Lambros Theofanidis C'12
In addition to co-founding the Green Acorn Certification Program, Lambros spearheaded another Green Fund project this past year in The Greening of The Castle, which educated fraternity members about energy conservation while improving the insulation and efficiency of heating and lighting controls in the Psi Upsilon chapter house at 36th Street & Locust Walk. Estimated to cut the Castle’s energy usage in half, the project has effectively raised awareness of energy consumption within the chapter and serves as a model for fraternities and sororities across campus looking to get a little greener. Read on for our interview with Lambros...
On College Green: How did you first become interested in environmental issues?
Lambros Theofanidis: I would say my interest in environmental issues stems originally from my love of food. I have always enjoyed good cooking—who doesn’t? So on an Outward Bound trip through the mountains of Maine, when my leader taught me how to forage for different roots, berries, and leaves, I started to observe nature in a different light. I have been interested in the way that man interacts with our natural resources ever since.
OCG: What sustainability initiatives has the Castle implemented that you think could be replicated in other fraternity or sorority houses?
LT: Well, our main initiative has been to control our energy usage. That is smart living, not just eco-friendly living. We had an audit of the house done by the Energy Coordinating Agency in 2010, and based on their recommendations, fixed the controls on our heating system; insulated our pipes; and weather-stripped our windows and doors. The next step is to put lighting sensors and LED lights in some of our common space areas. This was all possible with a grant from the Penn Green Fund, and these initiatives will allow us to reduce both our energy bills and our environmental footprint significantly. I recommend every house get an audit to understand their energy usage.
OCG: Are there any upcoming Green Acorn events or promotions that the Penn community should keep an eye out for in the spring semester?
LT: We will be participating in GreenFest in the spring, and plan to have a couple of promotional blitzes supporting Green Acorn-certified businesses. And always, look for the Green Acorn label on storefronts to see if the store you are patronizing has environmentally friendly practices!
OCG: What’s one simple sustainable action you take in your daily routine that you could recommend to everyone in the Penn community?
LT: Can I say two? Turning off your lights when you leave your room and carrying around an expandable reusable bag for your store-bought items (check out Chico bags).
OCG: Are you a fan of any green-themed books, movies or shows?
LT: I like the show Planet Earth.
OCG: Do you have any plans to pursue hobbies, volunteer opportunities, or careers related to sustainability after you graduate?
LT: I really like the energy efficiency field, and worked in an energy efficiency firm called Bright Power, Inc. in New York last summer. I will be joining Accenture’s management consulting division after graduation, and hopefully will be able to get some experience in their Sustainability practice. There are lots of possibilities.
Each issue, we recognize a member of the Penn community for his or her environmental sustainability efforts on campus. If you know someone at Penn who is "leading the green," let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.