Q&A with Tamara Soltys, International Bussiness administration junior and a member of The Habits club

By Anna Audare

  1. Tell me more about the habits club what its purpose, vision and what you do?

The Habits club is a green club but with a better name. Our purpose is to make LCC more environmentally-friendly community by educating people and increasing their awareness about the issues and push for certain adaptations on the campus. For example, we are encouraging recycling containers and hopefully, in the future, composting containers in the kitchen so that we can reduce the impact on climate. As a club, we also want to teach others how to reuse things and reduce your consumption of certain things. The club and zero waste philosophy are the same--reuse, reduce, recycle. 

2. What was the beginning of the club?

I didn’t start the club in the first place. The club was started by Anastasiia Synhaivska and Company last year. They have organized several events back then. The girls graduated last year so I together with Nino, Anano, and Anna decided to keep it running also this year and make the club more effective using different strategies.

In my freshman year, I did try to start a green club. It was very hard and the thing I learned is that you need to have more practical ideas in mind. It shouldn’t be just about preaching as then club becomes boring and ineffective especially in a small community as LCC.


3. Even though you weren't part of the Habits last year, you still did some events related to sustainability and eco-awareness. Please tell me more about that.


Yes, I still organized things related to sustainability and eco-awareness during my time as a Resident Adviser. I learned skills that now are very useful for the leading of the club. I organized an event on my floor. I made recycling bins for my floor to encourage people to recycle. In addition to that, I made an event where we talked about three major pillars of a sustainable lifestyle--reuse, reduce and recycle. Together we discussed the idea that we all share common resources on the planet Earth and why it up to us to use them more efficient in our everyday lives. 

We also talked about diet and meat industry's effect on climate change because it’s very unsustainable and that's a major issue. The third topic was plastic as it’s one of those growing issues that occurred fairly recently and we don't know how to handle it. The thing that most people don't know about is microplastics and its negative effect on us and marine life. Plastic is not a good material as you can only recycle it few times not infinitely. Plastic stays in the environment forever and we need to be informed about that. 


4. What are The Habits club plans for this year?



Habits club is completely different this year. We have ideas on events to actively involved and have practical outcomes--not just private events where are people who already care about this issue. We want to do more of the things which affect all community. We already, a couple of days ago, brought recycling containers on every kitchen on every floor in the LCC dormitory. Now people have the opportunity to recycle. Not only in the kitchen where RA (resident assistants ) cared about it. That was our most practical and visible step for now starting this semester. We also made an event earlier in the fall. The event was for everyone and was designed to inspire the general public. It is different from all the events before made by the club as it was interesting for those who even don’t care about environmental issues yet. We watched a beautifully made documentary on BBC about nature, animals and the city. 


The message of the movie was  “Hey, things are not so bad. Look these animals actually found a way to live in the cities with us and are thriving because of us. There is a possibility for humans to be with nature, to cooperate with nature, and live together in a beautiful sustainable way.” There were also healthy snacks like vegan homemade cookies. 

5. When and where does The Habits club meets if someone wants to join?


We are meeting every Monday at lunchtime (noon ) Neuman 5 West Kitchen. That may change from time to time. We will be posting updates on our Facebook page The Habits.


6. Why students should join The Habits club?


There are several reasons why you might join the club. Reason number one is that you care about this climate and sustainability-related things and you deeply love nature. You have the experience to share. You want to realize your ideas for events and workshops which would help make LCC more sustainable. That’s for people who are already invested and passioned about this topic. The second reason is for a group of people who don’t care that much or are not that well informed about environmental issues but they are just very curious to do something practical and to be involved in the community. Gain experience in organizing events. Finding friends and exploring new things. This is for the second group of people who hope to attract. We don’t want to make it as inclusive club anymore as it just to be. We are welcome to fresh ideas and views. Even if you don’t care you can still join and enjoy participating. It’s not gonna be preachy, tired or boring. You can bring your lunch to the meeting and enjoy great company and discussion and share ideas. Also, staff and professors are welcome to join. We as a club are trying to really involve the core and administration of LCC. It is the process as its unique thing to do for students. We are not used to interacting that much with staff and faculty unless we have to. We are not doing it very well but we are trying to do that. So another reason to be involved is to hear from staff and faculty and get to know them and their views of environmental issues. Learn some tricks, recipes, cooking skills. We are interested in learning to cook food in a sustainable way. We also have leadership skills actively involved. We really try to make our club almost like another leadership position. I am drowning it from my experience as an RA. I try to transition it into our club how we are doing things. Like okay, we are going to make an event. We are going to do a budget like I used to do. Contact all the people necessary. Involve our RD. We gonna talk to the dean of students, to Elvinas, etc. We are trying to be really engaged in the whole community. It not even about sustainability anymore but also how you can manage to attract people, deal with people. How can you manage finishing projects? Influencing people.


7. Last comments.


I hope people will come to our events and support our club. We are building something entirely new here. That is what I have said to other people several times. LCC doesn’t have clubs like this as in other American universities which are running for years successfully and have stable members, stable budgets and stable attendance. No, we don’t have that yet. We are moving towards that as LCC is growing every year. We are the pioneers of that future. That vision that we actually are going to have actual cool, active clubs going on that do things, that are involved, where you can meet people, engage, learn skills. Support our club as it is something we try to do. Even if you don’t see yourself as a member of our club, come to our events, donate money or just engage in any possible way you can. If you are interested in building this vision of a community with active, engaging clubs and a more sustainable LCC community.