Eric Urbaniak, a third-year student at Central Michigan University, is a student leader dedicated to building sustainable communities. Over the past two years at CMU, Eric has helped developed many policies and practices to further our campus’s and community’s sustainability efforts, including a sustainable purchasing policy, a sustainable student living guide, and developing a recycling and composting program in collaboration with the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe for their Elder care community. Upon graduation, Eric plans to pursue a master’s degree in sustainability management with a focus on building sustainable communities.
As an advocate for the integration of the environment into our shared spaces, I firmly believe that building sustainable communities will pave the way for widespread awareness for environmental equity and justice. Much like humans have the ability to resolve poverty, hunger and crime through innovative collaboration and communication, we are capable of resolving equally pressing environmental issues that implicate global repercussions. It is already evident that the climate crisis is upon us, and notable to mention that 2020 witnessed the most billion dollar climate disasters to date, so we must open our eyes to the impending Anthropocene extinction while working toward comprehensive solutions. At CMU, I am humbled to be a part of the journey towards a more sustainable future. In 2020 alone, I took part in authoring the university Sustainable Purchasing Policy, developing a Tribal composting program, and implementing institution wide programs cultivating a more sustainable community. I believe that everyone has the potential to contribute to a better world, and that I can continue to educate and inspire others through persistent and meaningful work. As the CMU Newman representative, I will uphold these values while working to build a more sustainable world for everyone.