Hi Everyone! My name is Ana Antunes, I am an international student from Brazil, I am currently attending the Community Economic Development program at Red River College and during the month of April I will be working with Whitney, Kale and Sara at the Sustainability Office as my program practicum placement.
I am passionate about sustainability, green living, reducing our impact on the environment, supporting small businesses in achieving social and economic wellbeing, people empowerment, educating for citizenship and everything else that leads us to a happier and more environment friendly living.
I have always had a strong connection with the environment and growing up in a family that valued being close to nature, and having contact with the land and animals, has fostered my love and care for the environment and my awareness of our impact on Earth. Over the years I met many other people that have touched me deeply with their knowledge and wisdom and that have influenced me to choose to be more mindful about my everyday choices and the impact of those choices on my ecological footprint. I have a bachelor and a teaching degree in Biological Sciences from Brazil which added a lot to my environmentally friendly approach while dealing with communities, teaching, working towards problem-solving, developing creative-thinking skills and in several other aspects of my personal life as well.
As a Biologist I feel I have the duty to protect the environment, to increase people’s environmental awareness and to find more sustainable ways of living. However, my experiences taught me that environmental awareness is intrinsically connected to critical thinking, community involvement, social awareness and cultural, health and economic aspects. That is why I decided to join the Community Development program, to be able to work with communities facilitating solid, inclusive, respectful, equitable, sustainable and healthy growth. I believe that only when all basic needs are met and individuals are involved and educated for citizenship, we will be able to work for a sustainable planet.
So far, I have mostly been focused on the issues and possibilities for sustainable living at the individual level and working at the Sustainability office has been a great opportunity to look at the issues and possibilities that emerge at the institutional level. Learning from Kale, Whitney and Sara’s experience on how we can reduce our impact as an organization is a huge opportunity for me and I am very excited to be able to absorb some of this knowledge while bringing my own international CD/CED student perspective to their work.
Although I will only be at the office for a month, I will have plenty of projects to contribute to. Some of the things I will be working on during my time here will be researching options for repurposing excess office supplies and materials, researching and drafting printing guidelines to support paper reduction, developing sustainability-focused content for student tours and providing support for the upcoming State of Sustainability (April 23 to April 26).
In my spare time, I like to explore Winnipeg (there is so much to discover!), be close to nature and spend quality time with my mini-family (husband and dog) and friends!