Conscious Thought

Urban Sustainability

This is my first year at UIC. I decided to major in urban studies because I’ve always wanted to benefit the world on a bigger scale. This class in sustainability lets me focus on certain behaviors and conscious choices that I make in regards to the environment and my surroundings. As of yet I’m still working on a major impact by making small improvements in daily life. For one, college in the city allows me to commute by Metra which cuts down carbon emissions and reduce gas. However, the drive to and from the station is another issue but I’ll take it as baby steps. Actually, even gas corporations like BP are starting to make steps toward sustainability as well. In four years, 2010-2014, they have cut down on direct greenhouse gas emissions by 14.7 million tonnes alone, as reported by Ernst & Young’s 2014 sustainability report. Another improvement I started making was bringing a reusable container for food and drinks whenever I can. It helps me cut down on waste and also gets me in the habit of meal prepping which is good for the busy days. Other days when I do buy out I still try to cut back by recycling. As we heard from a video in class recycling isn’t going to solve the problem but even getting involved encourages solutions, as stated in the Recycling Facts Guide. Sustainability is looked at as “first and foremost a social construct that seeks to improve the quality of life for the world’s people” (Introduction to Sustainability, 2). Collectively, if we all start taking steps towards the movement then that becomes a major impact itself.

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