Warner Ram inspires others to live more sustainably

Kenzie sitting on Oval at CSU


By Heather Bradley

She is translating her learning into her living.

Kenzie Schmitt has learned a lot about sustainability during her time at Colorado State University. She’ll graduate tomorrow with a bachelor’s degree. Putting that knowledge into practice is something she is committed to doing for a lifetime.

“Every month, I do one new thing to help live a more sustainable lifestyle,” she said. Things like buying stainless steel straws, using silicone bags, and taking the bus are all steps she is taking to live a greener life.

Her dedication to taking care of the planet has been evident through her dedication to the Warner College of Natural Resources and its programs and people. Schmitt was actively involved in student leadership both at a college level through Warner College Council and at a broader University level. During her time at CSU, she has spent even her summers strengthening her skills through outreach, rebuilding trails, and helping to manage wilderness areas. Her work in the Black Elk Wilderness was a highlight among many projects and passions she contributed to as a CSU student.

Helping others understand their impact

Schmitt’s intense efforts to live sustainably stem from her deep love of nature and her desire to connect with people. Creating a community with a sense of their impact on the environment is an important mission for her.

“I try to reduce my impact on this planet,” she says. “I came to the realization a while back that up until college, I probably had a net negative impact on the world as far as waste-wise. That’s kind of a scary thought.”

So, while she tries to share with others how to be stewards, she’s also working to be a better steward of the land herself. She recently accepted a job as a stewardship intern in Estes Park. In that role, she’ll be helping document and monitor conservation easements in the Estes valley, taking her one step closer to her conservation and career goals.

She’s always dreamed of living off-the-grid in a sustainable house in the diverse terrain of Montana. She wants to create a space where she can live with a net positive impact on the planet.