Olivia Humphrey is a senior at San Diego State University. She is very involved with sustainability on campus, not only through her environmental science major and sustainability minor, but also through her leadership positions such as being this year’s Green Love Commissioner. Learn about Olivia’s goals for Green Love, inspiration for her environmentalism, and dream for a sustainable future.
You’re an environmental science major, sustainability minor, and this year’s Green Love Commissioner! What are some of your goals for Green Love?
“Environmental awareness is my biggest goal. Getting the campus involved and raising awareness about sustainability news is so big for me. By using Green Love’s voice, we can show people that when you speak up about matters loudly, things will change. I would love to see Green Love use its voice to not only empower people on campus but also to make a ripple effect everywhere.”
What inspires you to be an advocate for our planet?
“So much! Ever since I was little, I was always outside. I wrote many papers in middle school and high school on topics such as greenhouse gases, factory farms, sustainability, and zero waste. I never knew it was a career option until I was older. Then I started going to National Parks, visiting other places, and learning more about the state of the earth. All of the education that I’ve gotten from the news, school, and social media has inspired me to advocate for our planet. I realized the condition that Earth is in and how much I want to change it.”
What do you find most intriguing about sustainability?
“I think the most intriguing thing is how low-cost sustainability can be. Initial investments for reusable products can be expensive but so much of sustainability is reusing, reducing, revamping. You can live sustainably in a way that is financially doable and helps our planet. I think that’s such a cool thing, especially for college students!”
Are there any specific courses or experiences that have shaped your sustainability journey?
“Yes! When I was taking biology in high school, I learned about ecosystems, food webs, and what can happen when an animal goes extinct. That intrigued me because it unfortunately happens a lot: a bottom feeder or an animal in the middle of the food chain gets poached or overfished and as a result, the ecosystem can collapse. Learning about the tragic outcomes of climate change and ecosystem collapses really made me want to become more sustainable and try to do what I can as an individual to make sure my planet can thrive.”
“Also, when I did an internship at The Living Coast Discovery Center, I was the sustainability specialist assistant and I did a lot of zero waste and composting work. That experience amped me up to realize that I want to show people how to live a life that is both sustainable and fulfilling.”
What is your dream for sustainability? What do you envision for a sustainable future?
“I would love to see a lot more community. I envision community gardens, green landscaping, zero-emission buses, improved infrastructure for biking and walking, and mainstream composting. There would be stronger environmental policies and more environmental aid from the government. It would be fantastic for all restaurants to accept reusable containers. Also, I would love to see more item swaps within communities. In my vision of a sustainable future, grocery stores are free of plastic, everything runs renewable energy, and homes have solar panels, rain barrels, and greywater systems. A community with swapping, composting, and community gardens would connect people and better use the resources we have. Humans are such social creatures and how beautiful would it be to have a community who wants to support you as much you want to support it."