When I hear the word “sustainability” I immediately thing of people “going green.” I think of people who refuse to move about the city in anything with a gasoline engine and eat nothing but the foods they grow in their balcony garden. Although there is much that an urbanite like myself can learn from this lifestyle, I feel as though I do not do enough. As a student at UIC, I try to do as much as I can in order to reduce my individual ecological footprint with activities like recycling my notebooks and paper, taking public transit to school, and drinking water from reusable containers, however there is still much more that can be done. In the “Perspectives, Problems, and Models” reading, the ability to reach an equilibrium is mentioned. A global equilibrium in sustainability is what is needed to minimize the human ecological footprint. Students can use this model to live more eco-friendly lives.
UIC makes it very visible to students that the administration is making attempts at reducing the campus’ ecological footprint. Attempts such as tailoring the physical environment for students to be more eco-friendly can make a huge impact on the likelihood that students will lead more sustainable lives. By encouraging students to become more environmentally conscious, they will be more prone to being good stewards of the natural resources that are given to mankind. UIC’s attempts have made me conscious of my ecological footprint; they have made me want to reduce my waste and become an individual that cares about living a sustainable life. I am now more willing to grow my own vegetables and use what I have in order to make and produce as much as I can; this is what can be labeled as urban sustainable living.