Australia is the place that Sustainability really became part of my everyday life. I studied abroad with Cassidy Yates, at the University of Newcastle in New South Wales, Australia.
While I was abroad, I took a class about the practices and methods needed for Australia to continue daily functions using 100% renewable resources. We examined the various industries including transportation, home living, and based our calculations off the average persons daily energy needs. We investigated current energy resources, such as coal, and planned hypothetical projects that were scaled accurately to both replace fossil fuels and within the scope of reason for Australia. For example, since Australia has a high concentration of sun and coast accessability, it makes sense for them to use mostly solar and invest much of their research into future resources such as Wave and Tidal power.
Looking into the transportation industry, we discussed topics such as electric cars and the future use of hydrogen fuel for air travel. This is the class where I learned about passenger-miles, and Cassidyand I would look at each other and grimmace at the amount of air miles (and hours!) it took for us to get to Australia in the first place! Passenger-miles is a unit of measurement used for traffic and calculating how much energy impact a person has when driving a car, riding a bus, or flying in a plane. This class was highly engaged and used a combination of learning about renewable resource alternatives and the math behind balancing the kWh needed to power Australia.
Read about Cassidy's experience in the class here!