A waste diversion rap from our 2015 Greenbuild volunteers [video] | U.S. Green Building Council
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USGBC is so thankful for our volunteers! As we prepare for Greenbuild: Iconic Green in Los Angeles in 2016, we’d like to highlight a couple of volunteers—and amateur rappers—from Greenbuild 2015 in Washington, D.C.

Taylor Ghost and Emily-Kate Hannapel are students at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, studying interior architecture. They both are interested in the impact of buildings on our environment and were excited about the opportunity to attend Greenbuild and learn more. By volunteering for eight hours to support the conference, Taylor and Emily-Kate received free admission to Greenbuild. In addition to their duties assisting with the conference’s commitment to waste diversion, Taylor and Emily-Kate made a terrific rap video. 

1. Tell us a little about yourselves.

TG: I am a senior at UNC-G and will soon graduate with a BFA in Interior Architecture. The program teaches a holistic, multi-disciplinary approach to design. During my junior year in school, I was asked to propose a design concept for a hotel that is moving to an existing building in downtown Greensboro. While I worked on the concept, something clicked in me that has since narrowed the focus for my career; I am truly inspired by the impact that commercial interior environments can have on their occupants.

EKH: I'm working on an MFA in Interior Architecture at UNC-G. I'm interested in community-engaged design and the overlap between affordable housing, sustainable design and preservation. After receiving my undergraduate degree from NYU, I started an urban farm in Durham, NC and helped to manage my local farmers' market. I now live in a 12-by-12-foot tiny house on a farm in rural North Carolina with my two dogs.

2. How would you describe your Greenbuild volunteer experience?

TG: I thoroughly enjoyed my experience! I think I loved meeting people the most and being able to help them in some way. 

EKH: I loved my volunteer experience. It was great opportunity to meet presenters and other conference attendees, and just generally make connections. I really believe in the idea of reducing waste and was impressed by Greenbuild's commitment to reduce their footprint. Being able to help with this, in a very concrete way, felt important.

3. What was your biggest impression of Greenbuild overall?

TG: Greenbuild had a lot to offer, and I appreciated the balance of the expo, learning sessions and events throughout the week. The most impactful thing I learned was that one of the easiest ways to promote the wellness and cognitive health of employees in an office environment is to increase air quality. This was the result of an intriguing research study by a group from Harvard that they are calling the Cogfx Study. I attended their session right before I left, and have been chewing on my notes from it since then.

EKH: Attending Greenbuild helped remind me of all the different career options that I have. Most important, it connected me to a community of people doing the type of work that I'd like to be doing in the future. After a challenging semester, attending Greenbuild reminded me why I'm studying what I'm studying.

4. If you were telling a friend to volunteer for Greenbuild in Los Angeles, what advice would you give them?

TG: Invest yourself in the tasks you are asked to do, be present and be proud to do your part! 

EKH: Volunteer! You'll meet great folks and make a lot of great connections! 

Full-time students over 18, or others between the ages of 18 and 25, can volunteer at Greenbuild in Los Angeles to gain free admission.

Learn more about volunteering at Greenbuild

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