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.

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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


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


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


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


Bike-to-Work Profile: Patrick McDonald


patrick-mcdonaldA Professor of Philosophy at SPU, Dr. Patrick McDonald spent much of his adult life navigating the streets and hills of Seattle by bicycle.

McDonald recounted how he “wrecked” his father’s car at age 16, and got kicked off his parents’ automobile insurance nine months later. Unable to afford a car of his own, McDonald rode his bike to work all through his senior year of high school. He continued the habit during his college years at Seattle University, making it five consecutive years without driving.

Eleven years later, he still bikes almost every day. Continue reading