As we begin a new school year, I encourage everyone to get out into nature: explore Fort Ord, visit the beach, or just walk through campus. No matter the background or history that we are bringing to our experience at California State University, Monterey Bay, we can think of a special place in nature, a place that impacted us, even if we were not conscious of it at the time; maybe it was that epic hike to half dome, the park down the street, or the backyard of your cousin’s house- it was a place you went to explore, to play, to escape, or to just sit.
When you are connected to something and have personal experience, you care more about the health and wellness of that space. While my articles throughout this year will share facts, encourage action, invite guest perspectives, and inform the campus, first, and most importantly, I will ask everyone to build connections. Build that connection to CSUMB, Fort Ord National Monument, to the waters of Monterey Bay and to other people. Our campus and the surrounding environment offer an opportunity to connect with each other (go with a new friend), with nature (listen to the sounds, sights, and smells), and with yourself (with your thoughts…and dare I say…without your phone!)
Nature is not just for the environmentalist: it cares for everyone, it doesn’t judge by race, gender, sexual orientation, or political affiliation. Similarly, sustainability is not just about nature or bringing a reusable bag. It is justice and human rights, it is systems and organizational change, it is individual behavior and infrastructure: it is something we want but don’t always know what it means or how to achieve it. I guarantee these sustainability articles will help tackle some of these topics throughout the year, but for now…just go outside.
[email protected] – This year the Lutrinae and the Sustainability Office are teaming up to bring you a regular article about sustainability at CSUMB. Any comments or questions can be directed to [email protected].