Panelists Urge Individual Responsibility

Susquehanna University
Susquehanna University

May 02, 2018

A panel of Susquehanna University alumni working in sustainable careers said the world needs to adjust its values to achieve a more sustainable society.

The panel, titled How to Build A Sustainable Society, was one part of our Earth Week celebration.

Panelists were Pamela Frontino '07, assistant director for leadership and civic engagement at Susquehanna; Alex Flack '09, CEO of Keystone Energy Solar Services; Derek Reitz '16, energy analyst at Weis Markets; and Christine Bittinger '93, environmental science professor at Harrisburg Area Community College.

Derek Martin, Susquehanna's sustainability coordinator, moderated the discussion.

Topics ranged from food and energy waste to the need for government policies that force companies to pursue earth-friendly practices.

"You need to take the option away from people to not participate in sustainability," Reitz said.

But all roads led back to the same place—us.

"I think one person can be a difference-maker," Bittinger said, offering the example of Tesla opening its electric car patents to competitors.

"When sustainability is the clear motivator behind some of these companies, and not making money, I think that's when we win as a society," Frontino added. "The more we can educate students, or talking to our neighbors, about why we need to work together, that's when we will come up with some of these solutions."

Even reusable water bottles, Flack said, is a "quick, easy and simple step" to take toward living a sustainable personal lifestyle.

"This has to be our priority," Flack said. "We have to be able to say, 25 to 50 years down the road, what are we going to run out of? Science is important, but we have the ability to solve many of these problems."

Frontino agreed.

"I have a lot of faith in this generation to be aware and understand the need to come up with solutions to these issues."

Our Earth Week celebration featured free samples of ice cream from sustainable companies, a discussion about eco-racism and eco-sexism, Bee Day, Dear Earth, a plant sale and a campus garden party.

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