St. Stephen’s was thrilled to welcome one of our own back to campus this spring. Alumnus Yosua A. Husodo ’12 visited The Hill on April 17 to speak with members of the school community about the urgent need for increased environmental awareness.
Husodo, who earned a B.A in environmental studies at Eckerd College, currently is working on a master’s degree in sustainability management at the Institute for Management and Innovation at the University of Toronto Mississauga. His career goals meet at the intersection of environmental science and economics. “I want to help businesses rethink their operational decisions so they look at them through a wider lens, one that includes environmental, social and economic perspectives,” he explained.
Husodo kicked off his campus visit by meeting with school’s Green Goblins environmental club. He spoke with club members about a range of pressing sustainability issues, including the extreme damage done to the planet by plastic bags, product packaging and other consumer waste materials.
Later in the day, he met with students in Lauren Murphy’s environmental science course. “It’s really fun to be back on The Hill,” he said. “I actually enrolled at St. Stephen’s a decade ago and sat in this same classroom for freshman biology. This is where I first got interested in preserving the planet.”
Husodo also credits a college course in green design with helping to focus his career interests. “Green design changed the way I view environmental issues in the sense that research and conservation are not the only outlets to solving environmental problems,” he explained. “It also can be accomplished through innovation, such as sustainable building design, which often incorporates ways to make homes more energy efficient.”
Husodo added that he is interested in corporate social responsibility reporting, which involves working with businesses to understand responsible supply chains, as well as creating a value chain through partnerships with fair trade vendors and certified organizations. “We have to be mindful of companies’ ‘greenwashing’ their logo ? projecting the appearance of being environmentally conscious when they are not.”
Husodo believes numerous sustainability issues are a direct result of human behavior, such as excessive shopping and a desire for convenience. “There are little things people can do every day that could have a big impact on the environment,” he explained. “We all need to be more mindful of how our personal decisions affect the natural world.”
“First and foremost, focus on waste reduction,” he advised. “Bring your own cups to coffee shops and your own bags to the grocery store. Pay attention to the packaging you inadvertently purchase along with your groceries. Rather than just grabbing 10 apples pre-bagged in plastic, consider buying from the bulk bin and only what you really need. This will help eliminate both environmental damage and food waste.”
Husodo also suggested people consider the impact excessive driving and carbon emissions have on the atmosphere. “If you cannot rely on public transportation, at least figure out the most efficient route you can take when running errands,” he suggested.
“Also, think about your energy use at home ? the number of lights you use and your thermostat settings,” he said. “Maybe you don’t need to keep your air conditioner set on 72 degrees; maybe you could be just as comfortable at 76 degrees.”
His final words of advice to the Spartan community? Nurture healthy relationships ? those with the people around you, but also with the environment.
“We are not here just to be good stewards of the environment while we continue to consume and extract our natural resources,” he said. “It is important for all of us to understand that human society is a part of nature, not the other way around.”