Train Your Brain to Sustain at CofC

Have you seen those "Train Your Brain to Sustain" banners around campus and wondered what they were? These banners are part of a College of Charleston initiative to encourage sustainabilty literacy among students, faculty, and staff. So, you may be wondering then what is sustainability literacy? According to the College's Quality Enhancement Plan, sustainability is "the ability to integrate economic, social and environmental systems in ways that allow for individual, institutional, community, regional and planetary resilience." In order to achieve this, everyone on campus has to develop an understanding of the environmental, social and economic factors at play. 

Photo taken from sustain.cofc.edu. 

The Quality Enhancement Plan comes out every 10 years and this year the theme is CofC Sustains/Solves. The QEP introduces the three pillars of advocacy: education, empowerment and expression so students, faculty, and staff can become more active on campus and within the community. The focus for this year involves being aware and educated on water quality and quantity, and how population growth, global warming and pollution contribute to Earth's water shortage. Why the focus on water and why is water shortage a global issue? According to Water Mission, a Charleston-based non-profit organization that aims to end the global water crisis, approximately 2.4 billion people live without adequate sanitation–which is 35% of the global population. Think about what we use water for drinking, showering, doing dishes, laundry and so much more. Safe and clean water is something we take for granted, but billions of people globally live without that luxury. This is why we as CofC students, faculty and staff need to be conscious of the global water crisis and why being sustainability literate is so crucial. 

Photo taken from the lastwell.org.

If we want to save and improve our environment as well as make sure everyone globally, locally, and nationally has access to safe and sanitary water, we need to take the initial steps in being sustainable. This is where the "Train Your Brain to Sustain" campaign comes in as we first need to change the way we think and act. We also need to develop problem solving skills, effective teamwork, and advocacy for resiliency. Look at the banner and you'll see that sustainability is multidimensional: environmental, economic, and social. We have a big problem ahead of us and it will take a lot of work to solve it, but we're also the solution and reshaping how we think and engage in sustainability is a small but major step. 

Photo taken from The College Today.

Are you interested in learning more about this initiave as well as the global water crisis? Check out the sustainability video and the World Health Organization's fact sheet on the global drinking water shortage.