sustainablespu

Sustainability is about ecology, economy and equity.- Ralph Bicknese


Electronic Recycling


f3e24db2_resizedforwebWhat’s one of the least-recycled objects in the average household? The Seattle Times states that only 10% of cellphones get recycled nationwide.

It’s understandable; some people keep old phones to use in case their current one gets lost or broken (which is a GREAT idea, speaking as the girl who left her only phone on the metro last month…).

But if old phones are piling up in your desk drawer, it might be time for a visit to a nearby electronics recycling center. Continue reading


Film & Sustainability: The Hunger Games


the-hunger-gamesLast spring The Hunger Games set off a new wave of fantasy movie buzz with it’s tidal wave of popularity and financial success. The second film installment, Catching Fire, is sure to be even bigger when it premiers Nov. 22, 1013.

This post will look at the film The Hunger Games as well as the book trilogy which birthed the movie series. So, be warned, mild spoilers lie ahead.

To start, I love the series’ social commentary on starvation, poverty, and oppression. Though other films and books have tried to discuss the same issues, not many have found that incredible balance of subtle-but-powerful that Suzanne Collins created. The Humer Games’ fictional pseudo-kingdom of Panem, a dystopian North America that doesn’t shy away from violence, mirrors problems of the real world in an accessible way only fantasy can project. Continue reading


Texas Chemical Explosion


house-burns-explosion-west-texasThe chemical explosion at West Fertilizer Co. shook the ground and the community of West Texas last Wednesday, April 17th. At the time, however, it seemed like just another disaster smashed in the middle of Boston’s high-profile bombings and the subsequent manhunt. But that ares of Texas suffered much more damage than Boston. And although it’s not getting as much press as the marathon tragedy, helping the community of West Texas is just as important as aiding Boston right now.

Statistically, West Texas suffered a heavier toll than Boston last week. International Business Times reports that the Texas explosion killed 14 and injured over 200. Boston’s bomb killed 3 and injured 140. Continue reading


SPU’s Social Venture Meets Earth Day


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Happy Earth Day everyone!

Coinciding with Sustainable Happiness Week and opening for today, our school put on a showcase to connect sustainability with business.

For the 7th consecutive year, Seattle Pacific University has enjoyed another successful Social Venture Plan Competition. In this competition, SPU students display their knowledge and commitment towards green practices in the professional world. Continue reading


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Sustainability & Film: Pursuit of Happyness


still-of-will-smith-and-jaden-smith-in-the-pursuit-of-happyness-large-pictureTo celebrate the end of Sustainable Happiness Week, I thought I would take a look at one of the leading contemporary films about the issue, The Pursuit of Happyness.

This very-American drama is based on the true life of Chris Gardner and his experience of homelessness. Will Smith plays Gardner, a salesman who decides to risk everything by entering into stock brokerage, despite the fact that he had no home and sole custody of his young son. This harrowing role got Smith nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe.

In this film, Smith’s character asks the question everyone wonders at some point: “They all looked so damn happy to me. Why couldn’t I look like that?” Continue reading


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Steps to Happiness: Environmental Quality


SeattleSkyline_300Media and research often talks about how people affect the environment, but few are concerned about how the environment affects people. Issues like greenhouse emissions, waste management, and air quality actually influence our levels of happiness and satisfaction in life.Though we have posted about environmental awareness before, this post primarily concerns how environment directly affects your happiness. Continue reading


Steps to Happiness: Lifestyle


HE_apple-on-scale_s4x3_leadIf you consider part of happiness to be a daily maintenance, or a homeostasis, of mood, then there are concrete steps you can take to regulate a steady level. These aspects contribute towards physical health, which is one of the ten domains of happiness.

This post will identify and analyze the key lifestyle aspects that affect mood and happiness.

Eating Well: It turns out that your “Happy Meal” is a misnomer. Continue reading


Steps to Happiness: Laughter


tumblr_ml351tJdit1r4x0u7o1_500Proverbs 17:22 claims that “a cheerful heart is good medicine.” Today we can prove that as true. No one can deny that a life filled with laughter is likely a happy life, but now we have evidence to back it up.

Researchers have proven that laughter boosts happiness levels while reducing stress. Regular humor gives instant and long-lasting benefits. Scientists hypothesize this is because laughter causes a surge of hypocretin, the neurotransmitter that regulates things like sleep, appetite, and joy. Continue reading


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Steps to Happiness: Social Connection


Hands-fo-Friendship-Version-2Sustainable Happiness Week is upon us! This will be our first post about the factors contributing to an overall sense of personal satisfaction. The topic today: a crash course in relationships’ impact upon happiness.

A 2012 survey by the National College Health Association found that 58.4% of college students felt “very lonely” at least once in the past 12 months. Unfortunately, this high statistic has been fairly stable over the past five years.

Despite the crowds of people around campus, college can be a lonely time. Students move away from their families and social supports into an unfamiliar environment. Many students feel isolated among their peers. And this is a difficult feeling to handle, much less express to others. For this post, we will give strategies to handle loneliness and promote social connections. Continue reading


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Happy Pursuit of Happiness Day!


Adorable-Photos-of-Champ-The-Happiest-Dog-in-the-World-1

“I wish, as well as everybody else, to be perfectly happy; but, like everybody else, it must be in my own way.” – Sense & Sensibility, Jane Austen

Happiness is the ultimate goal for many, but the definition of such a state varies with each individual. Your mental picture of perfect happiness is likely very different than your best friend’s. The pursuit of happiness, however, may be easier to pin down.

In honor of Thomas Jefferson’s birthday, April 13th was declared the national Pursuit of Happiness Day. April 13th also kicks off Sustainable Happiness Week, which ends on earth day, April 22nd.

This initiative is especially geared towards university students.
Continue reading