Mr. Carlos Soto
Student Sustainability Advisory Committee Member
Energy: Renewables & Alternatives
Majoring in Mechanical Engineering
Q: What does Sustainability mean to you?
A: To me, sustainability is a societal and personal responsibility to protect and maintain the one and only living space we all have, Earth. It is also a mindset, to respect ones surroundings and ecosystem for the benefit of the community.
Q: How do you incorporate sustainability into your lifestyle?
A: DON’T LITTER! It seems like something so very simple, because it is, yet it is a casual behavior that I notice much too frequently. Beyond that, being mindful of my energy usage, taking the bus to campus, driving an efficient vehicle, and minimizing waste to name a few. They are all easy habits that anybody can pick-up to reduce their environmental impact.
Q: What do you do at UCF to advance sustainability?
A: I currently serve on the Energy subcommittee of UCF’s Student Sustainability Advisory Committee (SSAC). My partner Catherine and I recently presented a proposal to build a Solar Array Park on the UCF main campus. I’m proud to say that the proposal was received with much optimism and I am excited to see what comes of our vision for large-scale solar power at UCF.
Q: What advice do you have for fellow students to live more sustainably?
A: Start small and don’t get frustrated if you can’t transition into a fully sustainably lifestyle immediately. Buy reusable products instead of disposables, turn off the lights when you leave a room, take shorter showers, pick up that small piece of trash instead of stepping over it. The idea is to develop a sustainable mindset by introducing simple and effective habits into your routine. As you continue to create new habits, the old and harmful habits fade and sustainability simply becomes a part of your life.
Q: What is your vision for sustainability?
A: I’d like to see a complete transition from fossil fuels as a source of energy to renewable power on a global scale. I’d also like to see a much more efficient and eco-friendly system for large-scale waste disposal. One that efficiently sorts waste and makes the most out materials that can be reused, repurposed, or recycled. I believe these two areas, Energy and Waste Management, have the largest impact on the environment and that improving our current systems for handling them would have the widest-reaching and strongest effect on making society more sustainable.