Megan Hedley - [Spring 2016]
Geography and Environmental Science
Meatless Mondays is a project intended to encourage students to simply go without meat for one day out of the week. It is difficult to have students go vegetarian altogether, especially since a wide variety of individuals consume vast amounts of meat in their diet. Through tabling, distributing eye catching buttons, and promoting Meatless Mondays via social media and posters, I plan to promote a more sustainable aspect to the ideals of vegetarianism and explain how the meat industry has such a negative and profound effect on the environment. For example, if an individual skips one single hamburger, they save enough water to wash a car 15 times! Many individuals are not aware of how many carbon emissions are emitted into the atmosphere from the meat industry or how vast amounts of water are wasted and polluted as a result of animal waste. I encourage students to try the numerous vegetarian/vegan alternatives on campus or to become more aware of the meat they are eating. Eliminating meat from one's diet for only one day out of the week is beneficial for their health, the animals, and the environment as a whole!
Why are you interested in sustainability?
Before I entered college and became a Geography and Environmental Studies major with a minor in Sustainability, I was not aware of the effects of climate change, environmental degradation, or even the simple act of recycling. I started to become very involved with sustainability through Geography courses and with the S.O.L.E. center at the university. Through environmental based internships and numerous backpacking and camping excursions, I developed a strong passion for the environment and for practicing a more sustainable lifestyle overall. In addition, I have always had a strong love for animals and will continuously stand up for these defenseless beings. I have learned that you cannot care for animals without sharing an adoration for the environment as a whole. I firmly believe that we, as human beings, are connected to all life on earth and it is therefore our duty to protect and care for this earth. I recognize that I cannot singlehandedly change the world, yet I can do my own part to make a difference and reach out to my campus and community about how we can individually live and promote a more sustainable lifestyle.
What is your favorite part of the Internship Program?
My favorite part of the program are the individuals who tirelessly work for the Office of Sustainability. I have received such an immense amount of help, love, and support from these wonderful individuals. It is such a refreshing feeling to meet others who share the same values and beliefs as I do. This superb office truly makes a difference throughout the UCCS campus and community and has such a profound effect on encouraging others to live a more sustainable lifestyle! I have also enjoyed being able to share and talk about my passion with fellow students and know that I may have even changed one single person's mindset about not eating meat on a Monday!