Cassie Weinberg and Sabrina Sessarego
Cassie Weinberg and Sabrina Sessarego are The Green Love Commission’s newest leaders for the 2018-2019 school year! Cassie will serve as the new Green Love Commissioner and the Green Office Certification Program intern at Sustainable SDSU. Sabrina will serve as the A.S. Sustainability Representative. Sustainable SDSU caught up with both leading ladies to ask them about about their sustainable habits and how they plan to spread sustainable practices at SDSU and in San Diego.
What about sustainability interests you the most?
Cassie: I love the versatility of sustainability because it relates to literally every aspect of my life. In an environmental sense, my passion for sustainability has led led me to try and live a zero waste lifestyle as well as encourage others to become conscious consumers. For me, my passion is really in educating people about sustainability. I am able to use my own insights and experiences of living a sustainable lifestyle as a way to educate others and hopefully make a difference on a large scale.
Sabrina: Sustainability plays a crucial role in making us accountable for our actions as a society and as individuals. Our environment maintains a delicate balance to provide for the life within it and sustainability creates an opportunity for us to live in harmony with the world. Discovering ways that we can minimize environmental degradation, sharing that knowledge with others, all the while appreciating nature has led sustainability to become such a multi-faceted, unique movement that I’m thrilled to be a part of.
What are some daily routines that you practice in order to live a sustainable lifestyle?
Cassie: As a freshman, it has been difficult transitioning to a more “zero waste” lifestyle. Meal plan and dorm living creates boundaries for living a completely zero waste lifestyle. Despite these obstacles, I’m discovering new products and life hacks to help me live as close to a zero waste lifestyle as I can. I use a Hydroflask, a Contigo for Starbucks runs, ToGoWare (reusable bamboo utensils in a carrying case), a stainless steel straw, a bamboo toothbrush, reusable cotton pads, as well as Lush products for personal hygiene because of their sustainable values. Aside from those items I use, I also practice a sustainable lifestyle by limiting the amount of meat that I eat, thrift shopping, and then pass on my knowledge of sustainable living to others so that they too can try and live a more environmentally conscious lifestyle.
Sabrina: Through Green Love, I’ve had so many opportunities to hear people share their stories in pursuit of more sustainable lifestyles. Whether it is from a professional, an environmental advocate, or a student just like me, everyday I learn more ways to minimize my dependency on natural resources. Aside from recycling and composting, just by carrying reusable items and rejecting single-use disposable items on a daily basis, we can make a huge difference over the course of our lifetimes. One of my resolutions for 2018 has been to not buy meat when grocery shopping, since animal agriculture is a huge contributor to pollution and habitat destruction. Buying from cruelty-free companies, utilizing sustainable transportation, and buying second-hand are all ways that we can, as consumers, send a message through our purchases. By encouraging our market economy to steer towards
Is there a particular area of sustainability that you consider pursuing a career in?
Cassie: Sustainable consulting and sustainable business are areas that I’m most interested in pursuing. There’s a quote that says “when you learn, teach; when you get, give,” and that’s a standard that I want to live by. What are the next four years for if I can’t help others too? That’s why I want to start my own consulting company where I can advise businesses (especially on the coast) about sustainability to adopt more sustainable practices. If I don’t end up with that career path, I know I’ll still pursue something that will allow me to help the earth in some way.
Sabrina: One day, I hope to have the opportunity to work with an environmental conservancy agency. Within my environmental science classes, I’ve learned that by integrating sustainability within our business models and promoting legislative policies that defend the environment we have the potential to instill actual change. There are several areas of our natural world that must be preserved to maintain biodiversity, curtail land degradation and sustain life. My goal would be to work with a company that advocates for these regions and promotes the use of renewable resources.
What are your thoughts about Green Love’s impact here on campus and in the community?
