All the previous classes I had taken before I began my dual major journey touched upon sustainability through the environmental lens. Surveying Sustainability (SUST 401) really broadened my view of the topic by explaining that sustainability is so much more than just the environmental aspect. It is a mix of environmental, social, and economic aspects that all intertwine. This interconnectedness, I have come to learn, is the key to fully understanding the big challenges in sustainability. Utilizing systems thinking allows me to see the whole of an issue in addition to each specific part.
In this class, I was able to solidify and widen my understanding of issues such as biodiversity loss and climate change while blossoming my knowledge of topics such as municipalities and even all of the sustainable work being done at UNH. This was all really interesting information, as I had little to no prior knowledge or experience with these topics. It still amazes me today how much work UNH does to be a sustainable university. I really felt like I was able to connect this class back to aspects of my life and world events, which made the class more personal and allowed for a deeper understanding of the knowledge.
SUST 401 is a class that leaves you with the motivation to have a positive impact on the world. Through our Personal Action Project, we were even given a taste of how we could make these positive changes. For my project, I first monitored how much trash I created during a week. After that, the next four weeks involved me reducing the amount of waste I created as much as possible. I was able to eliminate dozens of pieces of waste from my day to day use by simply finding reusable alternatives. This experiential learning only left me wanting more as I headed into Sustainability Perspectives and Methods (SUST 501).