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Dec 02, 2022
In General Discussions
This course was very eye-opening and will be one of the courses I'll remember for the rest of my life. Every topic was so interesting to learn about and the content always included something I'd never learned before. I honestly feel like ENVR 430 is a very important class that all UBC students should take as leaders of the next generation. When I first joined this class, I was extremely nervous about not knowing a lot about sustainability and felt very uncomfortable about these types of conversations. ENVR 430 gave me a voice in this aspect and allowed me to brainstorm ways of solving environmental crises. My goal at the start of this class was just to learn more about the environment and receive credits toward my degree. After 13 weeks, however, I was able to come out of this course with way more information than I could have expected. From the experience and knowledge I received from this course, I intend to pursue some field that closely deals with having a positive environmental impact through technology. I am also more aware of the marketing tactics that affect my day-to-day life and how being a consumer isn't an excuse to not do something about these government and company choices. I now understand that being idle is not the answer and the most effective method of transforming lives is by joining petitions or spreading awareness. I would like to give my appreciation to both Kai and Dana for creating such an amazing course. I hope you guys can continue inspiring more students that are like me.
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H
Nov 19, 2022
In #UnleashValues
This week’s topic on life and death made me reflect on humanity’s role on this Earth. So many of the problems we have discussed up until now are caused by human activity. I think it has been very easy for us to take nature for granted from water consumption to wildlife. This week has definitely been the bigger picture of our weekly discussions. Humans have this idea that we are the most important animals in this world when in fact, we shouldn’t even be considered animals when we degrade the Earth like parasites. However, as much as we are capable of destroying the beauty of this world, we also have the capability to right our wrongs. I believe that humans still have a chance of rewilding and co-existing with nature instead of destroying every aspect of it. I envision a world where humans can live sustainably without derailing nature’s course. I want to join the movement of bringing back wildlife and important plant species. I am making it a goal to volunteer abroad to support the teams bringing back sea turtles.
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H
Nov 04, 2022
In #UnleashValues
I think I have the same reaction as that English lady in “Recycling Myth” to the current plastic crisis. I was previously aware that not all items are recyclable, but the reality is shocking that only 10% of our plastics are actually recycled or down-cycled. I think I’m happy learning the truth though because that truly captures the current state of global plastics. Almost everyone has the same mindset, that once we throw our plastics in the recycling bin, they will be recycled/down-cycled — not end up burned or in landfills. I believe it’s really important to bring awareness to this and publicly call out companies who package everything. Therefore, my vision of the possible future is that we don’t have to illegally transport plastics for them to be disposed of. We should be able to dispose of plastics safely and ethically, so the easiest solution to that is to ban single-use plastics. If humans could survive through a time without single-use plastics, I believe we can do it all over again. This idea that we need plastic bags to hold smaller plastic packaging is just stupid. We should be able to walk into our local markets and purchase ALL items in their loose forms. I would like to join the movement of buying products loose when it is available and I hope all of you can join me in this movement!
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H
Oct 28, 2022
In #UnleashValues
This week’s topic has definitely shifted my views on what rich people can do. I had the exact same thought as Prof. Chan that if I could become rich, I would be able to make a positive environmental impact. However, I’ve come to realize that it’s more nuanced than that. There are reasons why rich people are rich, and it’s because there are loopholes that they can take advantage of. That is why I believe that big companies should be more transparent with what they do with the “donations” they state to make. I envision a world where rich people can provide more solutions than just throwing money left and right — evading further taxes. My solution to this would be that instead of having big businesses evade taxes through donating, they are rewarded by investing in solutions that the government oversees. If let’s say the government see’s an actual benefit to their solution, then the government can match up to a certain percentage and return it to big companies. And they can choose to double down and compound the investment into their solution. Thus, creating a snowballing effect towards the right solutions. 💰
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H
Oct 21, 2022
In #UnleashValues
Forest fires have been so devastating these few years that so many people are losing their homes and having to evacuate their cities. This makes me really sad to think about as I can’t imagine having to move out of my home and Vancouver due to forest fires. On top of that, if forest fires are close enough, there is a big chance that my home can burn up along with the nearby forests — thereby no possibility of returning home. It almost gets me angry that if this does happen to me and my city, the cause isn’t even due to me or my community, but others around the world who still don’t care about the environment. The unfairness of global climate change is that whatever you do doesn’t necessarily affect yourself, but affects other lives and the potential destruction of homes. Thus, I believe that a positive future is where forest fires are less devastating and less frequent. I envision a world where everyone can breathe clean air and enough rainfall for farmers to grow crops. My solution is to locate very dry areas and provide more water to these areas to reduce the fuel of potential fires. Preparing in advance can help prevent these devastating fires from taking over cities and most importantly, people’s homes.
