Student Spotlights: Emma Chiu ‘19 and Allison Hufford ‘21

Emma Chiu ‘19 and Allison Hufford ‘21 have worked as Sustainability Chairs in their sororities to raise awareness about campus sustainability initiatives within the Greek system. We caught up Emma and Allison to hear more about their work and what motivates them to work on sustainability on campus!

Why are you passionate about sustainability?

Emma Chiu ‘19

Emma:

My passion for sustainability largely comes from being raised by two parents who have had careers in public health. They really influenced me to care about the intersection ​​of sustainability and the health of all living things and beings who inhabit our planet.​​​

Allison:

​​I've been passionate about sustainability since I was a kid - I was a Girl Scout in a troop where 'saving the planet' was a big focus, and I remember obsessively turning off lights that were left on around my house, ​​unplugging electronics that weren't in use, collecting bottles to recycle, etc. I always felt really at home in the natural world and had a fascination with animals, and I think those feelings naturally transformed into concern and anxiety as I learned more about climate change and what was happening to the planet.

I'm an English major, but I started taking classes in the Environmental Studies program when I got to Dartmouth just because climate change is such a personally significant issue to me and I wanted to be more educated on the topic, and it's naturally devolved into me being an Environmental Studies minor and becoming ​

sustainability chair of my sorority.

Do you have an example of how you think about or engage with sustainability in daily life?

Emma:

I really think it’s all about the little things – from taking the extra 2 seconds to sort your waste to making the choice to eat something instead of red meat for dinner. Additionally though, I try to utilize my position as a senior leader on campus to influence how we can promote sustainability culture, whether it’s leading an educational waste sorting activity on Trips or doing the same for our Greek house. These sessions inform underclassmen students not only how to sort waste but also establish culturally that sorting waste at Dartmouth is what we DO.

Allison:

I've definitely become a lot more aware of my own personal resource consumption and waste the more that I've educated myself on the topic, and I've found ways to turn my generalized anxiety about the planet into more positive and productive actions/choices that limit my own negative impact on the Earth - because of this, sustainability has definitely become a day-to-day concern of mine. Since freshman year, I have been making an effort to eat vegetarian whenever I'm on campus, and have found ways to limit my own waste by ordering less online, replacing disposable items with reusable water bottles/sporks/green-to-go containers, reducing my own daily usage of electricity (turning off lights, unplugging chargers and other devices when not in use), and generally recycling whenever I can, and trying to encourage the same behavior in others.

What are some things that you are working on in your Greek House? Why are you excited to do this work?

Emma:

Firstly, we’ve been working on a couple ways to minimize liquids going into recycling bins. Beginning in the spring of 2018, I created two buckets for our basement to discard of excess liquids from pong games that people didn’t want to drink. This has been great not only on a sustainability front, but it also encourages people that you don’t have to drink everything on the table and additionally prevents liquids from leaking out of bags and making our cans sticky or smelly!

We also emphasize to members how to sort their waste and we do this starting on bid night (i.e. the first night we receive new members into our house after rush). We inform members that both the cans and plastic cups we use are recyclable, and that liquid needs t