Interviewed by: Mallika Iyer '17
Our first Community Spotlight is on Hannah Lin, a sophomore from Taiwan double majoring in Global Environmental Change and Sustainability and Writing Seminars. Hannah has successfully applied her academic interests towards making a difference in Baltimore, demonstrating how classroom knowledge can be used to instigate social change.
FAS: Hi Hannah! So you’re really passionate about the environment. How do you bring this passion to the rest of Baltimore?
Hannah: Hi! Last year and beginning next semester, we would go to Barclay Elementary School every week and give them a lesson on sustainability. We covered a variety of topics, such as composting, recycling, and carbon footprints, with the goal of teaching them what it meant to be sustainable, and why it was important.
FAS: Why do you think it is important? Why should young people care about the environment?
Hannah: Sustainability is something everyone should be involved in. Whether or not you're environmentalists, you're both responsible and affected by the world we live in. Education is a way of spreading that awareness and giving a younger generation the ability to choose what environment they want to live in.
FAS: How else can Hopkins student get involved in initiatives to improve sustainability?
Hannah: Spreading awareness and showing people how they can help be a part of the solution is always a good place to start. Hopkins has lots of great sustainability clubs- get involved! You don't just make a difference- you come to understand why it's so important that everyone does. There are also great opportunities to see what sustainability looks like outside of Hopkins in Baltimore. The Sierra Club, for example, is a national grassroots environmental organization that anyone can join.
FAS: What does the Sierra Club do?
Hannah: Right now, the Sierra Club in Baltimore is focusing on their Beyond Coal movement. Last month, they went on a hearing to try to get Baltimore's state rules to force coal companies to install cleaning devices on their smokestacks- and succeeded! They have opportunities for everyone too- whether you want to help out with phonebanking, be involved in nature hikes, or talk to members and learn more about sustainability.