When shopping. Consumerism has a huge negative impact on

When I look at the definition of sustainability, it is all about
maintaining resources or ecological systems, it resonates with living and makes
me feel a sense of urgency that survival, or quality of life, maybe an increasing
issue. My own definition has become: living in a way that
humans can increasingly minimize their negative impacts on the Earth, thus doing
more to preserve the world in its healthiest form for future generations. The
first step to preserving the world is my, individual, impact on sustainability
and what I can do to increase my part in sustainability. We also need to
identify the challenges in the way of advancing sustainability. Then
understanding how Roger Williams University is participating and what more they
can do when it comes to sustainable practices and presence.

In the advancement of sustainability, there
are many things I can do to make an impact. I can think
twice before shopping. Consumerism has a huge negative impact on
sustainability, and by thinking about the processes and resources used to get
that product to the consumer I can reduce the things I go shopping for down to
necessities. Making sure the purchases I
make have some type of environmental benefits. This can increase my impact by
limiting the negative effects of consumerism by making the right choices. I can
stop using plastic bags or other unrecyclable plastics in order to reduce
landfill waste or illegal dumping in bodies of water.

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I can
monitor my water use in order to prevent the waste. I can switch to efficient
washing machines, or toilets in order to be mindful of the amount I am using. I
can also do simple things like reducing shower time or turning off the water
when brushing my teeth. I can also drive less or only when necessary. I can
choose to increase my use of alternative forms of transportation, like bikes or
public transportation. Finally, I can use my voice and my ability to vote. This can help raise awareness or
make a change that is needed in order to increase efforts in sustainability.

            Challenges that stand in the way of advancing
sustainability can be at an individual level and go all the way to a world-wide
level. As an individual, the challenges are that not everyone has the same
worldviews or belief systems. In order to make an impact, many voices are
needed to make an impact, and if there aren’t enough people with the same views
or beliefs then advancements cannot be made. Politically there are opposing views
making it a challenge to come to conclusions. One side, sometimes, has to prove
to the other that their ideas are the right ones and they should act accordingly
to advance sustainability, but when people don’t agree, nothing is done, and
everything stays the same. To add to the political side, corporations have a
strong influence on governments and the decisions made. If the sustainable idea
hurts corporations and their income, they will try to do what they can to stop
that legislature from being passed. When it comes to the world’s challenges on
advancing sustainability, there have been attempts made to increase sustainability.
These attempts, like the 2015 Paris Climate Change Summit, are strong efforts made
by countries all over the world. The biggest hurdles for these efforts are when
countries do not comply with the agreements or back out of them all together. But,
it doesn’t always have to be individuals, government, and the world that need
to change. Even select groups can have an impact, like colleges or
universities.

            Roger Williams University (RWU) is
not perfect when it comes to sustainable practices. The only practice I can think
of is that the university recycles and composts. I think there is so much more
the university can do to be sustainable. It is well known that lawn and garden
care is not sustainable, but RWU spends hundreds of thousands of dollars on
lawn care in order to keep the campus looking nice. Although the University has
only a few “green areas” that are untouched by these landscapers, there is not
nearly enough of them to provide a healthy ecosystem for wildlife to live. I
think they should reduce the amount of money they spend on landscaping and put
that into sustainable energy. I think the best forms of sustainable energy RWU
could invest into are solar energy and tidal energy. Solar, although the panels
use nonrenewable resources, they have the ability to trap large amounts of energy
in a single day. Tidal energy would be the most logical form of energy due to
the campus being located on the bay, and since tides never stop for more than a
second it would be a constant supply of energy. Overall, I think Roger Williams
University needs to rethink their sustainable practices in order to increase
their presence in sustainability.

            Sustainability
is living in a way that humans can increasingly minimize their negative
impacts on the Earth, thus doing more to preserve the world in its healthiest
form for future generations. Every person has their own role to take on when it
comes to advancing the concepts of sustainability. My personal goals are to be more
understanding, conscientious, and vocal about what I can do to advance
sustainability. Roger Williams University needs to rethink its values and
position as a community to make it a more sustainable environment, not only for
people but for wildlife as well. RWU has the means, faculty, and staff to
enhance their sustainability presence. It is about time they step up and make
the changes necessary to better themselves and decrease the impacts on the Earth.
Governments, countries, the world as a whole need to work together in order to
conquer the challenges and hurdles humanity has put in front of each other. Humanity
needs to be able to work as a single body in order to overcome challenges and do
whatever needs to be done in order to preserve the world for future generations. 

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