Moving Forward

For my final post, I wanted to express my appreciation for all our discussions and encourage everyone to continue having a voice as we move the conversation from the classroom to our jobs, families, and friends. Given our unique position of being young professionals and students who will be shaping the future of our industries, communities, and children, it is more important than ever to be voices of reason and truth. In the next 50-100 year’s we will see dramatic shifts in the Earth’s climate, and in response, we will see shifts in the way people live and where people live. Regardless of whether any of us become CEO’s of multinationals or Senators or Mayors, we all play a role in how climate change and sustainability is discussed and managed. Although I am often disheartened by the fact that I may never have the platform to reach thousands of people or make broad proclamations to influence the events of climate change, I have found some relief in my ability to take charge of my own footprint and reach people on an individual basis. Often we hear activists, politicians, athletes, actors, artists etc. say that if they can influence one life for the better, then their work has been worth the effort. And I have come to appreciate that message, and although trite, I think together we could make a big difference if we all just reach two, three, or ten people with an understanding of climate change and how to address it on a personal level. Through the course of this quarter, I have honestly taken to heart that message, through working with my local community council, to riding the bus to work 3 days a week, to getting my brother to turn out the kitchen lights when he leaves for class each day. I have asked my parents to take a carbon footprint calculator online, and they have pledged to reduce their energy bill by a quarter over the next 2 months. These small changes give me some hope that we can slowly but surely make a difference. Instead of wondering if I will ever have the platform to influence the conversation around sustainability, I’ve found that taking small actions each day has had positive direct and indirect impacts on the people around me, and if that’s all I can ever contribute, then at least I didn’t stand idly by.

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