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H
Oct 14, 2022
In #UnleashValues
This week’s topic on food scarcity and agriculture really hit home for me. As many people would relate, food is an essential part of not only survival but also a social aspect of our daily lives. For many people, food is an integral part of their lives such as bodybuilders. I believe that this week’s topic is something everyone can and should be more aware of: humans need to find a more sustainable method in agriculture. The common misconception that we discussed in class is the information that needs to be widespread such as organic isn’t necessarily better. I envision a world where we encourage farmers to reduce the use of chemicals and pesticides. We also need to stop believing that micro-managing every aspect of nature will help the natural course of ecosystem balance. I sometimes think the more humans that try to force the balance, often end up making the situation worse. Therefore, I want to reward natural farmers with more resources to help their sustainable agriculture. Resources that don't include only money but technology can help reduce manual labour in farms. Technology that also won’t add to the climate crisis. Technologies that can help are better monitoring systems and AI which can help us plan the best plan of action when unpredictable situations arise.
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H
Oct 07, 2022
In #UnleashValues
This week we learned about the importance of water. Honestly, I always kept the importance in the back of my mind, but I never really acted on it or specifically changed the way I lived. However, I do believe that having clean water is a basic human right and the fact that first-world countries neglect the importance of having access to clean water and sanitization. We often get lost in our own worlds and focus on problems such as careers and relationships, but forget that other countries are literally fighting to survive. To follow up with that idea, I envision a world where everyone is conscious of their daily activities and how privileged we all are to live in water-accessible areas of the world. I also would like to add that I envision a world that has access to all types of food - not restricted by water availability. I believe that one way we can reach this vision is to have a day similar to Truth & Reconciliation, where we must reduce our water consumption. If Cape Town can essentially cut down their water usage by half within a few days, I believe that any country is capable of this as well. Just a day out of every month when we all reduce our daily water usage, we can potentially share this water with third-world countries. In total, the monthly water savings can allow people around the world to have their basic human rights.
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H
Sep 23, 2022
In #UnleashValues
I believe that the first people should have a say in policy-making and overall decisions that affect their communities. I envision a future where people are more accountable for their actions and inactions. People relieve responsibility off of themselves when it doesn’t directly affect them. Speaking on distributional justice, imagining someone damaging my front-yard and essentially my home, I would do everything in my power to stop them. However, the current system has been put in place to give power to those only with money. This allowed factory owners to out-bid and overpower the native’s and own their land. Reaping all the benefits and leaving nothing left for the natives, this exclusion destroys centuries of cultural history and traditions. Media rarely speaks on issues until it becomes mainstream, therefore, I personally feel very ignorant to the situations that are happening to indigenous communities in British Columbia. I am going to spread awareness to family and friends about the current systems that are put in place to exclude native communities. Additionally, I also believe that it should be mandatory for the first people to have a seat in politics.
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H
Sep 16, 2022
In Relational Values
This week I’m taking a more abstract view of the problem. Many times we are focused on one problem at a time. For example, lowering carbon emissions through buying and using electric vehicles. However, as many of my classmates presented, there are more levels after that fact, such as the resources used for production and the areas needed for the increase in electric vehicle usage. To me, we can’t just be tackling problems with the focus of one issue, we need to focus on the problem as a whole and do it TOGETHER. No more “the government should do this” or “it’s the consumer's fault”. We have to love each other and try our best to be sustainable. Therefore, I envision a world where everyone on Earth can be fundamentally rooted in love ethics - it’s us against the problem. I want to start a movement to just love each other and be more understanding of each other. We can’t keep pushing the problem onto other people. It’s time to work together. #UnleashValues
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H
Sep 11, 2022
In Member Introductions
Hi Everyone! I am enrolled in ENVR 430 at UBC and am very excited to join the CoSphere initiative. I am currently in my last year at UBC and I am hoping that through ENVR 430 I am able to learn how I can play an integral role in achieving sustainability. I have some previous knowledge of the current status of our climate through the courses Global Climate Change and Marine Pollution. However, I feel like I have yet to learn what actions I can take to mitigate climate change. If you feel the same way I do, follow #UnleashValues as our class unravels and addresses this issue.
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