Author: Meredith Hillmon

Sustainable Shopping

Like a lot of girls, I love to shop. As a consumer, it is important to be conscious of the impacts of your clothing purchases. It is estimated that over 90% of the clothing purchased in the United States comes from abroad (ABC News). A sweater that you notice hanging on the rack or a pair of shoes you come across at a department store might have traveled thousands of miles, using up energy and polluting the planet with coal on its journey to reach you. The latter motivated me to become the type of consumer who primarily purchases consignment clothing. Investing in this type of consumption particularly interested me as an environmentalist.

What is Consignment?

Ladies Consignment
Flickr: Paul Nicholson

Consignment clothing shops sell clothes that are owned not by the shop’s owner, but by the individual who had given (consigned) the clothes to the shop for the owner to sell. Both the shop owner and the individual who donated the clothing receive a portion of the profit once the clothing items are sold.

Consignment clothing produces a significantly smaller carbon footprint. While the sweater or the pair of shoes might have first come from thousands of miles away, it most likely made itself into the consignment clothing shop after someone in the local community wore it, and then sold or donated it to the shop. The only carbon emissions associated with the sweater or pair of shoes is the fuel that it took the donor and the shopper to drive to the store. The amount of emissions would be significantly less or virtually zero if either person walked, biked, or took public transportation to the consignment clothing store.

Consignment clothing items are tremendously discounted as well. I have always found that $50 at a consignment clothing store will earn me at least three or four times more than spending $50 at a department store. Purchasing discounted items Continue reading

3 Bits of Advice for Graduating Seniors

With only a month remaining in my last semester as a University of Connecticut undergraduate, I have found myself reflecting over the past four years. I have met so many people – professors, mentors, advisors, friends…And along the way, I have picked up various bits of advice. With graduation nearing, my mind has been focusing mainly on post-graduation wisdom. I want to share three pieces of advice in particular that have been resonating with me lately. This is mainly geared towards graduating seniors, but any undergraduate student can take this advice to heart!

CAHNR Commencement 2014
CAHNR Commencement 2014

1. Take Advantage of Your Networks

As a soon-to-be graduate of the University of Connecticut, I will have one of the nation’s largest alumni networks at my disposal! By taking full advantage of the UConn Alumni Network and social media websites like LinkedIn, connect with University alumni. Do not be afraid to reach out to alumni involved in fields that interest you to ask them to share career stories with you, successes, challenges, and passions. Chances are you will connect with a like-minded University of Connecticut Husky and establish a valuable, professional network.

2. Don’t Be Discouraged

My parents have told me time and time again to not become anxious, upset or discouraged if my persistence during the search for a job is not immediately or ever rewarded. While it can be Continue reading