University Sustainability

Defining Sustainability since 1899

Green Spotlight Blogs

The Green Spotlight blogs allow students, faculty, staff, and friends of Appalachian a chance to express, in their own words, their personal connection to sustainability.

Luanna N. - Personal Connection to Sustainability

When I was younger, I use to help around on the farm. I grew up on a dairy and organic vegetable farm. Being homeschooled, I spent most of my time in the woods or helping my parents. I fell in love with the earth and its inhabitants. My siblings and I would wake up and help feed the cows. Being the youngest of nine, I never really had to do the tough jobs; that was for my older siblings. I was more likely to be found taking care of the young or planting flowers with my mother. Playing in the dirt and collecting bugs was my favorite past time as a child and as an “adult”. I was, and still am, called the “free-spirited” child. I believe these roots are my main connection to sustainability. Growing up in a family that believes in playing outside and being exposed to nature. I remember being so upset and crying to my mother whenever I saw a tree whose branches, or limbs as I thought, were being cut off for some reason. I simply had this natural born love for the earth.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become even more inclined. In middle school, I went on multiple backpacking trips. I would go for multiple days, hiking miles and being exposed to nature. I loved the smells and the views and everything that came with being outside, for days and nights, in the woods. There is something about the forest, and watching the sunset from on top of a mountain that gets to me. I became so in touch with nature, I never wanted to leave. It felt like home to me. My imagination was allowed to run free there. I learned multiple survival skills and how to preserve the earth and not leave a trace. I learned how important trees were, and clean air and water. I became the tree hugger I am today in the woods of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

In high school, my love for the natural world grew. I found this love for growth through helping, mainly nature and people. I found my love for people and nature coincided. I wanted the earth to remain healthy and beautiful so that people could remain healthy and beautiful. I wanted to teach people to care for the earth because the earth cared for them. I started working on the vegetable farm more. Planting and picking the fruits of the earth gave you this sort of happiness. You would work in the sun and dirt all day, to provide people with real, organic, food. It was work that made you feel good about yourself. You were bettering the earth and its people. Then, I started beekeeping my senior year. I fell in love with these small fuzzy buzzing creatures. They were important for the earth’s growth, and needed help. I had the option to help, and educate myself on how to. I have always felt this longing to help, and I believe that is why I have this love and connection for sustainability.

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