Sustainability Champion

Rachel Sutton

Sustainable Champion: Rachel Sutton, Student

What does "sustainability" mean to you?

“Well, sustainability means a lot of different things to different people. For me, it's about living in balance with everything balance with nature and society while living in harmony with other people having a healthy lifestyle.

What personally inspires you to be involved in sustainability?

“Growing up ... in a pine forest. I’ve always appreciated nature. As I grew up, I realize how important it is to take care of our surroundings. Nature was definitely a starter to get involved with sustainability. When I first started school at California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB), I was introduced to more [aspects] of sustainability. I’ve always thought about the topics of sustainability like recycling and saving water, but never really thought of how much sustainability is embedded in our daily lifestyle. Living here and getting involved with others on campus and seeing what everyone is doing has really inspired me to be more sustainable.”

Where do you see CSUMB in 10 years from now?

“With the new update of the master plan there has been a lot of ideas thrown around about where CSUMB is gonna be in the future.Many students here at CSUMB leave campus during lunch hours and weekends. What I would like to see is a campus that's more closed off in its own community, having a more centralized campus with more sociable spaces like parks or gardens for people to enjoy everyone's presence.

What is your current job and what are the responsibilities associated with your position?

“ I’m currently an intern at Green Waste Recovery Inc. as the recycling coordinator for CSUMB. The job is very broad . I do a lot of educational outreach on campus and work on multiple projects on and off campus to reduce our waste impact.

What has been your biggest challenge associated with sustainability in your current position?

“ Waste can be a really negative thing. People don't like to associate themselves with their waste. Getting people to care about it and understand it is really important. We all produce waste and our school produces a lot of it. Raising awareness about the waste issue on campus and trying to make it a priority can get difficult.”

Written by Gibram Sanchez

Published Jan. 29, 2016