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 Commute


Almost half of SPU’s student body commutes to campus. Have you ever wondered how all of that time getting to and from campus contributes to overall student wellness and SPU’s environmental footprint? Over the last few months, we’ve collected a bit of data to find out.

In terms of happiness, studies connect commuting to lower rates of well-being, physical exercise, political activity, and life satisfaction as well as higher levels of emotional and relational stress. At the same time, some studies have found that the happiest commuters are those who walk, cycle, or take the train to work. In addition to increasing happiness, fewer greenhouse gas emissions are emitted into the environment by commuters who are able to take advantage of these options. If you’re a commuter unable to walk or cycle, consider carpooling or taking public transportation even a few times throughout the year to decrease your eco-footprint – every bit helps. Additionally, be sure to check out the resources offered by SPU’s wellness initiative! 

As far as environmental footprint goes, commuting mileage has a bigger institutional impact than one might think. In 2011, faculty and staff commuting made up 6% and student commuting accounted for 23% of our total Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions.  To continue our efforts in effectively measuring and lowering SPU’s GHG emissions, we conduct an annual Student Commute Survey. Continue reading


Fighting Off Sickness


Sick-Ron-Swanson By now, we all know the difference between getting sick in Elementary school and getting sick in College. One of them means a cozy and relaxing day at home, watching cartoons and eating ice cream while worrying about very little. The other means trying to do as much as you possibly can in the midst of your illness, stressing out about everything you’re missing, and dreading all the work it will take to get yourself back up to speed. Continue reading


Dealing with Fatigue


fatigueBeing a student makes it easy to think of fatigue as something that we can’t do much about (outside of a frequent coffee intake). With the hectic schedule that often comes with college life, fatigue is usually seen as a given, just another challenge that we have to do our best to work through. But upon closer examination, we may be able to do more about our fatigue than we think. Continue reading


Keeping the Scary in Costume: A Greener and Healthier (but still fun) Halloween


silly-pumpkin-carving-designSo yeah, I’m going to be that person today. The person who goes out of their way to promote healthier Halloween treats. I’m the lame house that all the trick-or-treaters avoid! Oh well. Now I can have compassion for that one person in my neighborhood who gave out fruit and capri suns. Not that I’m urging anyone to go that far (I mean-something nutritious? For Halloween? Monstrous, no?), but there are several viable substitutes to the traditional candies out there that contain loads of high fructose corn syrup, that unhealthy sweetener that makes its way into so many of the things we enjoy. Continue reading


Foods to Jump-Start Your Workout


officeFirst of all, if you workout regularly, hats off to you. Now hats back on so I can type with two hands. While exercising can be a great way to work up an appetite, our bodies (obviously) aren’t capable of as much when we’re low on fuel to begin with. This can lead to a shorter workout followed by a huge meal with calories that we don’t get the chance to make healthy use of. Therefore, the merit of eating a little while before a workout might be greater than we think. To go deeper with it, there are certain foods that make for optimal pre-workout grub: Continue reading


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Eating to Aid Concentration


blueberries-04We all know it’s healthier to eat three meals a day if possible, but college student schedules often mean skimping on at least one of those. Said skimping can sometimes lower our ability to concentrate, which makes a given set of tasks all the more challenging and time consuming, thereby increasing what original strain there was in the cycle to begin with. Fortunately, there are some foods out there that can help us along with our less than ideal eating schedule. If we try to sneak these foods into our diet, it’ll be a little easier to both maintain and participate in a busy day. The following three options include smart choices for a snack, a supplement, and a meal. Continue reading


Mushrooms!


Giant_Mushrooms_-_Auckland1I’ve always been curious about mushrooms; something that you can go out and receive from nature just by taking the time to examine the crevices of your surroundings. But my curiosity has never led to me actually coming home with some eatable mushrooms to prepare. If like me you’re interested in actualizing your mushroom curiosity and eating right out of nature’s generous hand, or if you just want to geek out on non-psychadelic shroom-speak, here are a few options to look for on future foraging adventures. Continue reading


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Getting Rid of Mold Naturally


Image-14.24-TeatreeIf there’s one thing I know from living in a dorm, it’s that bathroom mold can build up quicker than one might imagine. Well, that may be unfair to all the other fun things about dorms, but for the purposes of this article, I’ll stick with that. Due to the dangers of mold, it’s healthy to get rid of the stuff if you see it hanging around or lurking in corners, trying desperately to be noticed with its intrusive but somehow ignorable presence. If you’d rather use natural remedies than harsh chemical concoctions, there are a few methods that may not be so difficult to pull off. 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