"The survival of our species depends on the long-term availability of the resources we obtain from our environment. Sustainability is about actively altering our actions to ensure our own long-term survival. We, as a campus community, can work together to improve our own quality of life by educating others about environmental issues, making positive contributions to those issues, and improving our actions and lifestyles. In the end, we are working together to make life better for each other, and this positive common goal can only improve the sense of community on the UWEC campus."
Intern 2008-09; 2009-10
"Taking care of our planet is becoming more of a pressing issue in this age of ever increasing technological advancement. It is important that students, faculty, staff, administrators, and community members work together to help improve Eau Claire and the rest of the planet for the enjoyment of future generations. Sustainability is more than just lowering your carbon footprint, it is about consciously changing your behavior so that you think about the effects that your actions have on the world around you. Though some things are easier than others, it is important to change aspects of our daily lives to help advance the sustainability effort in the Eau Claire community. Sustainability means anything you do to consciously make an effort to think of the future for others rather than what's easiest and most convenient for yourself. This can range from taking the bus, or riding your bike rather than driving to school, or buying locally produced food. Sustainability does not have to come at a high price to society; in fact, many types of sustainable behavior and infrastructural changes actually have lower costs and more efficient outcomes in the long run."
UPDATE FROM ROBYN
After graduating with a Bachelors in Economics from UW-Eau Claire in May 2010, I am excited to pursue my Masters in Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Iowa over the next two years. This program allows me to apply my passion for sustainable development and incorporate it into the way we plan our built environment with future generations in mind. Though there exists a conflict between "development and degradation," it is important to pursue development, and patterns of production and consumption that do not harm the ecosystem's ability to continue to operate and provide natural services. Sustainability does not have to come at a high price to society; in fact, many types of sustainable behavior and infrastructural changes actually have lower costs and more efficient outcomes in the long run. In practice, this means pursuing both environmental quality, while maintaining high standards of living and quality of life. I plan to study the various policy tools, regulations, monitoring systems, and education initiatives in order to engage the community in proactively planning to provide for our future generations to be successful.