Critical environmental issues emphasized during Sustainability Day

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Pictured: Keynote speaker, Rob Davies

Photo by Michelle Rivas

The mission to combat misinformation and provide scientific evidence on environmental issues was presented during Sustainability Day that was celebrated around campus Oct. 25.

The original definition of sustainability was strategically designed to be ambiguous, according to Maria Blevins, a communication professor.

“If a word is ambiguous it has the trouble of perhaps meaning nothing, but it also has a huge advantage, it’s flexible and it can mean anything,” Blevins said. “Sustainability is nothing, and sustainability is everything. So what that means to you is that we have a choice today, do we make this nothing or do we make this something?”

Many students are fighting to improve sustainability on campus. Merry Nguyen, a junior art major, gathered with a group of students to investigate recycling on campus. She found that our system hardly classifies as a system at all. Compared to our neighboring schools, we are far behind, according to Nguyen.

“Our recycling is not efficient,” Nguyen said. “We have the biggest student body in all of Utah, so we could make a huge impact, but we are not going in the right direction right now.”

Colleen Bye, chair of the sustainability community, said that the trouble is lack of funding. A solution to recycling systems could come by adding $1.50 to tuition cost of each student. This proposal is being brought under consideration to President Holland.

“It really comes down to education, helping people understand will create room for change,” Bye said.

On a global scale, we are currently in a dangerous state, according to Robert Davies, climatologist and keynote speaker. It is calculated that if Americans continue this pattern of living, within the next two decades it will move from dangerous to catastrophic, Davies explained.

“Everything is fine, until it isn’t,” Davies said. “When you change temperature, you change everything.”

Christine Dalton, a junior biology major, attended sustainability day presentations to show support for the cause and hopes to see more events like this in the future.

“It helps us to understand that we are trying to make the earth better,” Dalton said. “There are a lot of things we can do here at UVU that could affect our environment very positively. That is why having days like this are so important, so we can be educated.”