sustainablespu

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

Connecting the Missing Link


This summer I’ve enjoyed running on the Burke Gilman Trail (BGT). Some evenings I’ll use the trail to connect my route from SPU to Gasworks Park; other times I’ll run from yoga in Ballard towards Fremont to get back home. Rain or shine, thousands of cyclists and pedestrians frequent the 19.8-mile trail every day. Extending from Bothell to Ballard, the multi-use trail runs alongside various bodies of water including Lake Washington, Lake Union, the Fremont Cut, Salmon Bay, and Shilshole Bay.

bgtmapwithpins

The Burke Gilman trail with various road access and recreational points along the way.

The BGT has been one of the best surprises and most accessible places for me to exercise, although I’ve always felt leery (Leary) about running through the Missing Link. Following those feelings, I decided to do some research on the mile-and-a-half portion and how its completion may affect trail-users at SPU.  Continue reading


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The Connection between Sustainability and Faith: Lines of Approach and Action (Part 3)


This is the final entry in a three part reflection on Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home.

The first and second posts in this series discuss growing ecological problems and some characteristics of solutions that are needed to combat those problems. This post includes more specific lines of actions, specifically for Christians. The following is a list compiled in the encyclical of ways to address the issue of our changing environment:

  • Dialogue on the Environment in the International Community
  • Dialogue for New National and Local Policies
  • Dialogue and Transparency in Decision-Making
  • Politics and Economy in Dialogue for Human Fulfilment
  • Religions in Dialogue with Science

It is clear that the first step in changing our world on a large scale is talking about it, and talking to the right people. Some of these conversations will be happening at the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference in December. This is at a global level, but the US Congress is in the position to make national conversations. Conversations can also take place within our churches and schools about the changes that need to be made to be better stewards of the planet. Yet, it is also possible to begin making changes on a smaller scale that starts with the concerned individual and moves outward as they educate and encourage others around them about their concerns.

There are people who oppose this conversation and change as being too difficult or not really important, and often Christians are among those people. “Obstructionist attitudes, even on the part of believers, can range from denial of the problem to indifference, nonchalant resignation or blind confidence in technical solutions.” This to me is devastating, because I feel that in the belief in Christ and his teachings, there is a strong theme of connection and restoration, and accepting those themes but rejecting their practical application is not seeing those themes for the true value that they have in the Christian story. It is not that these themes are separate from the saving grace of Christ, but that they are integral and that redemption is not only for humanity, but all of Creation. Continue reading


Pretty Cool Thing: Seattle Park(ing) Day


parkOn September 20th, people will be constructing their own mini-parks on would-be parking spaces on the side of the street. The event, called Seattle Park(ing) day, will last from 9a.m. to 3p.m. Even if you’re someone trapped in a car, upset at the fresh lack of parking spaces available, this unique and innovative way to promote green love, communal involvement, and creativity has to seem like an awesome idea. 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