Granted green, make change
Save the trees. Recycle here. Ride your bike. Carpool.
Face it, we’ve all heard these environmental sayings countless times. And while some of us bob along to the rhythm of these mantras, most of us simply do not. Let’s face it — when we’re biking, it’s not like we suddenly see part of our carbon footprint disappear right before our eyes. In fact, “being green” can be a very disheartening process and we’re often left wondering, “Does this even make a difference in the grand scheme of things?” Let me assure you, it does.
I was a freshman at the University of Idaho two years ago. I distinctly remember walking into Bob’s Place for the first time and wandering around, completely overwhelmed by how much food there was.
As an environmental science student, a torrent of questions ran through my mind: Where did all of this food come from? How was it grown? And what’s that fluorescent orange stuff in the cream of corn soup?
Little did I know that those burning questions would be the first step to writing a winning student grant funded through the University of Idaho Sustainability Center.
To be completely honest, I had never written a grant before. When I went to the UISC Grant Info Forum, I was a bit apprehensive because I never thought anyone would listen to the bold ideas of a puny, naive freshman. However, after meeting with Jeannie Matheison and other extremely helpful and inspiring staff at the UISC, I soon found myself writing a $3,000 grant in conjunction with the Soil Stewards to build a hoop house, a type of greenhouse, for their organic farm. And guess what — I did it. I actually got the grant and built something with it. I made a real, permanent and sustainable change. Do you know what’s even crazier? You can do it, too.
So the next time you’re at Bob’s, those carrots or potatoes you’re eating could have come from my hoop house. And maybe someday they’ll come from yours.
UISC Project Coordinator, Wieteke Holthuijzen can be reached at email@example.com