Sustainability Q&A: Putter Tiatragul

What is your year and major?

Senior biology major with Research Concentration.

What does sustainability mean to you?

Sustainability is the capacity of a given system to endure. For humans, sustainability is the long-term maintenance of well-being in of ecosystems, economy, culture, and politics.

How have you been involved in promoting sustainability on campus?

Mission: Compostable is a Green Fund project I work in collaboration with Makenna Sellers (2017) to promote composting practices through education and marketing. Our goal is to increase compostable waste diversion rates on campus by 25% over the course of the 2015–2016 academic year. Our efforts include designing a composting workshop, posters, and stickers to remind students about composting. Starting in September 2015, I will also be assisting Jim Simon (Director of Sustainability) in evaluating and implementing Gonzaga’s efforts to promote sustainable practices.

What are some things you do in your personal life to live sustainably?

I try to educate myself about where the food I consume come from and teach myself how to cook with food that are available seasonally. In such a way, I will be able to support food products from sources that have sound environmental practices and learn to cook for myself (a skill my mom say is very important).

How could Gonzaga continue to improve its sustainability efforts?

Giving opportunities for students who are funded by Green Fund to present their projects and encouraging students from a diverse group of majors to collaborate and apply for Green Fund. Additionally, educating on-campus residents about their ecological footprint is a great way to get people thinking about their impacts on the planet and provide ways to offset those impacts.

How will you continue to promote sustainability after you leave Gonzaga?

I hope to continue to share the food I make with friends and engage in dialogue about how one could live a full life without excessive impact on the planet. I am a firm believer small commitments like cultivating my own habits that endorses a low ecological impact lifestyle could inspire others to do so as well.

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