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Chun Wai Chau: Keeping the environment clean for Anteaters everywhere



Name: Chun Wai Chau

Year: 3rd year

Majors: Philosophy and Crim Double Major


What got you involved?

In high school I took an environmental science class but that was just a class…it started when I watched the documentary Food Inc. It began my interest in social justice in food and the impact on the environment, and how it’s embedded in our industrial culture. The beginning of my sophomore year I joined “The Real Food Challenge” club at UCI. From there on I got involved.

What are you currently involved in?

The Real Food Challenge, ASUCI Garden Initiative, Student Advisory Council for Student Sustainability Education

Why should people care about your cause?

I have three main reasons people should care about the environment: realistically speaking, the integrity of our earth is getting ruined, we have climate change, and loss of animal diversity, which is detrimental to the earth’s ability to sustain itself (We just can’t go on living the way we do).

2. More importantly, if college students cared about social justice and issues, then the environment would be a really crucial and important point of entry to start taking care of the ecosystem.

3. A lot of college students should imagine the environment differently.

“A lot of the time I feel as an individual you feel disempowered and think that you can’t really make a difference or dent, but if there’s a whole community who cares, that can help you feel like your choice matters, that’s why I think getting involved is really important.”

Do you have any tips to be environmentally conscious?

-Look around and see what’s going on in your communities and on campus. There’s probably at least a handful of organizations that work to help issues that concern environmental justice.

-Become educated in what’s going on around us. It doesn’t take much, just some initiative.

-50% of food sold in the U.S. is wasted, so the easiest thing to do is not waste food! In terms of energy saving, conserve as much energy and water as possible. The most simple things can make the largest difference.

What is your inspiration through all this?

I draw a lot of inspiration from the international group “La Via Campesina.” They’re composed of farmers around the world that push for innovative ideas of how to produce food in sustainable ways that protect farmer’s rights.

What is next for you?

Personally, I look at issues more critically. I will probably pursue a graduate degree in geography, and I love food, so I want to look into food policy related careers.

Any final thoughts?

“People should have both a global and local perspective on change, but of course local change is more easily implemented.”

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Amanda Kim

UC Irvine

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