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


Student Commuter Survey Results


A big thank you to all of the students who filled out our Student Commute Survey! With the information you have provided, we are able to see how Seattle Pacific University can better aid student transportation needs.

That being said, the time has come to unveil our results!

The most popular transportation method that students reported was driving in a car alone, even though 52.8% of undergraduate students live within two miles of campus. 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 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: Lynette Bikos


lynette-bikosLynette Bikos, team captain of the SPU Psychlers, says that people recognize her by her biking gear, both around campus and on the streets. Though it may stand out to others, Bikos’ gear is just another part of her daily routine.

Bikos has been a recreational cyclist for more than 20 years. But after moving from the flat plains of Kansas to the rolling hills of Seattle, she noticed how different biking was here, and that many commuted by bicycle.

It took her a while to work up the courage to try it herself: “I just got brave one day and put my bike on the front of a bus,” she said. That one day of courage led to a year-round commute, adding more than 2,500 miles a year onto Bikos’ bike. Continue reading


SPU Takes the Challenge: Bike to Work Month!


images (3)During the month of May, National Bike to Work Month, Seattle Pacific University is hosting a Commute Challenge for faculty and staff! Participants of the challenge commit to biking to work at least three days a week, and keep track of their mileage. They are broken up into five teams: SPU Northenders, SPU Sharrows, SPU Southenders, SPU Psychlers, and Bike Profs.

To support our faculty & staff,  we will be posting bike-related articles throughout the month: tips, tricks, information, and – my personal favorite – profiles of Seattle Pacific University professors and staff members who commute by bike. Continue reading