Academic Sustainability
Programs Office

A Unique University Experience

I can say that completing this lifestyle project gave me one of the purest forms of education through experience that I’ve ever had in university and I will look back fondly as I continue learning more.

– Tanzim Hoque, SUSTAIN 2S03 2017

A Unique University Experience

Photo Credit: Reta Meng

My introduction to sustainability was on a mere whim of curiosity.

As a life science student, I was very accustomed to textbook based content and memorization. SUSTAIN 2S03 had no tests or exams, but instead, the course revolved around a lifestyle project driven by personal experience.

At the time, I was a very unhealthy person especially in regards to my diet and also due to a business that I ran, I was consuming massive amounts of electricity from multiple computers and lights constantly being used. SoI decided to make my sustainability lifestyle challenge about reducing my consumption of electricity and meat. To understand how much I was consuming I monitored my meat intake for a week and calculated my weekly consumption of electricity using general electricity statistics. From there I set a goal to reduce my consumption of both these things by 30%.

As the term progressed I came to realize a few things. First was how my consumption of electricity at the beginning of the year was so wasteful. Out of habit I found myself leaving computers running or having lights left on when I was not not in the room. The second thing I realized was how my life had been greatly benefited from adopting a slightly more sustainable lifestyle. Especially in regards to meat consumption, which snowballed into losing weight, getting motivated to exercise, and finding alternative delicious recipes to replace the meat I was consuming. With regards to electricity use, this challenge pushed me to be more efficient with my energy consumption which enabled me to save over $200 a year. SUSTAIN 2S03 has changed my life so drastically from someone who knew close to nothing about the environment and its relation to economics and people, I can say that completing this lifestyle project gave me one of the purest forms of education through experience that I’ve ever had in university and I will look back fondly as I continue learning more.

– Tanzim Hoque, SUSTAIN 2S03 2017