February 2019: Carol Garcia

February 22, 2019

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What does sustainability mean to you ?
"When I hear the word “sustainability,” I think about the things that sustain a community, such as families, access to quality education, healthy food and clean air and water. I also think about labor protections for workers in labor intensive industries, such as factories and farm work. In my experience growing up in the Central Coast, working conditions are integral to people’s well being, and more often than not, labor is tied directly to the environment. "
What sustainable practices do you live by in your daily life and did has the sustainability office inspire you to make some changes?
"I’ve engaged with common forms of sustainability, such as recycling, for most of my life. However, the sustainability office has inspired me to make a conscious effort to reduce my use of single-use plastics and begin composting at home. "
Favorite Green Tips?
"I don’t know if this is a practical green tip, but I do encourage folks to read about the impacts of climate change and educate themselves about the severity of environmental degradation. While this can be depressing at times, it does push me to, for example, skip out on buying coffee if I don’t have my reusable mug (and I save money too!)."
What is your role/Position at the Sustainability Office?
"I am currently the Program Coordinator for the People of Color Sustainability Collective, which is a collaboration between the Sustainability Office, Colleges 9 & 10 and the Ethnic Resource Centers. At the Sustainability Office, I collaborate with staff and students on programs and events."
Tell me about your background and how you became part of UCSC?
"I am from Salinas, CA, a large agricultural town. My parents are immigrants from Mexico and I was the first born in the United States. My interest in the People of Color Sustainability stems from my experiences growing up in Salinas, a place where communities face health concerns directly linked with environmental and labor issues. I have been fortunate to explore and learn more about these issues through formal education. I received my BA in Spanish and Anthropology from the University of California, Davis. Last year I was in graduate school, and my Master of Arts degree in Social Sciences will be conferred from the University of Chicago in March 2019. "
What is your long-term vision for sustainability at UCSC?
"I would like to see more collaboration between staff members working on diversity with sustainability staff members. This is developing, and I am excited to see where it will go in terms of programming and creating new spaces for students. "
What are your thoughts on environmental justice ? 
"I think that environmental justice should be considered as a framework within environmental spaces more often than it is. It is important to realize that climate change and environmental degradation will affect certain communities disproportionately and the specific environmental, social and political concerns of these communities need to be part of the larger conversation. "
What is your role at PoCSC?
"As I mentioned, I am the Program Coordinator for PoCSC. In this position, I support our three student interns in programming and events for PoCSC. I also actively work toward forming partnerships with other student organizations, programs and departments to expand the reach of PoCSC’s vision."
What is PoCSC purpose? 
"The mission of PoCSC is to make UCSC a leader not just in mainstream sustainability, but also environmental justice, in recognition of our changing demographics and pressing ecological challenges. "
Is there a message you would like UCSC students to know?
"I would encourage students at UCSC to engage with the breath of environmental knowledge on this campus and think about how they can expand, question, and add to that knowledge. I believe that this is important for coming up with solutions to the environmental, social and political problems that we face."