Cassie: I envision Green Love as that person in action movies wearing sunglasses and walking in slow motion away from a building that’s about to explode. I think Green Love is a wildly empowering commission, and I hope to continue that legacy while I’m here. Green Love literally rose up from the ground a little more than 10 years ago, and has already made so much change across this campus and in the surrounding community. As a commission, we helped to build bike lanes on campus, certified several campus buildings with LEED ( including the double platinum certified Aztec Student Union), introduced Ofo bike sharing, and so much more planned for the future! Our efforts definitely show on both a small and large scale. People outside of sustainability might not see what we do, and even if they do, they might not care. But those of us at Green Love constantly persevere, and that’s how we make our impact at SDSU and in the community. We have little wins every time someone looks at the recycling bin signs around campus and notices that their Shakesmart container is recyclable (once they clean it out) and toss their container in the right bin. These are the kinds of small, yet so significant actions that make a difference on and off campus, and that’s why I’m proud to be part of Green Love.
Sabrina: Green Love is not just an organization of students that have committed to sustainable lifestyles. Although we are steadfast in our personal efforts towards protecting the environment, we also truly want to make SDSU a more sustainable campus and give students the tools to make that happen. Each one of our committees has their own goals and missions that allow every student to find a purpose most suitable to their interests. With this, we have comprised teams of dedicated, hard-working individuals that each represent our organization in their respective committees and promote change on campus. Aside from the work we do with the university, we not only educate students on how to live more sustainably, but also encourage them to join our movement. Every Green Love member has made contributions towards SDSU’s sustainability efforts and we think every student at SDSU should feel that same sense of empowerment. Through Green Love, I’ve found a place to call home, with a family that has been so loving and inviting that inspire me everyday to better myself and my community.
As the new Green Love Commissioner and A.S. Sustainability Commission Representative, what are your goals for Green Love and SDSU this upcoming year?
Cassie: My main goal is to educate as many people as possible about sustainable practices and to encourage everyone on campus to be more involved with sustainability. Like many of Green Love’s past Commissioners, I want to continue to make Green Love a major presence on campus and to have people know that we are the Green Love Commission, and we never back down from making sustainability a priority on campus. I want SDSU to implement the Climate Action Plan we set up, and I want to help the university achieve more in the world of sustainability than ever before. I have an ambitious dream that by the end of my term as Green Love Commissioner, every student, faculty, and staff member is holding some ToGoWare in their bags and are beginning to make more sustainable lifestyle choices.
Sabrina: Throughout this next year, my goals involve engaging more of the student body to join Green Love and implementing more sustainable practices to be adopted on campus. At the university level, we have made great strides towards sustainability in recent years that have demonstrated our dedication to protecting the environment. We plan on continuing these efforts and improving on areas such as our energy/water use and consumption. We hope to work side by side with organizations on campus to ensure that sustainability is prioritized when we are providing for students and faculty. We want to make the transition to more sustainable lifestyles an easy one. Simply by giving students the option to use or purchase reusables and refuse disposables, we will be making a difference in the long term. Within Green Love, I aspire to empower our members to pursue their goals and promote leadership roles.
Are there any topics of sustainability that you want to highlight in Green Love for this upcoming school year?
Cassie: I want to highlight zero waste principles as much as possible. I want to bring more awareness to the fact that plastic straws and utensils are not recyclable and are harmful to the environment. I want people to know that they can make easy changes in their daily lives that can save so much more than they ever thought possible. I want the university and the community to hear our voices as a commission, and I want to help people adopt new principles that save the earth.
Sabrina: Green Love has cultivated so many ways for students to approach sustainability through a multitude of committees. Every aspect of sustainability is crucial to our organization, but over the next year I hope to educate more students on the principles of environmental justice and encourage implementation of E.J. policies within our school and local governments. Marginalized communities are often underrepresented when creating developmental policies which allows for an influx of pollution within low-income areas. People are suffering from these harmful environments and our committee wants to shed light on these disparities. By speaking on these issues and asserting public officials to take action on improving the living conditions of low-income areas, we have the opportunity to defend their rights to equal opportunity. This year, I want Green Love to be a recognizable platform for these issues to be addressed and make students, staff, and faculty aware of environmental justice.