Climate change, sustainability and “going green” trends seem to be all the rage these days.
Any student attending a university can probably recall numerous instances of professors lecturing – or ranting – about saving the planet.
For Gerard Farias, professor of strategic management at FDU’s College at Florham, these lectures are more than just empty chatter.
Farias not only recognized the existence of climate change but noticed that “temperatures have been rising for the last six to seven years.”
While many people complain about the problem, many people don’t do enough to help solve it.
Farias has taken the “walk-the-walk” approach, quite literally.
Farias sees no point in using an individual automobile to traverse short distances.
As a result, he uses public transportation by riding NJ Transit trains to and from his classes at FDU’s College at Florham.
While more time-consuming, Farias lists this as one of the many contributions that ordinary citizens can make in their everyday lives.
“We need to treat our planet and fellow human beings all over the world with respect and understanding,” Farias said.
Farias has an extensive academic background.
He earned a Ph.D. in management from Texas Tech U and an MBA in human resources from XLRI in India. He has taught at Loyola University in Chicago and FDU.
Having lived in India, Sri Lanka, Texas, Chicago and New Jersey, Farias has had time, experience and perspective to formulate solutions to combat climate change.
“The primary solution,” said Farias, “is to reduce consumption in the developed world. The poor need to increase consumption to develop a minimum quality of life and the rich need to reduce consumption at least to compensate for that.”
While many may remain skeptical of the willingness of many countries to act, Farias argues that they are open to some sort of change or action.
“They need to stop making [change] conditional, particularly the West,” Farias said. “The developing and emerging economies have to improve the quality of life for a large number of people – at least to a reasonable level.”
While this sort of change may seem daunting to the majority of us, Farias encourages that it can happen at a level that will not drastically alter the quality of life many of us enjoy.
Farias and his family have taken measures to move toward change.
“We try to minimize consumption,” said Farias. “Purchase only things that we need and not want. We reuse and recycle, use public transportation, learn from others and spread awareness.”
Taking steps to help save our earth is something that we can all do at an individual level.
Instead of complaining about what should or shouldn’t be done, Farias encourages us to take action now.
Instead of “talking the talk,” Farias “walks the walk” by spreading awareness and taking action.
Walking or taking the train – like Farias – instead of driving everywhere can be a literal “step” in the right direction.