Exciting things are happening on campus! This year SPU has incorporated a pilot composting program for students living in campus apartments. At the beginning of this quarter, each apartment was granted a their own personal compost bin along with a sample of compostable bags. The individual bins can be emptied into a larger food/yard waste collection bin next to each building’s exterior garbage and recycle bins. This composting program is a significant step in SPU’s continual commitment to waste reduction and supporting a sustainable campus. Last year’s waste audit was a reflection of the amount of materials that campus apartment residents will be able to divert from the landfill by properly recycling and composting.
As classes start up this fall, it may become a little more challenging trying to stay green while attempting to remember once again what homework was assigned (or that you have to assign) during the week. Never fear! Whether you live in a residence hall or off-campus, here are a few simple tips that will allow you to use sustainable resources, save costs and still have time to finish your homework this quarter.
- Use power strips
Over the past few weeks, the sustainability staff has carried out a waste audit to determine how much of the waste from campus apartments could in the future be diverted away from landfills. While rifling through garbage wasn’t exactly pleasant, the results found were pretty staggering: over the course of the audit, a full 80% of waste from campus apartments was material that could either be recycled or composted. That means only 20% of the garbage was actually waste!
The data from the audit will be used to better inform SPU’s waste policies and encourage the promotion of composting options in campus apartments. The University is planning on establishing a composting program for campus apartments in the fall.
The School of Business and Economics at Seattle Pacific University has committed itself to “another way of doing business“. One way the School manifests this vision is in its graduate level course, Business and Stewardship: Global Sustainability.
Taught by Dr. Randy Franz, the course seeks to explore the role of business in addressing global economic, social, and environmental sustainability. The course is cross listed with the School of Theology and incorporates Christian theological understandings of creation care, stewardship, justice, human well-being, and restoration.
Sustainable Seattle, a regional sustainability indicator organization, is currently working on a project to provide a comprehensive assessment of well-being and to engage and inspire people, organizations and policy makers to action. It is called the Seattle Area Happiness Initiative, and it is centered around a new way of measuring well-being called the Gross National Happiness (GNH) index. GNH, originally developed in Bhutan, establishes a quantitative measurement of well-being and happiness, identifying measures of well-being as more important than traditional measures focused on production and consumption.
To watch a news report about the Seattle Happiness Initiative, click here.
Over the past month this blog has detailed Seattle Pacific Unviersity’s Climate Action Plan. In wrapping up this series, the final major pieces of SPU’s climate action plan deal with transportation and education.
As mentioned in a previous post, one of the major sources of the University’s carbon emissions is transportation. SPU is working on revamping its fleet of vehicles, and is currently in the process of phasing gasoline vehicles out of its maintenance fleet, while looking to do the same with its SUVs and patrol cars as new technologies continue to emerge.