By Lizzie Stricklin & Samantha Ross
When proposing ideas for this video project, many of my classmates had wonderful ideas, ranging from interviewing experts on palm oil in Indonesia to experts on ape conservation in Africa. My idea felt small in comparison: to interview a professor at our own university. However, after speaking with him and hearing his expertise on environmental health and sustainable living, my eyes have been opened to innovations happening in my own backyard.
Professor LaPuma has been involved in a variety of environmental areas, including researching fossil fuels and teaching environmental health, but what amazes me most about him is his personal lifestyle and how seriously he applies the concepts he teaches in the classroom.
Many ideas of sustainable living - such as natural insulation, complete solar power, and subsistence food production — often seem like high-minded ideals that we would use in a best-case-scenario, absent of realistic economic and physical pressures, but Professor LaPuma lives this ideal and enjoys it immensely. This intriguing interview ultimately gives me hope for the mainstream application of other ideas revealed and discussed in spaces like Planet Forward.