Sustainability Awareness

Doug Roman from Cheltenham, PA, a Junior of University of Pennsylvania majoring in mechanical engineering and applied mechanics and his minor is energy and sustainability. He learned Spanish from high school and college and he was able to use it when he was sent to different places and had the opportunity to go to Buenos Aires to share his sustainability philosophy.

He believes that as humans, it is our responsibility to take care of the earth and renewal of energy could be a great help. Making students aware of recycling, reusing and reducing is what he wants to achieve because he believes that if kids would understand and be passionate about sustainability there will be a brighter future for everyone.

Roman became interested in annual International Opportunities Fair, non-profit organization that facilitates international connections through career exploration and a sustainability fellowship offered through Cultural Vistas. He was given a chance to be part of Fundacion Manos Verdes or the Green Hands Foundation and started to execute the goals in Argentina. Promoting environmental awareness through educational institution is the company’s mission.

Roman also spent half of the time in Buenos Aires Province talking to students and staff about his belief the prospect of leaving a greener footprint. He also joined the establishment of recycling system where in they provided information, learning and even created presentation on how to do it in school and is some suburbs of Buenos Aires. They helped and guided the school through the implementation, Roman also created a designed a booklet for reference and they did regular visits to check the progress.

An all girls elementary school caught his attention; he was given a science project challenge regarding renewable energy. Construction of a solar-powered oven using a pizza box, aluminium foil and cardboard box with black construction paper is their goal and they can cook with the use of sun’s energy. According to Roman, the class helped him understand more about the field of energy and how it is affecting sustainability. 

During weekends he goes out with friend, tried some local foods, played soccer and Frisbee and see some historic buildings and some province. He plans to return to Argentina to continue assisting the country in reaching its goals.

When he returned to his school in PA, Roman applied everything he learned about sustainable energy development of Argentina to his course “Energy and Its Impacts.” He and his partner on their research paper, Meng Li, compared the actual percentage of renewal energy used to the percentage that could be consumed if the proper infrastructure is available in Argentina.

Based on their research, the results were confusing as the country’s goal of eight percent by 2016 is too far from the result of one percent of Argentina’s electricity generated by renewable resources. Since 2001 the government passed a law freezing low energy prices to guarantee common accessibility, foreign investment, expertise and materials for renewal energies have been declined by government, these are some reasons why the researchers realized that many political and economic reasons that can lessen the chance of controlling the power or renewable resources.

According to Roman, allowing students or kids to be involved in making a strong sustainability will be a great help for the nation.

Posted on February 28, 2014 at 12:00 PM