This is a statement of intent
by American University students of our generation.
We stand on the brink of adulthood, when many of us are making
decisions about the direction of our futures.
The United States represents less than 5% of the world's population,
but uses 40% of the world's energy, drives 30% of its automobiles,
and is the source of over 20% of the world-wide carbon emission.
We are, without doubt, the country with the largest ecological footprint.
Our current lifestyle comes at the expense of the health of the
planet and its people.
As students in the most industrialized, wealthy, and powerful country
in the world, we recognize that these privileges come with responsibility.
I, a University student in 2002, I recognize that the Earth has
finite resources. I recognize that my everyday actions continue
to affect communities on a local and global scale, today and in
the future, for better or for worse. I also recognize and believe
that infinite growth of our economy and of GDP does not mean the
increase of human well-being or happiness.
Today I commit to make a positive contribution to the future.
I will take environmental responsibility and promote sustainable
development in my daily life by:
I) Respecting and caring for the community of life that sustains
me, and protecting ecological integrity.
a. Explore my local natural environment.
b. Support efforts to conserve natural resources and ecosystems.
c. Avoid products that are damaging to humans and the natural world.
d. Support and promote the humane treatment of all life.
II) Promoting a culture of democracy, social justice, and peace.
a. Learn about international social, political, and environmental
issues, and recognize how they are interconnected
b. Advocate for the basic human right to clean, fresh air and water.
c. Make my voice heard through voting and social activism.
d. Respect everyone's right to free speech and opinion.
e. Support efforts to use non-violence in conflict resolution.
f. encourage my workplace to minimize damage to human and natural
g. Invest my savings in a socially and environmentally responsible
III) Reducing my consumption of resources and my impact on the
a. Resist the urge to buy things I don't need and understand the
environmental and social impacts of things I do buy.
b. Reduce the amount of garbage I create.
c. Reduce my waste of fresh water.
d. Recycle and buy items made from recycled or reused material where
e. Travel by foot, skate, bike, transit, train, and carpool.
f. Learn how things are made, and where they come from, and to support
technology that is less harmful.
g. Buy food that is produced locally and sustainably.
We also call on our elder generations and those in power to support
and mentor us in our vision -- to help us shape the present so that
future citizens will not remember our generation as one of wasteful
consumerism and social blindness. We hope this document, in alignment
with the Earth Charter and other documents for change, conveys the
commitment of the students of our generation. Today, we take responsibility
so that the students of tomorrow will remember our era as one of
responsible living and positive change.