New Board Member - Julia Shulist

 Photo from Julia Shulist.

Photo from Julia Shulist.

Julia is a Masters student at the University of Waterloo in Environment and Resource Studies, focusing on residential electricity consumption.  She earned a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Math (minor in Anthropology), and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Geography and Environmental Studies from McMaster University. Her love of animals drives her to help create a more sustainable planet. She believes that change starts at the individual level, and wants to educate people about how they can help contribute to a more sustainable, healthy planet.

When did you realize that you had a passion for the environment? What made you realize it?

My passion for the environment came about when I started to realize how human activities impacted the lives of animals by destroying their habitats, polluting their environments, destroying their sources of food, etc. I felt that animals were powerless to fight human activities, so it was up to humans to change their ways, and create a happy, healthy planet for themselves and the animals they share the earth with.

Do you have a favourite Starfish article? What makes it so special to you?

My favourite Starfish article is “How Green is your Beauty Regime.” I really like this article because it highlighted the effect beauty and personal care products have on the environment, something that is often overlooked because they are considered to be necessary products. The best part of this article was that a solution was given to the problem that was presented, in the form of homemade alternative personal care products. The solution gives readers the information they need to change their ways, instead of just telling them there is a problem, and leaving them to try and solve it.

If you could focus your energy on one issue facing the environment today, what would it be? How would you do it?

I am a firm believer that change starts at the individual level; a million small environmentally conscious acts can make a big difference towards creating a healthy environment. I think the individual needs to realize that the small environmentally friendly acts they carry out do make a difference and that the extra time and effort they put into it helps. So I would focus my energy on empowering the individual, giving them the tips and tools they need to live a more environmentally conscious life.

Do you have any green new year resolutions for 2013?

In 2013 I would like to put more effort into what I eat. Wherever possible, I would like to eat locally produced food, and I would also like to plant a vegetable garden. I had one at the last place I lived, and it was a great way to have fresh veggies every day!

What would you like to see the Starfish accomplish this year?

The Starfish covers such a wide variety of topics which means that there is something for everyone. I would like to see the Starfish get into communities all across Canada, exposing people to these diverse issues and hopefully people will read an article that really speaks to then and ignites their passion for the environment.

Tom Wiercioch