The independent student news site of San Marcos, California

The Cougar Chronicle

The independent student news site of San Marcos, California

The Cougar Chronicle

The independent student news site of San Marcos, California

The Cougar Chronicle

Juliana Goodlaw-Morris seeks to improve sustainability at CSUSM


By Pierre Yaldo

Staff Writer

Here in California, we have a serious environmental problem. We waste too much, we pollute too much and it’s coming around to bite us in the butt.

Our campus has recently opened a new position, that of the Sustainability Manager, and has hired Juliana Goodlaw-Morris to help our school battle the growing problems we face. Goodlaw-Morris has a big plate of responsibilities and needs our help to create change.

Goodlaw-Morris’ previous job was with the National Wildlife Federation, based in Ann Arbor, MI, where she assisted with major sustainability projects in the state. She has also spent around eight years working on and off with the Peace Corps in Jamaica, where she worked alongside local farmers on implementing sustainable agriculture. Alas, her dream was to move back to her home state, California, where our campus managed to get a hold of her.

Goodlaw-Morris said that CSUSM is on a good path to becoming more sustainable.

“We are actually doing really well, especially on recycling, and have been for many years,” she said.

However, there is still much more room for improvement, where small changes can really have a big impact on how environmentally minded we are. For example, 12 percent of the entire waste volume our campus produces is in the form of bathroom paper towels alone. Goodlaw-Morris would like to see us move more towards air dryers.

There are also the collective efforts that we as a student body can work towards, which could be huge for the school. For example, a tiny $1 to $5 “green fee” per semester could allow for huge projects such as solar power installation for many buildings, as well as fund other sustainability projects that students choose themselves.

Goodlaw-Morris notes that the concept of the student green fee is something that goes through the student body first, and is not something she decides on.

“Anything we do can will make a difference, and it is a serious matter,” she said. “Sustainability seems like a buzzword in many cases, but when you have Fortune 500 companies developing offices of sustainability for million dollar companies, they take it seriously.”

When asked about what she does most of the day, she replied that since she has been here just around a month, most of her day involves meeting people, doing research pertaining to our campus and assessing our plans to attack waste.

Goodlaw-Morris also mentioned that she is looking to meet more people, especially students. Over the next year, the Sustainability Department may have multiple positions open, including various internships, all the way up to having a student sustainability assistant.

When it comes to getting green, Goodlaw-Morris really does need our help in creating active change. Simple shifts in practice such as bringing refillable water bottles to school, carpooling and turning off lights will make a world of a difference.

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