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The Daily Tar Heel

Bill Powers speaks on green living for students

Conservation activism has taken Bill Powers across the globe.

From Latin America to Africa and to Washington, D.C., he has advocated for sustainable living, written a book about life in a 12 feet by 12 feet cabin and contributed to The New York Times and The Washington Post.

At 7 p.m. tonight, that career will take Stevens to auditorium 121 in Hanes Art Center.

On Tuesday, Powers sat down with The Daily Tar Heel to discuss his life passion and latest book, “Twelve by Twelve: A One-Room Cabin Off the Grid & Beyond the American Dream.”

Q: What are your tips for students to live a more sustainable life?

Powers: There are two levels: One is the individual level and the other is the more structural level. On the individual level you can recycle, take public transportation whenever possible, always walk and turn off the lights when they are not in use. All of these little things add up to the big picture of being more sustainable. Take those baby steps … Just follow your bliss. There is no cookie cutter of bliss.

Q: What is the easiest way for students to get started?

P: It depends on the person; there is no one way. We can do the same thing that Ghandi did and we can be the change we want to see in the world. The first step is changing ourselves.

Q: What made you chose to visit UNC?

P: Well, Sierra (Student) Coalition, FLO and the Newman Center invited me to come because they heard about my book “Twelve by Twelve” that just came out, and they were excited about it. It’s such a great campus. I am excited that they are pushing to be coal-free by 2020. There are so many groups on campus. And because I am not a radical, I am not pushing for everyone to give up their cars.

Q: How are youth responding to the idea of sustainability?

P: On the one hand I think people are rejecting it because they feel like it’s the eat-your-vegetable type of thing. They are tired of hearing it. But I think they are open to finding more happiness in life and more prosperity through this new economy, stable agriculture and new technology. They see people like me, who has made alternative choices, and I have been able to make a good living, travel around the world and help people.

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