Sustainability in Action

Campus Changemaker: Amber Denham

By February 6, 2019August 31st, 2020One Comment

Amber Denham Post contributed by Taylor Kraabel, Office of Sustainability Intern

Amber Denham is a true Auburn Tiger. Before becoming a member of the Auburn staff, Amber joined the Auburn family as a student employee. For the past three years, however, she has been working as an administrative associate in the Department of Biosystems Engineering. 

 Getting Involved with the Peers Network  

 Because she had just started her current position at the time, Amber joined the Peers Network thinking it would be a great way to meet other staff and get involved. Since then, Amber has enjoyed our monthly Peers Gatherings, where the ambassadors and Office of Sustainability staff learn more about sustainability around campus and in the community. She also explained how this experience has drastically changed her perspective on sustainability. Her exposure to new sustainability topics, issues, and practices has made her realize how blind she has been to the complexity of sustainability as well as how easy it is to make a difference. Going off of that, Amber says her biggest takeaway from the program is that when it comes to sustainability, small things matter.  

 Working Toward Change 

 Amber says that for her, the best way to be sustainable is to start with what you can control. In the Department of Biosystems Engineering, she has fully utilized her influence over the area to encourage sustainable alternatives to normal office practices. For instance, she opts for water containers instead of plastic water bottles and chooses reusable mugs over disposable cups. In the future, she plans to implement a Set It and Forget It concept to the department’s printing. This means the printers would automatically print double-sided, drastically reducing their environmental footprint over time. Overall, Amber’s realization that small actions can have a lasting impact has shaped her approach to sustainability in her department. 

Sustainability Challenges and Inspiring Initiatives  

Amber feels the greatest hurdle separating us from becoming a sustainable world is awareness. She says that she does not think people are intentionally harming the environment. Instead, there is simply a disconnect between our actions and their repercussions. We do not see the impact of regularly using plastic water bottles, but those on the other side of the world do. Considering this, Amber thinks one of Auburn’s best sustainability initiatives is the Weagle Water system. After a relatively short period of time, we have already saved hundreds of thousands of plastic water bottles. Amber has realized what more and more people are beginning to discover. Small actions matter. 

Amber Denham is a true Auburn Tiger. Before becoming a member of the Auburn staff, Amber joined the Auburn family as a student employee. For the past three years, however, she has been working as an administrative associate in the Department of Biosystems Engineering. 

Getting Involved with the Peers Network  

Because she had just started her current position at the time, Amber joined the Peers Network thinking it would be a great way to meet other staff and get involved. Since then, Amber has enjoyed our monthly Peers Gatherings, where the ambassadors and Office of Sustainability staff learn more about sustainability around campus and in the community. She also explained how this experience has drastically changed her perspective on sustainability. Her exposure to new sustainability topics, issues, and practices has made her realize how blind she has been to the complexity of sustainability as well as how easy it is to make a difference. Going off of that, Amber says her biggest takeaway from the program is that when it comes to sustainability, small things matter.  

Working Toward Change 

Amber says that for her, the best way to be sustainable is to start with what you can control. In the Department of Biosystems Engineering, she has fully utilized her influence over the area to encourage sustainable alternatives to normal office practices. For instance, she opts for water containers instead of plastic water bottles and chooses reusable mugs over disposable cups. In the future, she plans to implement a Set It and Forget It concept to the department’s printing. This means the printers would automatically print double-sided, drastically reducing their environmental footprint over time. Overall, Amber’s realization that small actions can have a lasting impact has shaped her approach to sustainability in her department. 

Sustainability Challenges and Inspiring Initiatives  

Amber feels the greatest hurdle separating us from becoming a sustainable world is awareness. She says that she does not think people are intentionally harming the environment. Instead, there is simply a disconnect between our actions and their repercussions. We do not see the impact of regularly using plastic water bottles, but those on the other side of the world do. Considering this, Amber thinks one of Auburn’s best sustainability initiatives is the Weagle Water system. After a relatively short period of time, we have already saved hundreds of thousands of plastic water bottles. Amber has realized what more and more people are beginning to discover. Small actions matter. 

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