A Major in Sustainability Will Save Our Planet

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Victoria Bankowski
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I am currently seeking a degree in General Studies, which allows me to focus on more than one area.  I am pursuing a career in Environmental Sustainability.

When asked “What is Sustainability”, a lot of people will attempt to provide an answer, but when giving their definition they get lost in their explanation.  The problem is because there is not an universally agreed definition on what sustainability means.  I would define sustainability as, the ability to be maintained at a certain rate or level. Sustainability is the avoidance of the depletion of natural resources to maintain an ecological balance. 

I am currently working on a project that explains how I feel about sustainability.  I found that because I was not formerly educated in sustainability, I live a very unsustainable life.   I am enrolled in a “Sustainability on Campus” course at the University of Michigan and I am learning what I must change to live in a sustainable world.  Due to the major implications of the human population using up the Earth’s natural resources, I am determined to change my lifestyle and act as a steward of sustainability, teaching the behavioral changes needed to save our planet.

Not all communities are as serious about sustainability as the University of Michigan. It is a known fact that a failure to incorporate sustainable practices in education, and in business, happen frequently across the United States because sustainability is deemed a complicated process.

It is for this reason that a change must take place.  It will require a lifelong lifestyle commitment of learning, research, and commitment to increase the best sustainable practices, to ensure our grandchildren’s children will have a planet that can sustain the punishment that so many people have inflicted.

As a transfer student coming to the University of Michigan, I am hopeful, that I have found a suitable career path in which to pursue.   I have chosen to pursue a career as a steward of Sustainability.  I have strategized, over what it would take for me gain the necessary skills and background required to pursue a career in sustainability, and have discovered that I would like to work with young children as a steward of sustainability.  My attention was brought to the University and I have determined that every year the University of Michigan, brings in a fresh group of students.  However, not all of these students have been formerly educated in sustainability.   I discovered this problem because of the lack of knowledge I had when asked “what is sustainability”. I was left with my mouth open unable to answer. This is a problem that must be addressed to save our planet.

All children in the United States deserve equal educational opportunities, and to save the planet, sustainability must be incorporated at all levels of education.

My philosophy is, to maximize growth and understanding of sustainability.  To do this we must start with our roots, our children.  By teaching our children about sustainability, in elementary school, those children will go home, and act as sustainable stewards with their parents.  As our children mature, they will grow with the ever-changing protocol, that surrounds sustainability.  When ready for their next phases in middle school and high school, they will have developed a foundation on which to grow further in educational sustainability issues.

To educate all our children in sustainability, we must focus on our state and federal legislatures.  All children in the United States must have an equal representation in education, and by failing to provide our children with the basic tools to become sustainable, we are preventing our country from becoming sustainable.  Encouraging a statewide initiative to provide the children of all communities, education in sustainability is a must. I believe all students should be required to learn about Sustainability, just like English, History, and Mathematics at all levels of education.  Educating our children in sustainability is the necessary tool, I feel that will save our planet.