Students discuss sustainability practices at summit
Lynn Scarlett discusses future opportunities of green careers during a speech about “Conservation in an Era of Scarcity” to a group of students and faculty at the Reitz Union Grand Ballroom on Tuesday night. Scarlett is the former deputy secretary and chief operating officer of the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Ideas to improve sustainability on college campuses were shared among students from seven different universities at the first Florida Student Sustainability Summit on Tuesday.

The two-day event hosted by Gators Going Green kicked off with 25 students in the Reitz Union.

Taylor Cremo, the co-director of programming for Gators Going Green, said the summit was a chance for student leaders around the state of Florida to come together and discuss sustainability.

Cremo said a greater push for change is created when students come together from many schools in Florida instead of just one campus.

“Sustainability as a whole can only be achieved if it is a concerted effort,” she said.

In addition to the development of new ideas, the summit will address environmental policy proposals like the Student Green Energy Fund as it continues today, said Bailey Kilbourne, agency director of Gators Going Green.

The Student Green Energy Fund would impose a minimal fee to fund renewable energy projects on campus.

Some UF students are already coming up with new ideas for their action plan to help create a more sustainable campus.

Mark Grafton, a marketing senior with a minor in sustainability,  helped start a new organization called Intellectual Decisions on Environmental Awareness Solutions.

The organization hopes to make a big impact with a new project called T-Totes.

“We are building a bike-powered sewing machine right now,” Grafton said.

The bike-powered sewing machine will be used to sew together old T-shirts to make reusable tote bags.

Grafton would like to share his ideas with some of the other environmental organizations at UF.

“I think it’d be cool to have the leaders of all the sustainable organizations here on campus talking about what their doing and about their specific organization,” Grafton said.