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Rebecca Johnstone


Rebecca is an Urban Planning and GIS major and the Director of SA Environment, an office within the UB Student Association.

What does sustainability mean to you?

Sustainability means creating a community and way of life that meets the needs of the people in a self-sufficient way while not harming the natural environment. The state of sustainability is a long term project and takes the involvement of all the individuals in a society.

What are you doing at UB to reach sustainability?

As the new Environmental Director of the Student Association for the 2013-2014 school year I am continuing our work to get more refillable water station put on campus and expand these into the dorms. From the oil used in production to the waste that they cause, the sale of plastic water bottles is detrimental to the environment. from the oil used in production to being thrown out. I also plan on working with the SA clubs to help them be more sustainable.

How do you involve staff and faculty?

I work with the Office of Sustainability to achieve the goals we have both set for this academic year. I also plan on inviting faculty and staff to events in order to get them involved with the issues on campus.

How has sustainability impacted your academic pursuits? 

I have learned about the problems of our planet and societal well-being that we face because of a lack of focus on sustainable living. Being an Urban Planning and GIS major keeps me informed on these issues and the different solutions that are being developed to face these challenges. My academic pursuits focus on solutions at the city and community level. However, everyone can help the environment in their everyday lives and truly have an impact.

What is the one thing you would like people to know that you do in your personal life to further sustainability?

In my personal life I make an effort to recycle in my apartment. I also take the busses and shuttles whenever possible instead of driving.

What can UB do to improve its sustainability efforts?

In order to be sustainable UB needs to focus on the products used in its facilities. Light sensors, more composting, recycled classroom products, recycled or reusable food containers along with others to increase efficiency and decrease overall consumption. UB should continue to reach out and educate students about how important it is to care about the environment.

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