sustainablespu

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


Reasons to Continue Biking to Work


tumblr_mn4lme6F2z1s0c08no1_500As Bike to Work Month ends, we’d like to congratulation every one who participated and biked to work in May! Whether you biked every day, or just tried it once, your contribution is appreciated.

But now that the month is almost up, we want to encourage you new bikers to keep commuting. Though we’ve covered a lot of reasons why biking is awesome, here are just a few last-minute notes to inspire Monday’s commute: Continue reading


Blessing Bags: A Real Way to Help Homeless


tumblr_mlrrhxm9g31qdvuy7o1_1280When I first moved to Seattle, one thing I had to grow accustomed to was the homeless population. And since I had to work a block away from a homeless clinic, I had to adjust quickly. Initially, this group made me uncomfortable. My parents raised me in the suburbs, and we hardly ever saw someone holding a cardboard sign on the streets. And since Seattle Pacific University sits in one of the nicer parts of the city, students and staff don’t have to witness many homeless people around campus.

However, instead of ignoring this growing population, we should be looking for a way to help them, even if just in a small way. Continue reading


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The U.N.’s New Food Source: Bugs. Really.


Eat-a-Bug cover compAs the food culture in America has grown, exotic foods have made their way into mainstream diets. Quinoa, agave, and edible flowers are now found in most grocery stores as ordinary meals become more diverse.

It was only a matter of time before someone raised the ante to bug cuisine. I blame The Lion King.

On May 13, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization published a news report that advocates for entomophagy, or the practice of eating insects. Predictably, the concept confused many people, and disgusted even more. But strong evidence supports this recommendation.  U.N. officials predict that increased entomophagy will promote human health, create jobs, and improve the environment. However, will this reasoning be enough to convince the Western world to trade steak for crickets? Continue reading


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Treading Lightly on the Earth


“She walks lightly upon the earth. She knows the truth: We’re as likely to hurt the universe as we are to help it” The Fault in Our Stars, John Green.

images (5)John Green’s newest book takes an intriguing stance on nobility. Like many authors, he explores what makes a hero. But while his contemporaries advocate for obtusely noble qualities like bravery and self-sacrifice, The Fault in Our Stars impresses the heroism of treading lightly upon the earth. 

This memorable statement can be read in many ways. Though the novel explores gentle living vision in mainly social terms, it’s environmental message isn’t too far of a stretch. Just by living, we interact and change our environment. And Green’s message of living gently for the least impact resonates with audiences, partially because he examples such living by two cancer-ridden teenagers. Continue reading


Bike-to-Work Profile: Prof. William Purcell


William-PurcellDespite two bad knees and difficulty walking long distances, Bill Purcell still makes a regular 9-mile bike commute. Up a steep hill no less!

Professor William Purcell, the Chair of Communication and Journalism, has taught at Seattle Pacific University since 1995. He has been a regular bike commuter for 6-7 of those years. Now, Purcell leads the Bike Profs team in SPU’s Commute Challenge.

Purcell advocates that biking is easy enough once you take the leap to start. Continue reading


Bike-to-Work Testimonial by Prof. Erickson


thane-ericksonTo continue our examination of Bike to Work Month, Professor Thane Erickson has graciously shared his bicycling testimonial. Erickson is an Associate Professor of Psychology and the Director of Psychology Internships here at Seattle Pacific University. Besides his impressive academic background, Erickson has been a committed bike commuter ever since his first Bike-to-Work challenge in 2011. His time on two wheels has brought him some surprising insights.

Why I Bike-to-Work Continue reading


Steps for Keeping Produce Fresh


TreePeachRelianceIt’s now mid-spring, which means the season’s fruits and vegetables are finally in! Mid-May and early June are the peak season for wonderful produce like strawberries, asparagus, kale, and the first watermelons and peaches. But these foods can be fragile, and often spoil mere days after purchase.

To get the most out of your groceries, here are some tips to keep produce fresh longer without any equipment: Continue reading


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Film & Sustainability Series: The Great Gatsby and Greed


the-great-gatsby-official-trailer-2-videoHey guys, remember when we talked about The Pursuit of Happyness in April, and asked if wealth actually brings joy? Well hold onto your bucket hats, because today we’re examining the same question through the lens of The Great Gatsby, a tale of the other side of the mirror.

Chris Gardner and Jay Gatsby have startlingly similar backgrounds; poor men who struggled their way up to the 1% through hard work and a burning determination. Perfect examples of The American Dream. But while Gardner’s tale seems plausible, Gatsby’s story ventures into the extraordinary — probably because Gatsby is an extraordinary man Continue reading


Bike-to-Work Profile: Jobe Korb-Nice


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Director of Admissions Jobe Korb-Nice’s biking origin differs from the other SPU team captains. He didn’t start riding recreationally, nor did he particularly enjoy spending time on a bike at first. “I grew up as a runner,” he said, contrasting the two forms of exercise. Although it was hard for him to get into biking, he didn’t let his unease stop him.

Despite his hesitance, Korb-Nice has been commuting to SPU by bike since 2004, eventually becoming a team captain in the Commute Challenge. This year, Korb-Nice captains the SPU Sharrows, the bicycling team that travels from Seattle, Kenmore, and Bothell. Throughout May, he will try to bike to work five days a week.

His gentle approach gives a manageable example that anyone to follow.
Continue reading


The Hazards of Biking in Seattle


I can’t be the only SPU student to watch this skit of Portlandia and immediately think of its similarities to  my own neighborhood. And I can’t be the only one who has nearly been run off the road by Seattle bikers, especially around the Fremont Bridge and Ballard Bridge (where a bicycle handle sharply bruised my arm last spring).

Since May is National Bike to Work Month, this issue of street safety in Seattle becomes even more prevalent. Crowds of bikers, new and seasoned, are filling the city’s pavement, which provokes some mixed feelings in me.

Caution: mild rant ahead. Continue reading