Sustainability Origin Story:
Erlinde has had a strong interest in social justice for a long time, slowly learning more about environmental justice. Through this interest, she learned more and grew a passion for sustainability. She shares that her husband is a strong environmentalist and he has engaged her in topics of sustainability. Erlinde moved to the United States at 26, she shares “When I moved to the United States, I noticed flaws in their system. This convinced me to see what I could do to make a change”. She began exploring plant-based diets, curiously replacing animal-based products with plants. Active practices and viewing documentaries led her to her spiraling passion for sustainability. She describes sustainability as a “gateway drug” as it is continuous and there is always more to learn.
One of Erlinde’s favorite documentaries is called “2040”, it describes what life would look like in the future if we did the right thing- protecting the environment. “It is alarming we are not acting now, but if we continue to push the hash reality it will not motivate us to make change, rather create hopelessness. I like this documentary because it shows the positives of what we can achieve if we take action.”
“The science is out there already, we know climate change is real and now we must act on it. Unlike previous generations we are in a time crunch and must use quick decisions”. She says we should all expose ourselves to knowledge and learn more about sustainability. We must keep our minds open while still taking care of our mental health. Take action, live in the now, and find joy within the sustainability movement. She urges people to find a sector of sustainability that they are interested in and pursue more knowledge.
Erlinde is currently working with CSU to lead a sustainability workshop for faculty members. It is not only important for students to gain a sustainable education, but for professors to learn how to implement sustainability within their courses. She works with all specialties including professors of economics, anthropology, math, etc.
Education and action are two major topics within the sustainability movement. Erlinde states she would like to see more young people get involved but also older generations. Boomers have the majority of wealth, therefore giving them a high ability to create change. We all can achieve sustainability using our resources, whether that is our voice, education, donations, etc.
“Sustainability is intertwined with all sectors of the world. It can be implemented in any situation and is interconnected with everything.” -Erlinde Cornelis
Thank you Erlinde for taking sustainable initiatives on and on off campus. To learn more and reach Erlinde please contact, [email protected]