Making sustainability social

Name: Isaac Emery
Program: Ecological Sciences and Engineering Graduate Program
Year: Third
Hometown: Corvallis, Oregon

Growing up sustainable: The first book that Isaac remembers “reading” (memorizing and reciting out loud) was The Lorax by Dr. Seuss, a book that warned people of the consequences of not acting socially responsible— and one that he would use as a foundation many years later when applying for graduate programs and scholarships.

Taking the reins: After obtaining his undergraduate degree, Isaac and a group of friends were frustrated because “we were not doing anything to better the world.” That mentality led to Heroes in Green, a website that will combine role-playing and improving users’ environmental footprint. “The goal of Heroes in Green is to make sustainability fun and rewarding. This site connects people who want to make a difference while reducing their carbon footprint and tracking their personal contribution to the planet.” The site will also include social networking and functionality to track water use and non-carbon forms of pollution after development of the first beta site.

Sustainability doesn’t stop at the front door: Isaac enjoys being outdoors, especially hiking and backpacking, and his hobbies give him a good sense of what we may lose if we do not take care of our planet. “It provides the air we breathe, the food we eat and the water we drink.”

Making a difference: Isaac makes an effort every day to contribute; he doesn’t own a car and uses a bicycle as his source of transportation. He also pays attention to what he eats and avoids heavily processed foods. This past year Isaac started his own food garden and has been involved with Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) to buy locally grown fruits and vegetables.

Join the cause: Isaac is the chair of the speaker committee for this year’s Ecological Sciences and Engineering Symposium, “Bridging the Gap from Science and Policy: Technology, Environment, and Sustainable Development” on October 27 in Discovery Park. “Volunteering for the Symposium has allowed me to further my knowledge regarding sustainability and educate my peers and local community.”

On a personal note: Isaac enjoys listening to a variety of musical artists including: Poe, Ben Folds, Guster, Peter Mayer and Jonathon Coulton. He also studies Taikabudo, a mixed martial art heavily based on Kajukenbo Kung Fu.

By Sarah Showalter