Sandra Raymond
I.D.E.A.S and SSAC
January 2018

Q: What does sustainability mean to you?
A: In my opinion, sustainability involves acknowledging the effect humans have had on our environment and our contribution to climate change; as a result of this, I believe sustainability incorporates the behaviors and actions of both individuals and larger communities that reflect their desire to reduce environmental degradation. I also think that we have a responsibility to ensure that future generations - whether of humans or other living creatures - have the opportunity to live and thrive in a hospitable environment. This involves taking action to decrease the use of natural resources and minimizing pollution for future lives.

Q: How do you incorporate sustainability into your lifestyle?
A: I incorporate sustainability into my lifestyle by minimizing the amount of single-use items that I buy or use, such as carrying a reusable water bottle with me everywhere to avoid plastic water bottles and bringing utensils with me instead of using plastic ones. I also make informed decisions about the products I consume to ensure that I am lessening my impact on the environment which includes the food I eat, as meat requires several times the amount of land, water, and agricultural resources than a plant based diet. This can be applied to shopping as well, as I try to purchase mainly thrift clothing and home items to reduce the resources used in manufacturing and transporting new items. Also, I try to be frequently aware of the natural environment surrounding me so that I am conscious of all of its benefits and beauty, which motivates me to make my actions as sustainable as possible.

Q: What do you do at UCF to advance sustainability initiatives?
A: I am the president of the student organization IDEAS for UCF, which stands for Intellectual Decisions on Environmental Awareness Solutions. Our main goal is to empower and educate the student body on ways that they can be more sustainable in their day to day life through community and campus events as well as informational speakers, documentary screenings, and cleanups. I am also a part of the Student Sustainability Advisory Committee's composting and recycling projects. Within these groups we are working towards starting the university's first composting initiative beginning with composting paper towels, another single use item, and expanding the recycling bins located outside buildings on campus so that people are presented with more opportunities of disposing their waste in a more sustainable manner.

Q: What would you like to see at UCF to make it a more sustainability-driven university?
A: I believe currently UCF is making strides in terms of sustainable energy use and production with its LEED certified buildings and solar panels. However, I believe UCF can benefit from expanding its sustainability more towards to environment and ecological side of the spectrum. I would like to see more food grown on campus that is incorporated into the dining halls, possibly a sustainability driven freshman orientation where reusable items are given to them and they are informed on sustainable habits, an incentive for more people to bike to class instead of drive, increasing the recycling at dorms and UCF affiliated housing, having all of the natural areas on campus be conservation land and using it to our advantage in terms of incorporating it more into certain curriculum, and taking a stand on banning Styrofoam, straws, and/or plastic bags.

Q: What advice do you have for fellow students to live more sustainably?
A: Get informed! In this day and age, technology has put virtually all information right at our fingertips. Whether its books, blogs, documentaries, podcasts, or lectures, I believe the best way to live more sustainable is taking the time to get informed on why it is so important to live this way. Also, spread this information with your friends and form these habits in an enjoyable and gratifying way. Connecting with the nature and spending time outdoors has always made me feel more inspired and eager to look after our planet and live a sustainable life.

Q: What is your vision for sustainability?
A: My vision for sustainability involves communities in which individuals work together to lessen our impact on the environment and nature is valued higher than it currently is. I am also interested in the ways natural systems can be more incorporated in technological advancements such as renewable energy and biotechnology such as geothermal energy and algal bio fuel. I also would like to live in a sustainable environment where the simplest of resources such as air and water are no longer being polluted as heavily as they are now.