Thanksgiving is one of those holidays that grows on you as you get older. When you’re a kid, it’s a rather boring and anticlimactic holiday, merely the pretext of what’s to come in December. You start to appreciate it more when the prospect of gifts is no longer the most exciting thing in the world, when the event itself becomes what to look forward to. Whether the idea of a familial gathering makes you anxious or filled with joy, there’s something about the atmosphere of Thanksgiving that feels warm, renewing, and full of life. If you’re aiming to give thanks to the environment this year by having a more sustainable thanksgiving, here are a few things you can keep in mind whilst pilgrim-dancing and avoiding your creepy Uncle.
An unfortunate addition to the warmth of the holiday season is the spirit of consumerism. Accompanying goodwill and hot chocolate and round-the-clock Bing Crosby is the increased desire to shop, one that I do not claim innocence from. For me and likely most, it isn’t only about the material goods; it’s about the activity itself, the buzz and lights and rush of it all. It’s something that we all know to some degree in the back of our minds but often choose to ignore; this seasonal shopping order has us right where it wants us.
In case you haven’t noticed, Seattle has recently turned into an urban icebox, winter announcing its arrival in staggeringly brisk form. I’ve been wearing a total of four layers outside, and have still been cold. It’s super tempting to get the heat going inside, but I’m doing my best to hold off as long as possible. It seems natural to take off our layers once we get home, but keeping on a sweatshirt or two can do the trick when looking to stay warm in sustainable fashion. This is the time to put those old sweaters you don’t want to be seen with anymore to use. Continue reading
How do you react when you hear bad news? Usually all we need to do is turn on the local news to find out. To put it broadly, bad news seems to have either a depressing or motivating effect, with the former often being dominant. To be motivated by bad news is something at once very difficult and very important for us to attempt at various times in our lives. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by negativity and thus succumb to it, but to overcome it and instead become energized to make a difference, whether it’s in our own lives or outside of them, is a truly sustainable human achievement.
When it comes to Sustainable practices, there is a lot to feel encouraged about here in the U.S. With the city of Seattle being a prime setting, examples of both individuals and institutions that are ramping up their green efforts can be seen all over the place. While negligence is decreasing more and more, the country as a whole is still lagging behind in terms of recycling, with only 32.5% of the total waste in the U.S. being recycled. Several countries around the world have put unique recycling initiatives into motion, and the U.S. could stand to consider the examples below.
I wish I could say that I never longed for a car. It’s easy to ignore the desire when bus trips and rides with friends are smooth and available, but there are moments when my lack of four-wheeled convenience grows difficult, and I have to remind myself of all the reasons I’m glad to be carless. Continue reading
If you’re an SPU employee looking for a little extra motivation to sustainablize (coinage) your commute to campus, I have info to share. Did you know that SPU offers free lockers and shower access at Royal Brougham Pavilion to employees who bike or walk to work at least three days a week? SPU’s two zipcars are also available for up to 2 hours a day and 12 hours a month for personal use to those who go green to work. Even better, an SPU orca card is available to eligible employees for anytime use, letting you bus around the city for free. You can check out a complete list of the potential benefits SPU offers to sustainable commuters here.