UVA rolls out new comprehensive sustainability plan

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (NEWSPLEX) -- The University of Virginia is looking to be more sustainable.

The school recently released a new comprehensive plan detailing how it plans to achieve that goal.

Among the primary objectives are reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2025, reducing energy use 20 percent by 2020, and reducing potable water use 25 percent by 2035.

In addition to those measurable goals, the plan also calls for an increase in engagement, research and curriculum focused on sustainability.

"We're looking at aggressively reducing greenhouse gas and energy on Grounds and saving money in the process," said Sustainability Director at UVA, Andrea Trimble. "We're looking at sustainable food initiatives, reducing water use. We're looking at how we incorporate sustainability into our research and curriculum."

Every day, fourth-year student Jennifer Natyzak does what she can to make a good impact on the environment.

She uses the school's bike share program, makes sure to fill up her reusable water bottle, and generally lives life pertaining to the three "Rs," reduce, reuse and recycle.

"First and foremost, reduce," said Natyzak. "Cut back on what you're buying. Less is more. And then reuse, so wear your jeans another year, purchase them from Goodwill, go to Plato's Closet."

Her sustainable lifestyle is illustrative of how students and other members of the UVA community can help the school achieve its sustainable goals from a grassroots level.

Those leading the effort say the only way to succeed is through collaboration.

"From now on I would love to see lots and lots of involvement from lots of different departments, schools, units and individuals," said Trimble. "In finding areas that they're interested in and supporting it in ways that they find most fascinating."

"Tens of thousands of students come in and out and you have an entire cultural and lifestyle change of those four years that have shaped you and your lifestyle," said Natyzak. "That can be an integral shift for how you will perceive the rest of your life and that's really cool to have here at UVA."

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