Alyssa Neill thinks green by growing green

NeillAlyssaThinkerGraduation Year:  Class of 2014
Major:  Dual major Nutrition & Dietetics and Sustainable Agriculture
Hometown:  Wakefield, RI

What does sustainability mean to you?
To me sustainability means thriving with all parts of the environment that surrounds us; consciously doing the best we can with what we have wherever we are.

Which URI project or program related to sustainability should we be
the most proud of?
Well, this year’s selection for the common reading program is great! The incoming freshmen arerequired to read No Impact Man and I am helping to put together a 5-week-long awareness campaign related to campus sustainability. Part of living sustainably is just being educated on our options to do so, which leads to making better decisions. I think it is bold that the University is investing in the lives of the students so that the students can in turn impact the community.



How are you involved with campus sustainability at URI?
I am the current president of Slow Food URI. Slow Food is an international movement to unite people through slow food. Slow food is food that benefits the person who raised or grew it, the consumer, and those who take part in the preparation and consumption of it – basically the antithesis of fast food. Slow Food URI focuses on building community through food with integrity. 

What can URI do to be greener?
In Rhode Island we are blessed with great farms. It would be phenomenal to see the dinning services take advantage of the resources that are at our fingertips! I mean, have you tried pasture raised beef, cheeses made from Rhode Island milk, or purple-haze carrots from our very own Agronomy farm- they’re impressive!

What do you do in your personal life to be green?
I think little things make all the difference. I’ve been growing my own food for a couple of years now, I’m no expert, but I learn something new every year (read all about it on my blog). It truly is enjoyable, plant a garden and grow your own food, ride your bike to a friends house or to the store, and turn off the water when brushing your teeth. Being ‘green’ doesn’t have to be stressful; it’s about just being mindful.