The New Glue
As soon as I started as Sustainability Specialist, I hit the ground running with one of my top priorities being creating a brand for sustainability at UT. From my experience, everything is more successful when it has a brand. While brainstorming with my team, we developed the SEED Initiative, Sustainability, Energy Efficiency, and Design. The SEED Initiative encompasses three full time employees that work on energy and sustainability related projects. Our working mission is as follows:
“The University of Toledo’s SEED Initiative, housed in Facilities & Construction, focuses on Sustainability, Energy Efficiency, and Design to ensure the University is operating in a manner that betters our neighbors, economy, and planet. Through environmental sustainability projects, energy conservation measures, innovative building renovation and design, and a comprehensive educational campaign, SEED commits itself to the sustainability movement.”
But SEED is bigger than the three of us and bigger than Facilities & Construction, it includes everyone at the University who is working towards or cares about sustainability. It is about the faculty member who threads sustainability through their lesson plans. It is about the staff member who makes sure to turn off all the office lights before leaving each night. It is about the student who grabs a plastic bottle out of the trash and puts it in its proper place in the recycling bin. SEED is UT’s sustainability brand. As SEED grows, so will UT’s recognition as a sustainability leader. I envision SEED as being the glue that connects all sustainability projects, from faculty research, to student organizations, to individual efforts, across campus together and makes them stronger. SEED will allow all of us to stay connected on what is going on in terms of sustainability. It will provide resources for those who want to help with this effort. It will connect individuals who wouldn’t necessarily have worked together in the past. And finally, it will drive change at UT, ensuring resources will be available for future Rockets!
Brooke Mason is Brooke Mason, Sustainability Specialist for The University of Toledo, manages the Rocket Recycling program for over 100 buildings on three campuses with a staff of one non-student and six student employees. She is also responsible for the greenhouse gas inventory and the Climate Action Plan, which guide the University toward climate neutrality. Brooke is highly involved in sustainability education and outreach towards students including advising the Environmental Sustainability Living Learning Community, Society for Environmental Education, and UT’s Student Green Fund. She runs other student sustainability programs including Rockets Recycle: Green Tailgating, Friday Night Lights, RecycleMania, Campus Conservation Nationals, BlackoUT, and the Give & Go: Move Out program. Brooke has earned her bachelor’s degree in Environmental Policy & Sustainability Management from Bowling Green State University and is currently working on her Masters in Engineering at UT. She also sits on the Stewardship Committee for the Black Swamp Conservancy.
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