What does it mean to be sustainable? Kendall and Tiffany tells all.
With this interview post you can learn from our interviewees what it’s really like to live a sustainable life from their first hand experiences. Sam was the admin that had conducted the interviews, and this is what Tiffany and Kendall actively partake in to better our environment.
Tiffany recycles, does her own composting, picks up trash by the beach, and encourages her friends, family, and those around her to switch out hazardous waste for products made of decomposable material. Tiffany strongly believes in leaving this Earth cleaner than she found it.
The environment is very important to Kendall and she is passionate in her efforts of sustainability. Kendall is very involved in helping in the environment. Some of the ways that Kendall advocates for and “goes green” is that she actively recycles, uses reusable grocery bags when shopping and encourages others to do the same.
We recently had the chance to meet with Tiffany and Kendall to dig a little deeper and learn more about their sustainable lifestyle:
Q: Are you currently in school?
T: Yes I am. I am currently at the University at Albany in pursuit of a Bachelor’s degree in Communications.
K: Yes. I am graduating at the end of May with a double major in Communications and Sociology.
Q: What does sustainability mean to you?
T: Sustainability mainly entails protecting and preserving your environment. The little decisions we make every day have an impact on our surroundings and consciously making those decisions in favor of our planet benefits everyone.
K: I think that sustainability has a different meaning to everyone, but for me it’s about actively contributing to keeping the environment safe while minimizing harm.
Q: Do you think you live a relatively sustainable life?
T: I would say that I live a sustainable life mainly because I normally have the environment’s best interest in mind when I make decisions such as recycling a soda can or buying LED light bulbs over regular ones and things of that nature.
K: Yes. I would say I live a very sustainable life. I make sustainable decisions about my life as often as I can.
Q: What do you feel is important to you about being sustainable in college?
T: College students are not normally concerned with how their actions affect the environment so if one person is influenced by seeing me recycle than it could potentially create a domino effect.
K: I think it’s important to be sustainable in college because you have the opportunity to influence so many people. Whether it’s your peers or students in high school or middle school. Younger kids look up to us and we should act as positive role models. Plus, the more you do something the more it becomes habitual and I think that sustainable habits are good habits to have.
Q: Can you give positive benefits of living a sustainable life?
T: I think the benefit that will attract the most people is the fact that living sustainably saves you money. Alongside that, you save energy, leave the environment in a better condition than you found it, and ultimately you get to protect the world in which you live in.
K: There are a ton of positive benefits of living sustainably. One is that it’s rewarding. You feel good after you do good things. Another is that you save money. So you save money, AND you’re helping save the planet.
Q: What is different from being sustainable here compared to home?
T: At home there aren’t as many constraints as there are in college. You have your own recycling bin instead of walking across campus to find one. You have a composting area at home, where in college, no one knows where or how to compost so they end up throwing everything away. It really is all about accessibility and convenience.
K: It is MUCH easier to be sustainable at home than while at school. At home I have recycling bins readily available. At school I have to walk across campus to find recycling bins, and the bins are almost always full. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it just means that when the bins are full I have to go looking for an empty one. A benefit of campus is that there are water fountains everywhere which allow me to refill my water bottle.
Q: Do you find it easier to be sustainable here or at home?
T: Even though the school is making efforts in getting the community more involved in environmentally-friendly activities, it still does not compare to the efforts you can make in your own home. I have noticed a significant increase in recycling bins on campus but they are still so sporadic that I’ve had to walk around campus with an empty water bottle up until the point where I was just like, okay this one bottle wouldn’t hurt going into the trash.
K: Like I said, it’s way easier to be sustainable at home. UA has been taking measures to make sustainability at school easier but it is still more difficult than being sustainable at home.
Q: What has been the most drastic change living a more sustainable life?
T: I would say that the most drastic change would have to be my mindset. Constantly having the Earth’s best interest in mind, while I go about my day, alters the choices I make. I am very aware of how my actions may affect my surroundings.
K: That’s a tough one. The most drastic change for me would be using reusable shopping bags instead of plastic bags. I had a hard time remembering to bring the bags with me as I was shopping.
Q: What do you think was the most beneficial impact you’ve had from sustainability?
T: I would say that living sustainably has made me feel like a better human being. The way in which I live and the choices that I make are significantly cleaner and better for the environment. Knowing that I am making strides in protecting our beautiful planet has me waking up with a smile and excited to see how I can help improve where we all live.
K: That’s also a tough one. As I keep saying the personal feeling is very rewarding but the financial one is equally as rewarding. It’s a tie for me. The financial aspect is great because as I started returning my cans and bottles I was actually getting money back, and eventually it adds up to a decent amount. Plus, by actively turning off running water and lights I noticed a big change in my electric and water bills.
Q: How did you feel at first from transitioning to a sustainable life?
T: I actually thought it would be very intrusive on my life. The thought of keeping guidelines and rules to your life does not seem very desirable but in the process of transitioning, it really wasn’t bad. The changes were minimal and did not cause drastic changes and inconveniences to my schedule.
K: I felt much better once I became sustainable. I was saving money and I felt better as a person. It was a relief to have some extra money in my pocket and knowing that I’m helping protect the planet is super rewarding.
Q: Would you recommend sustainable living to friends and family? If so, how?
T: Absolutely! Knowing how sustainable living has impacted my life and all the benefits that come along with it, there is no reason as to why I would not recommend it to others.
K: I would recommend sustainable living to my friends and family. Actually, most of them are already sustainable. We influence each other to try and be more conscious about the effect we have on our environment. I would recommend the financial and personal benefits to those who do not live a sustainable lifestyle.
It’s time to make a sustainable effort
Sustainable living is a lifestyle that strives to reduce how an individual or society uses the Earth’s natural resources and personal resources. The choices we make, on a daily basis, have consequences that affect our environment. If you can be a little more sustainable everyday, you are helping our environment along with supporting long-term ecological balance. Living a sustainable life does not have to be complicated. In face it is proven to have long-term benefits, as we have seen some examples from our interviewees. The planet will be cleaner and be around longer for future generations to come. Our actions determine the future for younger generations. Going green is great for humans, animals, and the overall environment. And together we can all make a change for the better.