are implemented on campus.
Penn State has many campuses and I have had the opportunity to attend two of them. The unique thing at Penn State is that each campus has an environmental policy and a sustainability plan. As soon as you arrive to any of the campuses you will see recycling bins for proper waste disposal. Each campus also goes further than just having recyclables picked up, we also make sure that they are actually being reused.
Technology plays a pivotal part in our recycling efforts. We use computer software to track the amount of materials recycled and how often the recyclables need to be picked up.
As college students we are always on the go and many times we leave electrical appliances on. Studying these behaviors, we now understand how the society acts when it comes to proper waste disposal and saving energy. Students at Penn State know that becoming “green” or positively impacting the environment is a societal change. We have to break bad habits while implementing positive ones.
As a result of our environmental sustainability efforts we have become conscious of the energy we use. There are reminders in each dorm room to cut off lights, televisions, and other electrical appliances. Before students leave for the holiday there are reminders to unplug all electrical appliances. Even with our beverage consumption; instead of buying bottled water, we have water fountains that calculate the amount of bottles we have saved when we use the fountain.
We realize that we are in the technological age and we have to charge our phones, laptops, etc. But we also realize that we must minimize the use of such items. To support our environmentally friendly efforts we have various clubs and organizations that work towards a healthier environment. These clubs use social media to engage students in environmental initiatives and educate the student population of how we can create a healthier environment. I am so glad to be a part of a school that takes action on environmental issues and makes a difference. WE ARE…..Penn State! And, you too can join the sustainability movement.
You can get others in your area to recycle and track their power consumption. Why not set a goal for your neighborhood or your school? You can even do like we do and use social media or texting to alert people about the progress they’ve made and about events or activities in your area. You can be as involved as you want to be. That’s what’s so fun about volunteering and helping out!
Shakeera is a junior in college and majors in Environmental Studies. She has been very active in campus life at Penn State, serving as a member of the Multicultural Recruitment Team, The Black Student Union, and has served as the Chief of Staff for Student Government. Shakeera is a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., which is dedicated to the principles of scholarship, service, sisterly love, and finer womanhood. She also sits on the Youth Advisory Board of the Born This Way Foundation whose mission is to connect young people in safe ways and empower them with skills and opportunities that will inspire them to create a kinder and braver world.
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