Aug 15, 2016 – 10:36 am CDT

I am helping Austin achieve Net-Zero by helping my University go green! 

Austin is green and we all want to keep it that way! As a community, we’re committed to reaching the target of Net-Zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, which will ensure a safe, healthy, vibrant Austin for many years to come. Here’s the story of how one person can make a difference.

Meet CarShandra Hollins, a student at Huston-Tillotson University. CarShandra contributes to Austin’s Net-Zero goal in several ways, including advocating green initiatives and inspiring others to take action, both on and off campus. We spoke with CarShandra on her inspiration, successes, and what advice she has for others looking to live Net-Zero. Read more below. 

My Introduction to Biology course during my first year at the University of Texas in Arlington. I thought it was just going to be a prep course to Biology, but ended up being much more about environmental issues. We watched the movie Food Inc. and our big class project was to come up with a plan on how to help the environment by helping our campus practice sustainability and go green. Before this class, sustainability was never a word that crossed my mind, so I was really stepping out of my comfort zone.

I joined the Green is the New Black organization as a transfer student to Huston-Tillotson University. This organization has made a big difference in my experiences with sustainability as a student. I volunteered in the garden at Blackshear Elementary and helped students put together clay mulch and seed hearts to be planted in their home gardens. The simple project touched so many little hearts. That’s the kind of green impact I want to make.

The toughest part is getting more students involved at the University. But it’s been such a rewarding experience to be part of Green is The New Black. They’ve really allowed me a platform to share my ideas and bring new shades of green to campus.

Having opportunities such as being able to watch the panel discussion with President Obama with hundreds of other SXSW attendees and having the platform to speak on sustainability issues on SXSW panels and at the Climate Change Leadership Conference in Louisiana.

Green is where the heart is, make a difference and be a part of the green community. I also think it’s important that we start with our younger generation, because they’re our future leaders. Their voices matter. 

To learn more about Austin’s Net-Zero Goal, view the Community Climate Plan.

Share your Net-Zero contributions with us on Twitter or Facebook and use #NetZeroHero. If you know a Net-Zero Hero who should be recognized for their efforts, send your nomination to sustainability@austintexas.gov

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