Environmental Science Students Look Into Sustainable Development

Environmental Science Students Look Into Sustainable Development

Environmental Science students have been looking at the whole idea of sustainability - how can we differentiate between needs and wants, and what is the best way to conserve resources for future generations while still meeting our current needs?

Students focused on sustainable fishing, forestry and agriculture. They looked at varying measures that could be undertaken (e.g. integrated pest management (IPM)), and what would that look like for the varying industries. Students were also asked to think about their daily lives and determine what actions could be taken to reduce waste production and consumerism. With this in mind, we all used a footprint calculator to determine the impact we were having on the environment. It was interesting to determine that in most cases if all persons lived like us, we would need between 3 and 8 earths to sustain us in our lifetime. 

Currently, students are looking at the 5Rs - Refuse, Reduce, Reuse/Repurpose, Recycle and Rot. We looked at what each would entail and why they were ordered in this particular manner. Recycling has been touted as the answer by many, but students were asked to consider if recycling was truly sustainable. A review of issues associated with recycling, especially of plastic waste was discussed, and students realised there is far more waste being generated than can be recycled. 

We ended this week with the following question - Who’s responsibility is sustainability? Governments? Companies? Individuals? All of us?

Danette Paynter
Environmental Science
Topic: Sustainability