Mr. Tolga Ercan, MSCE*
Student Sustainability Advisory Committee Member
Transportation: Emissions & Alternatives
Ph.D. Candidate in Civil Engineering
*Master of Science in Civil Engineering
Q: What does Sustainability mean to you?
A: In a broad sense “Sustainability” defines as ensuring natural resources of this planet are available for the future generations. This definition became more meaningful in my life as a new father since every person in the future generations has same share on the natural resources that we destroy/consume extravagantly today. So, Sustainability means reducing my waste and consuming less in any possible context.
Q: How do you incorporate sustainability into your lifestyle?
A: First, I try to limit my consumption and footprint for any goods or services. For instance, I am also a research assistant and I started to limit my commute to campus and started to work at home. I also try to recycle every applicable household trash and minimize our household’s food waste.
Q: What would you like to see at UCF to make it a more sustainability driven university?
A: Our campus is a commuter-campus and this should be changed in long-term perspective with the collaboration of local government authorities. In the short-term plan, I would like to see more alternative fuel oriented campus, which can reduce transportation related emissions of commuters and the university’s operation. The university fleet can be transitioned with alternative fuel powered vehicles such as electric shuttle buses or pick-up trucks. The charging station availability can be increased throughout the campus with some parking incentives for electric vehicle drivers.
Q: What advice do you have for fellow students to live more sustainably?
A: I can suggest to think twice before you consume and think if there is any alternative way to do it without consuming or consuming less.
Q: What is your vision for sustainability?
A: I would like to feel optimistic for the world’s sustainability vision since more countries and industries acknowledged the importance of sustainability in recent decade and they are shifting to use alternative energy sources and cause less emissions. However, this are not enough unless it is not completed with society’s consumption based life style. Hence, a paradigm shift is needed from the society to succeed in sustainability vision in addition to current efforts of shifting from non-renewable energy sources to renewable and designing more energy efficient concepts.