What does "sustainability" mean to you?
To me, sustainability means preserving cultures, ways of life, and individual well-being while creating a safer global climate both socially and environmentally. I believe the idea of sustainability is inseparable from environmental justice, and that the preservation and restoration of natural systems and resources must work together with the empowering of marginalized peoples to create a better living standard for all.
What projects are you working on?
As a member of the Education and Outreach Team, I assist with the monthly newsletter and tabling. This quarter, my main goal is to work with an assortment of students from various social and environmental sustainability-related groups on campus to coordinate the Inter-Organizational Sustainability Retreat. A main objective for the retreat is to create conversation regarding environmental and social sustainability with both aspects supporting each other on an equal playing field. This balance of the two aspects will be new to this year’s retreat and I hope that attendees will gain a greater understanding of sustainability as a result.
How does sustainability relate to your role at UCSC?
As a proposed Ecology and Evolution major with an interest in restoration ecology, environmental sustainability is key to the path I wish to pursue in life. My role as a student at UCSC—and in life—is to constantly increase my capability to practice ecology without sacrificing social sustainability. I am also of the belief that the preservation of marginalized groups is a key aspect of social sustainability; often I feel that neurodivergent and mentally ill trans survival should be counted as a sort of self-sustainability.
How do you practice sustainability in your daily life?
I would like to think that living on campus in the Village makes environmental sustainability a part of my daily life. Food comprises most of my consumption, and living on campus makes recycling and composting automatic parts of life. I try to be conscious of what I do buy and avoid plastic packaging and companies known for unfair workplace or environmental policies. Mindfulness is key.
If you wish to get involved in the planning process for the 2016 Inter-Organizational Sustainability Retreat, please contact Jay Luce at jusnelso [at] ucsc [dot] edu