Hannah Hollinger
Utilities & Energy Services
November 2017

Q: What does sustainability mean to you?
A: I conceptualize sustainability as achieving a healthy balance of social, economic & ecological systems, meaning all three pillars are able to thrive. An economic system that thrives at the expense of the ecological system will also inevitably affect the social system, and so on.

Q: How do you incorporate sustainability into your lifestyle?
A: I incorporate sustainability into my life by living true to my beliefs in what is sustainably right. For example, I live in a conscious community that utilizes sustainable urban building principles like adaptive reuse, mixed use, and walkability. I do not support the meat industry due to the ample alternatives available to me and its contribution to greenhouse gas emissions and land utilization. I fix things that break and dispose responsibly of those I cannot. I reduce my waste through conscious water use, reusable bags/water bottles, and recycling. While these practices may be often overlooked, I believe them to be necessary as a sustainability advocate and in making change.

Q: What do you do at UCF to advance sustainability initiatives?
A: I am a part of the Utilities and Energy Services team that is committed to securing affordable and sustainable energy for future generations in support of the President’s Climate Action Plan. In part of that goal, I help to ensure all new construction and major renovations on UCF campus achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, which denotes that a building follows criteria of high efficiency, quality and innovation. These high efficiency standards are important in reducing the impact of the greatest campus energy consumer – buildings – and ultimately advance the goals of sustainability initiatives.

Q: What would you like to see at UCF to make it a more sustainability-driven university?
A: I would like to see UCF reach our goal to be a carbon neutral campus by 2050. I would like to see the desire for preeminence to be more “being big,” but also to be matched with the desire for sustainable growth and to showcase this as a priority at our university. I hope for support from university decision-makers to allow improvement on all platforms to achieve these sustainability goals.

Q: What advice do you have for fellow students to live more sustainably?
A: Challenge your norms and try something new that is more sustainable. Support local business. Eat less meat. Be educated in your purchasing. Be conscious of your waste and strive to reduce it. Individual actions can sum to greater change.

Q: What is your vision for sustainability?
A: On the individual level, my vision for sustainability is to break through the “toss-it” cradle-to-grave routine/mindset. We are accustomed to “needing” the next best thing without considering the resources and energy needed to make it or where the old thing goes once it is no longer needed. It is more than just recycling what we purchase, but what we support and the decisions that we make. My favorite resource in understanding this linear path is The Story of Stuff Project . I believe the true cost of our decisions should be better quantified and transparent; only then will we understand our true impact.

From a larger scope, my vision is for sustainability to be a priority in politics and decision making.