Each month, our newsletter features a person or group on campus that is working toward a more sustainable world. This month we had the privilege to interview Juan Castañon, a Student Sustainability Advisor, (SSA) for colleges 9 and 10. His role consists of engaging and informing students (colleges 9 and 10) about sustainability, this serves as big conversation starters who aren’t aware of a more sustainable future. His Team develops quarterly programs aimed at teaching students how to properly recycle.
1. What does Sustainability mean to you?
“Sustainability to me means, being able to co-exist with one another on this planet. Not only learn to live together but try to reduce the amount of damage we are producing to the places we physically inhabit.”
2. What sustainable practices do you live by in your daily life?
“I do try to implement simple everyday practices: using a reusable water bottle, recycling and trying to reduce my food waste.”
3. Favorite Green Tips?
“Try taking shorter showers!”
4. Tell me about your background and how you became part of UCSC?
“I am originally from Los Angeles; however, I transferred here, UCSC, very recently. The reason why I picked UCSC is that I wanted to become part of a school and organization that was passionate about combating environmental issues like myself.”
5. What is your long-term vision for sustainability at UCSC?
“My long-term vision is to develop and maintain practical programs that not only educate students on sustainable practices but also empowers them to want to continue to co-exist within our natural surroundings.”
6. What are your thoughts on Environmental Justice?
“I believe Environmental Justice should be the forefront of discussions dealing with climate change, clean air, and water. If we do not tackle these issues that deal with environmental justice we cannot and will not reach our goal of becoming zero waste. We need to confront barriers that historically and currently have affected people of color. When dealing with environmental justice arises we should always remember those who suffer the most.”
7. How was your experience at Inter-org?
“Inter-org was a great experience! It was amazing to meet and work with other organizations on campus. It gave me a bigger perspective on why we, the Sustainability Office, do what we do to promote sustainability. The fact that I go to see countless of other people feeling equally passionate about their work here at UCSC. This gave more energy and motivation to continue working to create a more sustainable campus."
8. How would you describe your experience at the Sustainability office?
“Up to this point, my experience at the office has been inspiring, uplifting and rewarding. I love everyone I work with, and I love the common goals we all share in wanting to create a more sustainable campus for the future.”