My Journey to Sustainability

As a geology student, I am being taught to understand the resources available on our planet – whether it be oil & gas, minerals, or water. But resources are limited and careless exploitation of these resources creates a ripple effect that impacts all areas of our daily life. Sustainability is about addressing historical issues, managing present resources, and strategizing for the future.

This summer, I am working at the Sustainable Development Department at the City of Edmonton for my Stretch Experience. I was challenged to expand my horizons on sustainability issues through two projects. First, I learned the importance of a holistic strategy in approaching sustainable development from conducting an initial research on a lighting bylaw for the city. It was enlightening to recognize that sustainable lighting is at the intersection of the environment, society, and economy. A similar mentality needs to be embraced in order to undertake future challenges in sustainable energy development. Secondly, I appreciated the significance of strategizing and forward-thinking through my involvement in reassessing the parameters of the Brownfields Redevelopment Grant Program at the city. This exciting project not only allowed me to further my technical skills, but more importantly, it expanded my outlook on the multidimensional and multidisciplinary nature of sustainable development.

All in all, it was a very “stretchy” and valuable experience for me. I hope to hear more about everyone’s summer during our retreat!

Michael Li.

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