Sarah Holmes believes that small changes to daily habits can have a large impact on environmental sustainability.
“It doesn’t take much to become more conscious about using less water, turning off lights, and taking public transit,” she says. “The more we do to set a good example, the better off we will be.”
Holmes is one of nine students who began master’s studies this fall in Brock’s new Sustainability Science and Society graduate program. She graduated from Brock in 2011 with an honours BA in Geography and then completed a post-graduate certificate in Geographic Information Systems – Geospatial Management, from Niagara College in 2012.
She’s thrilled to be back at Brock as part of the new interdisciplinary program and to have an opportunity to work with her supervisor, Prof. Marilyne Jollineau.
“I’ve had a long-standing interest in interdisciplinary studies because as a geographer, I look through many lenses to see the earth and society,” says Holmes. “These lenses are not only environmental but socio-cultural, economical and historical.”
Renewable energy, carbon footprints and water quality are a few of the areas that she’s considering as topics for her major research paper. She’s looking forward to matching her research interest with a one-term co-op placement as part of her degree requirements.
“You always want to better the environment that you live in,” she says.
Holmes recently shared her thoughts about actions that everyone can take to lead more environmentally sustainable lifestyles:
What does it mean to live a more sustainable life?
“In order to achieve sustainable living a balance must be reached between the earth and consumption of resources. For example: energy conservation such as renewables; transportation design such as transit oriented development; and green architecture such as green roofs can be cost effective at a lower impact to the environment.”
What action, small or large, can people take to become more sustainable?
“Actions such as recycling, ethical consumerism, and being a part of community environmental programs are all things that can be done to become more sustainable.”
What actions do you do to live a more sustainable lifestyle?
“Personally, I take public transportation, I’m an adamant recycler and energy conserver and I research sustainable practices as well as stay up to date with green technologies.”
What is your best tip for someone trying to live a more sustainable life?
“My first tip would be for someone to research sustainable living to become more aware of the various aspects of their personal lives in which they can improve. Look within their own life, from shopping habits to driving and alternative modes of transportation to product and energy consumption. Many small changes on a personal level can have a great impact.”