Sustainable Spring Break

Many NC State students spent spring break learning about sustainability. Here’s a recap:

Environmental Justice in North Carolina

In eastern North Carolina, about a dozen students explored environmental justice issues related to clean water, air, and renewable energy. They visited the Lumbee Tribe, learned about water quality concerns along the Cape Fear River and helped with hurricane recovery efforts in the Wilmington area. Students also visited Warren County, the birthplace of the environmental justice movement. The trip also highlighted solar installation development in the rural counties. This trip was a partnership of Alternative Service Break, the University Sustainability Office and Climate Reality Project, which received an NC State Sustainability Fund grant for the educational experience.

Sustainable City Planning in San Francisco

Every year a group of students from EcoVillage, NC State’s sustainability-focused living and learning village, visit a city to explore urban sustainability. This year in San Francisco, students learned about affordable housing, transportation solutions such as bikeshare, watershed planning and green infrastructure, urban agriculture, conservation and low-impact buildings.

EcoVillage students pause for an iconic photo during their tour of sustainability efforts in San Francisco.

Diversity and Social Justice in Louisiana

Along the Louisiana Gulf Coast, a group of students explored how coastal land is disappearing and displacing diverse cultures and ways of life. The Diversity and Inclusion adVenture Experience (DIVE) is a trip offered at no-cost to students who are selected. This year’s focus on clean water was echoed through activities including camping and canoeing along the coast. The trip is sponsored by NC State Wellness and Recreation

Alternative Service Break

NC State students install solar panels as part of Solar Spring Break, a trip that launched several years ago through an NC State Sustainability Fund grant. Photo by Grid Alternatives

NC State Leadership and Civic Engagement coordinated more than a dozen additional Alternative Service Break trips, many of which have sustainability themes. Trips included sustainability and ecotourism in Costa Rica, water purification in the Dominican Republic and installing solar panels in low-income areas of California.

Sustainability On Campus

Meanwhile, some students boosted sustainability without leaving campus. Graduate-level landscape architecture students are designing and building a sustainable landscape outside Syme Residence Hall. Spring break was a perfect opportunity to make progress before the big reveal later this semester (sign up for an upcoming tour of the project).