UHD student Travis Alford, left, talks with KIAH CW39’s Yolanda Green about involving more college students in sustainability efforts at UHD’s “Go Green!” event March 29.
“Each person has the power to make a difference,” said KIAH CW39’s Yolanda Green, as she addressed a University of Houston-Downtown crowd about ways to go green at a campus luncheon and presentation earlier this week.
About 80 UHD students, staff and faculty listened to the television personality’s “green” conversion story. A longtime advocate for children, Green said she wanted to know how sustainability helped young people before she committed to hosting a half-hour sustainability show on CW39. She found that learning about ecological balance through gardening and conservation empowers children to preserve resources for their future.
“If you can teach a child how to grow their own food through gardening you empower them to take care of the planet,” she said while speaking at UHD on Tuesday, March 29.
UHD English student Travis Alford came to the luncheon to find out more about how students can contribute to the University’s efforts. “It’s intimidating for some students to ask questions,” he said, and suggested a universitywide educational program to help students understand the importance of sustainability.
UHD green programs are starting to make a difference, said University’s sustainability leader, Penny Cureton, executive director of special projects. Paper, plastic and battery recycling programs, a community garden and an alternative transportation effort are part of the University’s involvement in the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment. The commitment calls for a comprehensive UHD plan to create a climate neutral campus and to serve as a model for the Houston community.
“As an educational institution, we have a responsibility to inform students about critical issues in the world,” said Cureton. “We have to act responsibly and conduct ourselves as a sustainable business. Our future depends on it.”
The UHD Sustainable community Garden’s first successful harvest yielded 20 pounds of carrots, broccoli and onions this winter. The next harvest should produce cabbage, lettuce, kale, broccoli tomatoes, carrots and peppers. UHD donates the produce to Target Hunger, a United Way agency that assists individuals who cannot afford fresh food.
Students like Ali Abedi are reducing UHD’s carbon footprint by organizing e-recycling drop-offs, public awareness campaigns and volunteering for neighborhood clean-ups. “I’ve traveled to many countries and seen poverty first-hand,” said the senior mathematics student. “It’s hard for me to justify throwing something away that can be reused or recycled.” Abedi helped start a student garden using recycled materials and has a sustainable garden at home.
Green, who hosts “Going Green,” on CW39 told the audience to, “Walk instead of drive, use reusable water bottles and shopping bags, turn the water off when brushing your teeth, or take shorter showers.” “Going Green” airs on CW39, at noon Saturdays and at 10 a.m. Sundays.
“If we take small steps to empower ourselves, we can make changes,” she said.
Green serves as the Community Relations Director and Host of "Outlook Houston" and "Going Green" for Houston's CW39. As the Host of "Outlook Houston" she works to educate, inform and empower viewers on critical issues facing the Houston community. "Going Green with Yolanda Green" is a weekly half hour program highlighting businesses; commercial products, government programs and local initiatives making significant strides in ensuring our communities are eco-friendly.
UHD is a diverse, four-year state university that offers a wide variety of undergraduate degrees and graduate programs in criminal justice, professional writing, security management and teaching. UHD is one of four separate universities in the University of Houston System.