Being environmentally conscious is both important and easier than you might think. Whether you’re beginning your journey in sustainability or already live a low-waste lifestyle, the key to being green can be as easy as educating yourself. At the University of Nevada, Reno, students have a variety of opportunities to be eco-friendly.
#1. Earn a degree in sustainability
Sustainability is a topic that spans multiple academic fields, which means nowadays you don’t have to study environmental science (which you can do at the University of Nevada, Reno!) to be green. Your environmental passions can turn into a career whether you want to study the sciences, the liberal arts or both. Environmentally conscious majors to consider include the following:
- Major in geography: We have emphases like environmental policy and management specialization that focus on sustainable development and the allocation of natural resources
- Major in hydrogeology: Learn how to manage water resources through a hydrologic lens
- Major in political science: Take your passion for sustainability to law school, congress, senate or a non-profit with an emphasis in public administration and policy
- Major in community health science: Understand how being eco-friendly affects the environmental and public health of your local community
- Major in environmental engineering: Understand the science and engineering necessary to provide communities with safe drinking water, clean air and sustainable infrastructure
- Major in wildlife ecology and conservation: Take classes that can prepare you to be a federal wildlife biologist and advocate for animals
- Major in journalism: Prepare for a career in strategic communications, including providing the public with important information about environmental topics
- Major in rangeland ecology and management: Bring science-based, natural resource planning to farms, livestock and crop management
- Minor in renewable energy: Complement with your major with additional courses in the science or policy of alternative energy
- Minor in indigenous studies: Partnered with any of the majors above, this minor could prepare you to advocate for indigenous land rights in an effort to protect wildlife and nature
#2. Get involved in eco-friendly clubs
Whether being green is a passion you know will turn into a career or the reason you went vegan, you probably want to meet other people with the same mind set. Check out a list of University of Nevada, Reno clubs and find those that focus on sustainability, such as:
- Food Recovery Network: National, student-led movement working to fight food insecurity and food waste. We have a chapter on our campus!
- Enactus: Nationwide entrepreneurship competition focusing on sustainable practices. Again, we also have a chapter on our campus!
- The Environmental Club: Focuses on the intersection of sustainability and social justice through outreach
- Volunteer Club: Volunteer in Reno’s community to reach the club’s goal of funding the first year of tuition for a houseless, Reno teen.
#3. Get active in sustainable community organizations
Reno is lucky enough to be close to beautiful, natural landscapes that inspire people to create non-profit organizations that want to protect it. Did I mention these orgs hire our students too?
- Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful: Hosting community clean ups, offering youth education, and sponsoring Adopt-A-Spot Programs
- Urban Roots: Making the garden a K-12 academic and nutritional classroom
- Keep Tahoe Blue: Tackling pollution, restoration, and evasive species in Lake Tahoe using a science-based approach
- Friends of Nevada Wilderness: Keeping Nevada wild by restoring public lands while maintaining its wilderness and history
In a community as cool as Reno, there are always new opportunities around the corner, and I expect these lists to grow as environmentalism becomes even more important to our campus, because the best part about the Wolf Pack is we listen to our student’s voices and opinions.
Schaller Desart is Regional Admissions and Recruitment Coordinator at the University of Nevada, Reno. She graduated from the University in 2019 with a B.A. in International Affairs and Spanish and a minor in information systems. She lives and works out of Sacramento, connecting with high school students as they navigate the admissions and financial aid process, including the University’s Western Undergraduate Exchange Program.