Beyond Sustainability Expo

Mathis Thoerrisen, Editor-in-Chief

  April 8 2017, the HCC Sustainability Office hosted the Beyond Sustainability Expo at Dale Mabry Campus.

  The event was open to the public and lasted all day from 10 a.m. to 4 p. m. The expo was composed of many different exhibitors, both professional and student, as well as a number of speakers, all with a common purpose, namely to promote and spread knowledge about sustainability.

  The goal of the HCC Sustainability office is to “transform Hillsborough Community College into a participating sustainable member of society….through a partnership among students, faculty, staff, administrators, and community members….establish and nurture an institutional culture of sustainability.”

  Among the speakers were International students from HCC talking about how to live sustainably abroad, a recycling specialist from the city of Tampa, Aleta Kane, as well as, Josue Robles from the USF Architecture and Urban Design faculty who talked about designing sustainable houses. There were also several student exhibitors, one of which was a group from a leadership class at the Honors Institute that built a Bio-Digester.

  A bio-digester is a device that can be easily built at home that produces biogas (methane) from organic waste.

  The biogas can be used unrefined to fuel a number of things, for example, a stove or a barbecue.

  In addition to the biogas, the bio-digester also produces an organic fertilizer superior to any artificial fertilizer.

  The group built the device modeled on the design of Thomas Henry Culhane, a professor at USF’s Patel College of Global Sustainability.

  The project is a culmination of cooperation with many partners, including the Sierra club and the HCC Sustainability office.

  Colby Ryan, Ann Marie Medico and Lizneth Garcia were proud to be featured at the expo and said, “This is a great opportunity to make people aware that there are cleaner fuel sources available.”

  The group has partnered with the Dale Mabry Science and Environment club to take care of the Bio-Digester after the expo.

  The idea is to hold a number of events in the following semesters where the group will cook using the biogas that the bio-digester has produced . The events will also help raise awareness of this alternative fuel source.