In my opinion, sustainability means acting in a way that allows future generations to enjoy the same natural resources we have access to today. We tend to have a bad habit of viewing sustainable action as something only for activists, instead of daily actions the any consumer can take part of.
I grew up in a state where natural resources and beauty are abundant, so people weren’t aware of the environmental impact they were having on a larger scale. There was almost no education being done around sustainability and very little legislation being passed. Sustainability has become so important to me because I grew up in an area where it wasn’t important to anybody else. We only have one planet and we really have not been treating her right. We need to start caring more so we can turn that around.
Back home in Alaska, I was president of my high school’s environmental club where we hosted charity events for organizations such as Stand for Salmon, Save the Bees, and Stop Pebble Mine. Additionally, since moving to the WWU campus, I have been able to take part of many Learning, Environment, Action, and Discovery (LEAD) work parties removing non-native species and replacing them with native ones, as well as becoming a Sustainability Representative (SReps). Through SReps, I have been a part of putting on community events such as clothing swaps, documentary showings, compost education, and drafting SEJF grant proposals. We also partake in environmental activism and education.
I try to live as zero waste as possible. This means using only reusable containers and utensils, composting/recycling, taking public transit, and, of course, avoiding single-use packaging at all cost.
My ultimate sustainability goal is to better educate people about sustainability and environmentalism at a younger age. If we really want to make change, we’ve got to educate people about why changes need to be made first.
Alyssa Tsukada, Freshman
Environmental Science/Education, Sustainable Representatives Program