Sustainability Q&A with Sadira Walker
What is your year, major and club affiliation at Gonzaga?
Senior majoring in biochemistry and minoring in environmental studies. I am the current president of the Gonzaga Environmental Organization (GEO)
What does sustainability mean to you?
Sustainability to me means finding alternative approaches to our current way of life that will help to preserve resources and ensure future generations have access to those resources.
How have you been involved in promoting sustainability on campus?
As the president of GEO, I help each of our five sub-committees plan events. These events all have an aspect of education involved in them to help both ourselves keep up-to-date on current sustainable news and help members of our campus learn about ways they can be sustainable on campus. Each committee focuses on a different topic so that we can teach others about various aspects of sustainability in a manageable way.
What are some things you do in your personal life to live sustainably?
Trying to live sustainably can be very overwhelming and it is also a lot of pressure to place on yourself. I try to practice a few concrete methods of sustainability in my own life which includes daily composting, eating a vegetarian diet, and reducing the amount I drive. I don’t think there is any one way of practicing sustainability and its important to find the things that work for your lifestyle.
How could Gonzaga continue to improve its sustainability efforts?
In the mission statement of Gonzaga it states that we must care for the environment. However, at this time we do not live up to our mission statement. I believe that the biggest thing we can do to make Gonzaga more sustainable is divest from fossil fuels as many other educational institutions have done and as the Catholic church calls for us to do. As we work toward this larger goal, there are many other ways we can help to improve sustainability on campus. Some of these things include moving toward sustainable energy use, reducing waste consumption in favor of recycling and composting, and being more mindful of the way we, as individuals, live our lives.
How will you continue to promote sustainability at Gonzaga?
I will continue to promote sustainability at Gonzaga by taking an active role in advocating for change here on campus. Currently, Fossil Free Gonzaga within GEO is working on meeting with the Board of Trustees to continue the conversation regarding fossil fuel divestment. GEO will also continue to host fun and interactive events so students can learn more about the environment and easy ways to be more sustainable as a college student.
How do you see sustainability intersecting with social justice issues on an institutional, national, or global scale?
The intersection between environmental and social justice issues is something that GEO focuses on in the environmental justice committee, but it is something that all the committees touch on. Large environmental issues can not be properly addressed and managed without a deep understanding and focus on the how environmental issues exist with and create social justice issues. At every level it is obvious that vulnerable groups of people are and will be the ones most impacted by environmental issues and we must see people at every level advocate and bring awareness to this.