Getting to Know the Green Team - Ansh NASTA
Written by Grace Tsang, Green Team member, UG student from School of Science
Why do some people who care about the environment while the others don’t? Everyone has their own story. For me, a conversation with a friend eight years ago is what started my own personal story. “The earth will come to an end soon,” she said lightly. Of course I don’t want it happen so I realized the importance of humans taking responsibility to conserve our ecosystem. Since then, the more I learn about the impacts of climate change, the more passionate I become about our environment.
It is my pleasure to study in HKUST, with its great sea view that always refreshes my mind, especially during exam periods and approaching project deadlines. At the same time, I observe a huge amount of energy wasted during lectures, lunchtime and when I am hanging around the campus. This concerns me. It has not been easy to find others on campus who share the same passion as me. Thankfully, I found them by joining the new Green Team. I am not alone!
Everyone has their own sustainability-driven story. I have interviewed several students and staff from the Green Team, so let’s share and hear about their beliefs in coming stories.
Ansh NASTA, UG student from Mechanical Engineering, Year 2
1. What drives you to support sustainability?
When I was four years old, there was a beautiful beach near my home. My family and I enjoyed playing there. Over the years, there was a lot of waste that damaged the beach. I saw how we harmed the environment and I built up my strong commitment to sustainability. Similarly, there used to be a lot of sparrows in Mumbai. With tall buildings rising up, sparrows started to disappear. Lastly, my mother loves planting. She influenced me to appreciate nature.
2. What keeps your passion despite facing difficulties and not being comprehended by others?
With a strong responsibility to improve the campus environment, I hope to do as much as possible. However, since HKUST is such a big university, I have to send too many emails to get responses from various offices. This communication process takes a lot of time. Not everyone here acts sustainably and it would be hard to change their mindset. It is sad but I don’t give up. I just keep trying, because I know that I’m doing the right thing. Even if my sustainability projects do not succeed, I don’t feel dejected. I consider the failure as part of a learning process.
3. How do you practice sustainability on campus?
I joined the Sustainable Campus Leadership Program and initiated a green campus project. My group engaged in a solar panel project which proposed to cover the walkway near LSK building with solar panels. I’m part of the Green Team and plan to organize an E-waste recycling program on campus. I also take subtle actions, which everybody can do, like:
- Reuse backside of receipts
- Turn off the light before leaving bedroom/classroom
- Ask more people to be involved, such as joining the Green Team
- Try to save water
- Convince people to carry their own food boxes
- Reduce the waste in my societies by printing less and limiting the amount of promotion material
- Convince the TAs and Professors to recycle the assignment and exam papers Actions speak louder than words!
4. What do you think about the sustainability work in HKUST? What are your expectations and difficulties that you have encountered?
The staff at the Sustainability Unit are eager to promote a sustainable lifestyle. They appreciate my work and listen to my ideas. I can talk to the Head, Davis, anytime, as long as he is free. And when I do, I feel like I’m talking to a friend.
In the future, I hope that there will be more enthusiastic people to initiate projects. However, in a commercial city, incentive is the first priority for people to make decisions. It is very easy to get resources like food, water and electricity in Hong Kong. People are not ready to sacrifice convenience to be more sustainable.
Here are my suggestions to build greener campus:
- Sensors for lighting in bathrooms on campus. Correct place for light installation to reduce the frequency of malfunctioning.
- More events like the Green Products Fair.
5. What else would you like to share with us?
I majored in Mechanical Engineering as I need to understand the mechanisms behind energy systems such as solar, hydro and wind energy. I am planning to specialize in Energy Engineering for my Masters in USA.
If you want to be part of the HKUST Green Team and contribute to build a sustainable campus, sign up and join us now!
Ansh NASTA said he didn't give up and keep trying, because he knew he was doing the right thing.
Grace Tsang shared that the more she learned about the impacts of climate change, the more passionate I became about our environment.
HKUST Green Team