Willamette’s Footprint: Profiles
Chris Garrett: The Active Footprint
In confronting Chris Garrett (’06, Salt Lake City, Utah) about this profile, he balked. “I own a car. I drive 250 miles a week!” he objected. But despite the environmental impacts of his automotive travel, Chris’s environmental footprint is remarkably small.
Living in a cubicle of a single dorm room in York house, on campus Chris leads a simple life of limited consumption. With an appliance list limited to a laptop computer, a cubic foot refrigerator, and a hot pot, Chris uses a negligible amount of electricity. As far as heating his cozy confines, Chris makes due with heavy bedding and warm clothes. In his words, “I don’t rock the heat.”
On campus, the impact of Chris’s diet is minimal. Although he doesn’t fit the vegan or vegetarian label, and is limited by Goudy’s organic offerings, Chris wastes little, frequently bringing his leftovers home. A moderate carnivore, Chris consumes meat, but overall his meals are well balanced and his plates are light.
The most significant consumption in Chris’s footprint is travel. Calling Utah home, Chris limits flights to twice a year between Oregon and Utah and rarely vacations outside of the American West. In Salem, Chris walks to class and local activities, limiting his car use to weekly trips to a local market.
An avid rock climber, in season, Chris makes the weekly pilgrimage to Smith Rock (near Redmond, Oregon), a roughly 250 mile round-trip trek from Salem. Acknowledging the unsustainability of this practice, Chris does his best to spread out his impact, stuffing as many interested individuals as possible (obtained by Chris’s enthusiastic recruitment) in his South Korean compact.
The one area where Chris could improve is recycling. He knows that limiting the use of disposable products and recycling whenever possible is good for the environment, but by his own admission, “I just don’t bother a lot of time.” By being a little more conscientious, Chris could reduce his footprint further.