Sustainability

Omar Sohail
Class of '15

Posted February 18, 2014

Major(s)/Minor: Religion and Chemistry

Hometown: Fort Wayne, IN (Midwest love!)

Leadership on campus: Men’s Swimming, Peer Health, Sustainable Bowdoin, Bowdoin Green Athletics

Environmental Mission: Make simple changes that will promote long-term sustainability. Eating local foods, turning off your lights and fans when not in use, and recycling will save you energy and money.

How have you been involved in sustainability efforts on campus?
Last year, I was the EcoRep for Burnett House where I had the opportunity to visit the Brunswick landfill, participate in a trash audit, volunteer at the Organic Garden, travel to a regional symposium, and much more. From there, I wanted to continue my sustainability efforts, so I spent the summer working here at the Sustainability Office, coordinating fall programming, updating the Sustainability homepage, installing new compost bins, going strawberry picking, and even bringing a national climate change documentary to campus. I am also a part of a group on campus dedicated to greening the operations of athletics. This fall, I am continuing my work in the Sustainable Bowdoin office, but I am also taking an advanced environmental chemistry seminar. 

What inspired you to connect with sustainability on campus?
My initial inspiration to connect with sustainability came from the enthusiasm of some of my friends on campus. I also realized how easy it was to be a little greener on campus. Tray-less dining, turning off fans and lights that are not in use, and recycling are all easy changes you can make for a greener, more sustainable campus.

Did you study abroad? Were environmental topics a part of your program?
I am actually planning on studying abroad this coming spring to Sri Lanka as a part of the ISLE program. Sri Lanka is a great opportunity for me to study religious cultures, but I will also have the opportunity to take classes in environmental sciences or sustainable farming. Also, I will be traveling throughout the country, so I will have the chance to hike and explore.

What is your favorite natural spot on campus/in Brunswick?
Does Flipside Pizza count? It’s a local pizza place with locally sourced meats and produce. If not, I would say the fields behind Farley Fieldhouse is my favorite place. If the sprinklers are not on, it’s a fantastic place to stargaze at night.  

How many things can you check off the “Sustainable Things to Do at Bowdoin” list or do you have one you would particularly recommend?
I have completed around 20 of the 50 so far, but I would say my favorite is definitely biking to Freeport for a free cone from Ben & Jerry’s on free cone day. Few things are more humbling than biking all the way to Freeport, eating ice cream, and then realizing you are in bad shape and have to bike all the way back and ending up walking up some of the bigger inclines.

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