Student Profile: Sasha Culley '21

March 5, 2019


Economics, with certificates in environmental studies and cognitive science. I’m interested in further exploring the intersection of these disciplines, in particular economic and psychological incentives for promoting sustainable practices.

How do you define sustainability?

Sustainability is often interpreted as meeting our needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. I see sustainability as a dynamic concept that is largely influenced by where we each set our expectations and goals. From my perspective, approaching sustainability questions within the metric of human utility, such as setting a goal of maintaining the well-being of future generations, distorts the interpretation of sustainability because it presents a fundamentally selfish and anthropocentric view of our planet. I'm more compelled by a type of sustainability that encourages everyday practices that align with an appreciation of the intrinsic value of the Earth, instead of focusing on how natural resources can best serve us. I believe that we should set sustainability goals that promote the flourishing of Earth and its natural resources for their own sake. As best I can, I try to practice and spread an ethos of sustainability that consists of mindful and concerted efforts to allow the planet to thrive with and around us.

Why did you decide to get involved with sustainability on campus?

Being a keen surfer, I have always had a deep appreciation for our oceans and am passionate about mitigating plastic pollution. Before freshman year, however, I had had little exposure to organized sustainability efforts. I was motivated to join conservation society by a desire to contribute to effective action on conservation issues as well as shift campus attitudes surrounding sustainability.

I have recently taken on the role of Student Sustainability Liaison (SSL). In this role I hope to foster the green community that attracted me to the sustainability groups on campus at the start of freshman year as well as create a link between student groups and the Office of Sustainability.

How has your leadership role shaped your experience at Princeton?

Interacting with motivated students who are deeply committed about sustainability and conservation is incredibly empowering. The role of SSL has allowed me to engage with people working on various green causes related to on-campus sustainability, conservation, climate policy, community engagement and sustainable farming. Facilitating collaboration between different sustainability groups through the office of sustainability has enriched my Princeton experience with a sense of positive purpose. My involvement has exposed me to some of the most passionate and driven students on campus.