Written by Renmart Buhay, a Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology student. His interest lies in the connection between sustainability, mental health and social justice.
As the New Year begins, I’ve been thinking about my resolutions. For 2015, my resolution was to maintain an active and environmentally conscious lifestyle throughout the year. Reflecting on this, I think that one area of sustainability that I want to improve on is social sustainability. This past year, it has been challenging to fit in quality time for family, friends and community service amidst stress from school, work and everyday life. For this reason, my 2016 resolution is to devote more time to community service and improving my social relationships.
I am especially excited for the New Year to volunteer with Look Out Society,which is an organization that helps out the homeless population in my community. Other opportunities I am excited for are to mentor high school students and to facilitate mental health workshops for youth across the province. Being more active in my community is also more likely to improve my personal well-being. It also helps me become more socially responsible when making environmentally conscious actions.
Heading into the New Year, I think that social sustainability is especially important in our society as we strive for a more sustainable future. As we hear stories about the refugee crisis, the impacts of climate change on vulnerable countries, and the growing seriousness of homelessness, I think that it is critical to start encompassing social equity into our definition of sustainability. Social equity means that as a society, we improve the standard of living of the people who don’t have much while at the same time preserving resources for our future. By ensuring that all members of society have equal access to a healthy and safe environment we can truly create a sustainable community.
As the New Year is a time to make resolutions to better oneself I also encourage you to think of resolutions that strengthen and give back to your community! Let’s think of ways to increase our social sustainability for 2016.
Happy New Year from the Embark Sustainability blogging team!