What does sustainability mean to you?
To me sustainability means living in a way such that we conserve resources for future generations—living comfortably but modestly in a fashion that is able to be sustained in the future. It means making compromises, making conscious decisions that are good for our environment, our economic interests and our health, and making a change because the way that we live now is not sustainable.
What are you doing to help UB become more sustainable?
Here at UB I am studying to be an environmental engineer. I am currently an intern at the UB Office of Sustainability, and I am a member of ESW and their educational outreach program. Within these different organizations I am working to learn more about sustainability while also sharing the knowledge that I do have. I believe that leading by your actions is the best way to inspire change so when others see me recycling, going around and turning off all of the lights, or only using reusable cups and utensils hopefully they will decide to make choices that will bring UB closer to sustainability as well.
How do you involve UB’s faculty or staff in your sustainability work?
I have been working with Jim Simon and Erin Moscati in the Office of Sustainability to promote sustainability around campus. Recently we have been focused on programs around campus such as Recyclemania and the Buffalo Recycling Alliance project. I have also been working through the Resident Assistants to promote recycling and sustainable behaviors to the students living in the resident halls. I have also been working on getting to know the environmental faculty at UB such as Professor McPherson and Professor Jensen.
How has sustainability impacted your academic pursuits?
Sustainability is what I have decided to pursue academically. I am studying environmental engineering here at UB but I have also immersed myself in the clubs and organizations that are environmentally oriented as well. I have not yet decided on a career but I know that it will revolve around promoting environmental sustainability.
What is the one thing you would like people to know that you do in your personal life to further sustainability?
If I could pick one thing I do sustainably to share with people it would be that we really don’t need all of this extra stuff. As Will Smith put it “too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t even like”. Be sustainable socially, economically, and environmentally…if you don’t need it don’t buy it.
How could UB improve its sustainability efforts?
UB is already working very hard to lessen its impact on the environment. Our climate action plan has us reaching climate neutrality by 2030 and while this is an ambitious goal many people are working hard to get us there or as close as possible. Some ways I think that UB could improve include using more recyclable or environmentally friendly packaging, having compost in the SU in addition to those in the dining halls, and using less salt in the winter.