Sustainability and college life

By Scott Bradley
For The Stroud Courier

When discussing global sustainability, the question often comes up, “What can I do?” This is followed almost universally with, “I’m only a college student.”

God, do I hate those words, especially when they are linked together as a matched set.

Another thing I find is everyone on the top end of the organizational structure, well almost everyone, expects sustainability writers to provide little things that you can do individually in dorm rooms, homes, or even on campus; I agree these little things that will help to stem the tide.

ESU’s Sustainability Commission has some of their tips on their web pages for you to check out and apply.

But it’s going to take more than just turning down the heat or turning off the lights to end global warming.

Maybe you are only a college student, but stand up and look around; there is power in numbers.

There are approximately 6,000 of you right here in East Stroudsburg and more than 20-million other college students nationally.

More than 6 percent of our 317-million population here in the United States is made up of college students—a population size that is so significant, it can influence global politics.

Remember, you aren’t just a college student; you are part of an informed electorate who can change the course of history. If you are ready to take it, the future is yours.

If you’re committed to the world’s recovery of sustainability, there is no task too small that won’t help.

First, you can start to understand what global warming is, how mankind is contributing to it, and what progress has been made thus far.

Another perspective to consider: how does economics play into a sustainable future, and will living conditions in a sustainable world be better or worse when we achieve sustainability?

Sustainability also concerns key issues related to food and water supply, the all kinds of air pollution we breathe, and the lack of justice between nations.

Sustainability isn’t just about conserving electricity by turning out the lights; it’s about maintaining life and by doing some research, you will be better positioned to act.

The primary goal of ESU’s Sustainability Commission is to educate the community so that together, we are prepared to act on important issues now and in the future.

It also calls for us to reach out to our elected officials to hold them accountable for their votes as they guide our society forward.

You have the ability to exercise your voice through your right to vote, but sadly, college-aged voters tend to remain silent.

Elected officials all the way up to our President need to know what you think about time-critical topics like Sustainability.

Without your input, they will listen and follow supreme government powers that view the future through an industrial lens.

Hard decisions, like the establishment of effective policy to move the USA and the world forward on sustainability call for your support to stand up and be heard. If you don’t speak, you wont be heard.

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