Harvard announced that it has achieved its goal, set in 2008, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30%. Aldís Elfarsdóttir, pictured, is currently serving as a student representative on a Task Force of students, faculty, and staff convened by President Drew Faust to determine the next phase of our climate commitment. Acting on climate change has united our students, faculty, and staff around a common purpose. Through #HarvardClimateStories, spearheaded by @greenharvard, you can meet the people working to help pilot promising new solutions on campus.
Q. Ten years from now, when you look back at your time at Harvard, what do you want your personal climate impact to have been and where do you see your path taking you?
A. Ten years from now, I’d like to look back and see my push for a waste-conscious and energy-accountable campus as part of the broader discourse and action of climate change mobilization. I’d like such initiatives to resonate in the student body on a higher level: as a mindset and collective goal of reducing material waste and energy demand, and handling discarded resources properly. This is not only for the sake of the environment damaged by resource extraction, but for the sake of the largely poor and minority communities that have been disproportionately and historically impacted by society’s waste infrastructure and hazardous dumps.
I want to make sure that even as an engineer in training concerned with quantitative analytics and models, I stay tuned to the realities of the people and broader systems with whom and within which I work. Whether I become a sanitary landfill or renewable energy engineer or a member of a local or federal governing body that coordinates waste and energy management, the opportunity to work for social and #environmentaljustice and equity in the areas of energy and waste appeals to me in a way that I think has stemmed from the opportunity to work with campus energy and waste operations through the Office for Sustainability.
Environmental Science and Engineering
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