Baker Herrin is a student at University of Florida majoring in Electrical Engineering with a minor in Fisheries & Aquatic Systems. He started following the sustainable wave in his first year of high school and is now a part of UF’s Environmental Science Academy. I got the chance to chat with Baker about his interests in sustainability, plastic pollution, and his tips for people looking to be more sustainable.
Let’s dive straight in!
Q: What sparked your interest in sustainability?
Baker: Ever since I was little, I always loved the ocean, and grew up with an appreciation for the natural world. As I grew older and learned of how unsustainable many of our country’s practices were regarding the nature we held so dear, an interest in just why there isn’t a better way to do things being implemented was sparked.
Q: I know you always have some interesting projects going on, are there any cool environmental projects you’ve been working on recently?
Baker: I’m currently designing an aquaculture control system that will make it much easier to maintain ideal fish farming conditions in commercial aquaculture. Without a switch to aquaculture, we will deplete all of our natural seafood stores. Recirculating Fish farming systems aren’t only more environmentally friendly, but they are a necessity as global consumption of seafood continues to rise, yet output from our oceans remains the same.
Q: That sounds amazing. How could our readers keep up with your journey?
Baker: I may start making some Youtube videos! (Will update us in the future.)
Q: If you could holistically point one thing out, what would you say is our environment’s biggest threat?
Baker: To me, the biggest threat to the environment is anything that harms our oceans. From our oceans is where life extends. So over harvesting of fish coupled with ocean pollution is the greatest threat.
Q: Recurrent is all about educating and sharing stories about the sustainable life. How do you educate life? How do you share your story? How do you live sustainably? How do you encourage your friends to live sustainably? What’s the hardest part of a sustainable lifestyle? What’s the most rewarding part of a sustainable lifestyle?
Baker: I try to learn more about what affects the oceans each day, and I share my story through the importance I place on sustainable practices in my own life. This is reflected through the fact I shop at a grocery store that only sells sustainable goods, and my use of composting and recycling to greatly reduce my home’s overall waste production. It is quite expensive to pay for the sustainable groceries I buy. The most rewarding part is the knowledge I get to make a contribution with a community of people committed to making our world a greater place to live.
Q: Do you have any personal recommendations for combating plastic pollution?
Baker: For plastic pollution, every day I make sure I go out of my way to pick up trash off the street. It’s quite a simple thing, but anyone can do it and it is SO easy.
Q: What’s the coolest thing you’ve seen or been a part of as a supporter of sustainability?
Baker: I got to go on a trip to Costa Rica for a sustainability study, where I helped collected data on how much plastics were going into the waterways in certain towns. It was an amazing experience.
Q: What’s the coolest sustainability product or service you like to use?
Baker: My favorite sustainable product is recycled paper towels, which prevent the need to cut down trees to produce more. I love the idea that we have all this paper lying around, so we get to put it to use!
Thank you Baker for your time and we wish you well on your sustainable journey!