By Anthony Crozzoli
A Laurentian University alumnus has taken on a mission to make the campus a “better place.”
Kati McCarthy, Laurentian University’s Manager of Energy and Sustainability, is in charge of managing the energy consumption and billing of water, natural gas and electricity, on the campus in order to conserve.
McCarthy graduated with a masters in chemistry in 2009, and a masters in business in 2013.
The sustainability aspect of her position deals with decisions on how to be more environmentally friendly and conscious, as well as educational outreach to students on topics such as buying local foods and using community gardens.
McCarthy said the biggest goal is not simply to do what other universities do as far as being environmentally conscious, but to enable LU to become a leader in sustainability.
“Environmental stewardship is essentially the way you live, the way you work, the way you play, the way you learn. Do you commute to work? Do you buy local food? Do you use electronic text books as opposed to paper? It goes as far as from a door to a class room and offices and everything in between. How we go day to day, on a personal and communal level rather than policies.”
There are many ways in which students can become involved with groups on campus that exist: students can join the LU Sustainable Earth club, the Residence Sustainability Committee, LU Veg Heads, the Free Store and others. Even the simple things such as shutting off electronics or the lights in your dorm or using less water.
“The first step is the small changes to your everyday life,” said McCarthy.
Hour-long Sustainability Forums will take place once a semester, with guest speakers, in hopes of allowing students to create a dialogue on the key issues with energy and the environment. The first forum took place on Sept. 29.
McCarthy said that engaging in positive change is important, and stressed that students, staff, and others should become engaged in LU’s sustainability efforts.