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Volunteer Spotlight - Lucas Kurlan

What is your background in sustainability?

I have always cared about the natural world. In high school, I was deeply involved in an environmental club, as well as having been and continuing to be engaged in local politics. I have spent a lot of time teaching myself about environmental issues, and am a staunch advocate for reducing light pollution, designing bikeable/walkable communities, public transit, maintaining native ecosystems, and increasing people’s connection with, and appreciation for nature. I was just elected an executive for the 2018-19 school year at MiraCosta, so I hope to bring some of my environmentalist priorities to that campus, and use the student government as a way to advocate for sustainability in the community. 

What is your favorite way (or ways) you reduce your carbon footprint/care for the environment?

My mother and her side of the family came from the Soviet Union, and grew up at a time when food would often be scarce. My grandmother lived through the privation of World War II. As a result, we have never taken food for granted, and never thrown it out. It is a shame that more food is lost in a given year around the world than could feed every starving person. If you remember one thing from reading this, remember that most expiration dates exist only to make you buy more of the product, not protect you. Eat leftovers first, and use your freezer - it’s there for a reason! According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, “Without accounting for greenhouse gas emissions from land use change, the carbon footprint of food produced and not eaten is estimated at 3.3 Gigatons [billion tons] of CO2 equivalent: as such, food wastage ranks as the third top emitter after the USA and China.” That’s without taking into account the 5.4 million square miles of land used to grow this uneaten food per year.

What are some of your other hobbies/passions?

I am a singer, and, though I am not religious, have been a choral scholar at All Souls’ Episcopal Church in Point Loma for the past year. Also, I enjoy spending time outdoors and hiking. I like to teach and work with people, and be a leader and facilitator in my community. I am keen to be involved in the community and government - I believe that being a good communicator with the right knowledge is the best way to effect meaningful environmental and social change. I also think modern physics is super interesting - check out PBS Spacetime on Youtube! I think physics has a relation to many different disciplines and parts of life, even if for now the connection is somewhat esoteric.