What does sustainability mean to you?
To me, sustainability implies continuity. It means that a system isn’t linear; there is no end and beginning and no waste. For humans, moving towards a more sustainable way of life will require a more ecological frame of mind; we are part of nature instead of masters of it. Sustainability means looking at the long term big picture, instead of searching for cheap solutions with immediate payoffs and making lot of sacrifices.
What are you doing to help UB become more sustainable?
I volunteer at the Office of Sustainability. I help with projects like Recylemania and the Sustainable Film Series. I also help promote events hosted by the office. I think promoting sustainable events and efforts on campus is really important and I love being a part of it. I think getting more students involved and aware about what we are doing and why is the best way to make a difference on campus.
How do you involve UB’s faculty or staff in your sustainability work?
I work with Erin Moscati and Jim Simon at the Office of Sustainability. They are great examples of hard-working individuals who care about moving toward sustainability and I’m learning a lot working with them. In addition, as an Environmental Geosciences major, most of my professors are very involved in conservation efforts. I’ve been working on Honors contracts with Dr. Kenneth Shockley and Dr. Jessica Poulin.
How has sustainability impacted your academic pursuits?
I’m an Environmental Geosciences major and my specialization track within the major is Ecology and the Environment. I’ve chosen to study this because, in the future, I’d like to work on doing research, consulting, or policy changing regarding sustainable alternatives.
What is the one thing you would like people to know that you do in your personal life to further sustainability?
It’s so hard to pick one important thing because it’s not about making a few dramatic sacrifices; it’s making a lot of small changes in your day-to-day life. My best example would be I try to be aware of how much I waste and what I really need. Reduce, reuse, and recycle. That mantra might be redundant but make my choices about what I eat, what I buy, and what I throw out with that in mind.
How could UB improve its sustainability efforts?
UB already does a lot of great sustainability work but I think we could improve by implementing more widespread instruction about sustainable living. Maybe a course regarding sustainability could be required of all students, similar to library skills and alcohol.edu.