How to be Sustainable


Photo credit: Joelena Despard

Hello CSUN students! My name is Dev Vrat and I teach sustainability at CSUN. I asked my sustainability students what CSUN students can do to live more sustainably. This is what they told me!

First things first: Get educated!

  • What we are doing to the earth?
  • Learn about overpopulation of our planet — watch it grow in real time!
  • Understand your ecological footprint. How many earths are you using?
  • Find out how to eat healthy food
  • Learn about energy. What’s the difference between fossil fuels and green energy?
  • See how to get involved with the CSUN Sustainability Center. Visit the website and sign up for a tour! Consider taking sustainability classes at CSUN and pick up a sustainability minor
  • Learn about the Green New Deal

Advocate for sustainability: Now that you know what’s going on, make some noise!

  • Talk to your family and roommates about how you all can live more sustainably
  • Write editorials like this one and send them to newspapers
  • Register to vote and support candidates who will advocate for sustainability and the Green New Deal. Contribute to their campaigns and/or volunteer to assist them in getting elected

Take personal action to live more sustainably

  • Don’t have kids. Each additional person on this planet further reduces what we have left of the biosphere. We already are overpopulated. Instead, adopt babies and children who are waiting for you!
  • Volunteer your time and energy for organizations that work for sustainability (e.g. Tree People)
  • Donate to organizations who work to save environmental resources (e.g. World Wildlife Fund)
  • Conserve energy so we don’t need to build expensive new power plants
  • Avoid jet travel. Take the train or public transportation whenever you can
  • Avoid cruise ships. They emit tons of carbon gases and pollute the ocean
  • Use less. Spending money is not the way to happiness. Avoid the throwaway lifestyle by buying quality clothes and furnishings, or shop at thrift stores
  • Recycle — we all know what this means. Try not to throw away anything or as little as possible
  • Use less gasoline and other coal, oil and gas fuels
  • Walk! Bike! Ride a scooter! Use the smallest transportation system possible
  • Get an electric or hybrid (electric/gas) vehicle
  • Grow your own food or buy from local farmers markets and responsibly grown organic food to avoid food miles traveled
  • Eat meals made from “whole” foods (fish, vegetables, fruit, nuts, grain)
  • Reduce your consumption of meat, especially beef
  • Reduce your energy use at home by utilizing solar panels, more insulation, LED lights, etc.
  • Spend your money at socially responsible businesses and banking institutions
  • Support local businesses. Try to buy things that are made locally

Article written by Dev Vrat, professor of Liberal Studies Department, Institute for Sustainability and Department of Urban Studies and Planning at CSUN.