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Student Spotlight: Matthew Caprioli, English

by Kathleen McCoy  |   

For UAA junior Matthew Caprioli, it's the little things that add up to make a big difference.

Matthew CaprioliThis spring, he racked up more than 700 points on the UAA Sustainability Pledge - the highest score by a student - for his commitment to living sustainably. The pledge was designed to track sustainability efforts like carpooling, recycling and energy conservation among UAA students, staff and faculty.

Matthew chooses to live a sustainable lifestyle because it makes sense. To him, sustainability means thinking of creative ways to conserve or extend resources. "I don't do things that are out of the ordinary," he said. "I just do the simple things."

He walks, bikes and uses his WOLFcard student ID to ride the PeopleMover for free. He takes navy showers (meaning turning off the water while lathering up), which conserves a significant amount of water and energy. He also brings his own coffee mug, and once bought his professor a permanent coffee mug because she'd always bring a Starbucks coffee cup to class. He also keeps a brick in his toilet tank at home to reduce water use, a tip he picked up from a magazine.

"The things I do aren't hard at all, so why not? It's a more creative and healthier lifestyle living sustainably."

Matthew grew up in Anchorage and graduated from Dimond High School in 2008. He trekked across the country to attend Clark University in Massachusetts, but when money ran out, he decided it was time to return home. With the help of student loans and scholarships, he enrolled in courses at UAA and is now a junior majoring in English, with minors in French and psychology.

"UAA has really surprised me," said Matthew. "The professors have been amazing; they truly care about you and they're responsive to any effort you make. If you give the effort, you will receive a lot back."

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