Maia Doughtie
Campus Peace Action President
March 2018

Q: What does sustainability mean to you?
A: Sustainability is the active work of our world’s people to make conscious efforts to live in a more eco-friendly way. Sustainability takes the collaboration of citizens, politicians, companies and governments to make decisions and legislation that will benefit our natural world instead of destroying it for monetary gain. Sustainability begins with people admitting that as human beings, we can have a negative impact on our environment through our actions (or lack thereof). Sustainability is a shift in mindset and the way we live on this Earth to begin making decisions that benefit both humans and the world we live on, as well as the creatures that inhabit it with us.

Q: How do you incorporate sustainability into your lifestyle?
A: I try to incorporate sustainability into my lifestyle by making a conscious effort to live in a more eco-friendly way. I focus on recycling, reducing my plastic use, and educating others on the topic. I try to educate myself as often as possible by reading articles, staying up to date on legislation surrounding our environment, and speaking to others about sustainability. I also actively try to reduce my carbon footprint through my plant based diet. Being vegetarian has opened my eyes to the issue of animal agriculture and its direct link to carbon emissions. Even reducing your meat intake is an easy way to minimize your impact!

Q: What do you do at UCF to advance sustainability initiatives?
AP: I am the President of Campus Peace Action, a Sustainable RSO on campus that aims to fight for social, political, and environmental change through peaceful activism, public events, and education. We aim to inform the community about the current issues our world faces through protests, fundraisers, volunteer opportunities, and interactive events. I am also a Broadcast Journalism student and use my multimedia platform to cover stories about the environment and sustainability in the UCF community. Through video I have found a voice for the environment and hope to use these skills post grad to work as a wildlife filmmaker covering issues surrounding our environment.

Q: What would you like to see at UCF to make it a more sustainability-driven university?
A: I would like to see more active participation from students. Every day I see easy steps that are overlooked such as throwing away a recyclable item purely out of convenience, or driving a car to campus when you have a shuttle readily available. Sometimes being sustainable isn’t the most convenient, but the impact you’re having when you allow these seemingly small actions to build up can be large (especially when so many people are doing the same thing). I think UCF has been taking great strides toward sustainability but I hope to see a better use of solar energy on campus in the years to come.

Q: What advice do you have for fellow students to live more sustainably?
A: EDUCATE YOURSELF. The more you learn about the current state of the world, the easier it is to force yourself to live in more sustainable way. To be blunt, we need to change. Our world is being destroyed by our actions, climate change is very real, and our current administration has been cutting funds that benefit our natural world. So as individuals we need to rise up and create the change we want to see. BE MORE CONSCIOUS. Think about how your “small” actions have a larger impact. Easy ways to live more sustainability include carpooling or shuttling, reducing your meat intake, recycling, cutting your single-use items, and remembering your reusable grocery bags. Once you begin incorporating these things into your daily lifestyle, it becomes routine and you begin to actively think of your impact.

Q: What is your vision for sustainability?
A: My vision for sustainability is to live in a world where our communities and government care about our natural world more than finances. I hope that in my lifetime I see many demographics of people working together to better our world. I hope to see people continuing to fight for our environment and stand up for our planet. I hope to leave this planet feeling confident that the next generations will be watching the world rise up past the issues we’ve created as human beings instead of seeing it continue to be destroyed. I have a vision that through technology, science, and passion, we will be able to help bring the world closer to its natural state. This planet provides us with every resource we need- it doesn’t deserve to be in the position it is now. We created this mess, lets clean it up.