Sustainability Superstar: Stephanie Barrett

Stephanie Barrett is a librarian on the River Campus who works with students and faculty in the American Sign Language, anthropology, linguistics, and public health disciplines. Prior to becoming a librarian, Stephanie worked in the green energy industry. She helped administer NYSERDA’s New Construction Program, which sought to transform the building industry market by encouraging the purchase of energy-efficient equipment and to design new buildings to minimize their energy consumption. Stephanie also provided Leadership in Energy and Environmental (LEED) consulting services, where she focused on ensuring the materials used in buildings were sustainably sourced and that indoor air quality was kept to the highest standards during and after building construction. She has worked on numerous LEED-certified buildings throughout New York State, including the Monroe County Crime Lab (the first certified Platinum building in Rochester) and several buildings at RIT.

Coming to the libraries, Stephanie has sought to share her passion and knowledge of sustainable practices and how, at the heart of the matter, these practices are about the health of our planet and those inhabiting it. She served on the New York Libraries’ Association Sustainability Initiative workgroup, providing guidance on a library-specific sustainability rating system and wrote a chapter titled “Four Courses that Apply Sustainable Thinking to Impact the Health of Our Students and Staff,” published in The Sustainable Libraries’ Cookbook by the Association of College and Research Libraries. Stephanie has also presented on this topic, including one such presentation, Sustainability for Human Health through the Rochester Regional Library Council, where she discussed the history and potential future of widely used sustainability rating systems such as LEED, the Living Building Challenge, and the WELL Building Standard.

In her personal life, Stephanie tries to live by the 3 R’s: reduce, reuse, and recycle. She regularly recycles and composts food waste. She’s also interested in food pathways and sustainability, often purchasing locally sourced, organic, and vegetarian foods. One of her favorite summer pastimes is picking vegetables at Wickham Farms as part of the CSA (community supported agriculture) that she’s supported for years, as well as supplementing this produce with her own small kitchen garden. One of Stephanie’s long-term goals is to learn more about permaculture practices and establish a sustainable food forest near her home.

Know someone who’s made progress with sustainability on campus? Whether their victories are big or small, we’d love to hear about them! Email us today.

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