Understanding the Challenge
Sustainability is the biggest challenge we face in the 21st Century. Our individual and collective actions to date have placed enormous pressure on our environment and economies, while inequality in our community deepens and our quality of life decreases.
At its core, sustainability is about making the world work for everyone. It means thinking about the kind of future we want to build: the type of society we want to live in; the health of our environment; our personal health and happiness; and the structure and viability of our global economies. It's about recognising that nature, the economy, our communities and our personal wellbeing are all connected, and inevitably impact and depend on one another.
Individually, sustainability is thinking about how your actions affect the people and environment around you, and how you can make sure the impact you're making is a positive one.
For us as a University, it means understanding our responsibilities to engage in global citizenship and environmental stewardship. It's about ensuring that we put as little pressure as possible on our earth's finite resources. It means equipping our graduates with the tools they need to be leaders in the industries of the future. We are committed to embedding a culture of sustainability across the university and providing leadership to the broader community. SCU One Planet is providing our staff and students with the opportunity to engage with and practice sustainability every day.
What action can I take?
Sustainability is a way of thinking, understanding and acting. Everyone's opportunities for action are unique. It's up to each of us to act within our sphere of influence and connect with others to bring about change.
Think about the sustainability issues you care about. It could be climate change, global warming, your eco footprint, your energy bill, global poverty, rising fuel prices and thousands of other things. This is your sphere of concern.
Now identify the areas where you can really make a difference given your current situation - time availability, networks, financial situation etc. This is your sphere of influence.
The first step is to be proactive and drive change on the things in your sphere of influence, rather than focussing on the big picture things that you can't control in your sphere of concern. As you start taking action you'll see that your knowledge, skills and networks expand, widening your sphere of influence. Eventually, your sphere of influence could be as large as your sphere of concern!
Need more earth-spiration? Follow the links below to find out what specific actions you can take, what actions the University is taking, and access resources to help you begin the conversation with others.
How can I connect with others who are taking action?
Sustainability, Environment and Education (SEE) Research Cluster
The SEE Research Cluster is comprised of Southern Cross University staff and academics, external academics and higher degree research students. The Cluster is engaged in research, policy and practice in the broader fields of environmental education, sustainability education and interdisciplinary fields (including health, geography, science and technology, art and indigenous education).
Members of the Cluster have won ARC funding, considerable government and non-government research income; published in high-impact and field-significant publications; and elected editorial roles in internationally significant and high impact journals in sustainability, environment and education.
Gold Coast - EnvironMentals Club
The EnvironMentals Club is passionate about the environment and social justice, works to support the University to reduce its eco footprint and meets fortnightly on campus. The EnvironMental Club meets every 2nd Wednesday in the CoastRs Lounge, Level 4, Building B. For more information contact Maia Osborn.
Lismore - SCU Community Garden
Come down to the SCU Community Garden and meet some like-minded people. Do as much or as little work as you like! Join in the SCU Community Garden every Wednesday & Thursday from 3pm-5pm. For more information contact Philip Doumit or visit the SCU Community Garden on Facebook.
Lismore - SCrUb Club
SCrUb club brings together students and staff to engage in 'hands on' ecological restoration activities on the Lismore Campus of SCU and seeks to generate community interest in the ecological and social values of remnant and regrowth bushland on the campus. The group received Sustainability Innovation funding in 2012 to purchase equipment and facilitate the development of an ecological restoration plan and create practical opportunities for learning focused on ecological restoration.
SCrUb club aims to create linkages with staff, students and the broader community to foster a greater appreciation of the ecological values of the Lismore campus and work toward restoring these in a fun and positive atmosphere.
For more information contact David Newell.