The Evergreen State College will be a laboratory for sustainability as demonstrated in our operations, curriculum, and quality of life for employees and students. We will nurture values and practical skills that motivate a lifetime commitment to a sustainable, inter-generationally just way of living on a healthy planet.
What we learn should not be lost or forgotten.
Welcome to our blog. There are so many students, faculty, and staff involved with sustainability projects on campus that it can be difficult to keep up with what has been accomplished and learned. We share information through this blog to facilitate connections for new students and projects.
Some key access points and useful pages on the college web site include:
- Our Sustainability Home page
- Commute Trip Reduction
- Seminar II Building User’s Guide
- Share Your Ride
- Residence and Dining
We also appreciate your input on content, announcements, or events appropriate for the blog. Please leave a comment, or contact us at: Office of Sustainability with your information.
Sustainability is a harmonious and resilient balance that fosters a healthy environment in which to live and the social collaborations necessary for a meaningful and purposeful life for today’s generations and those that follow.
Sustainability will ultimately require behavioral change. If we could get there by business as usual, we really wouldn’t be talking about it.
Our American culture is built upon a premise of cheap and plentiful energy. This was a tremendous advantage for economic growth, but it has left us wrapped in a web of destructive dependencies that we seem unable to escape.
- We want fresh food in the winter, so we need to transport it in from far away.
- We are often on a tight schedule, with multiple errands and stops to make, so we need to drive; a bus or walking is too slow, our bicycle won’t carry enough, and carpooling is nice, but they’re going someplace else afterwards.
- It’s cold and dreary out and we need a warm shelter, with lots of light, hot water, and entertainment.
- We need to visit our family, but we have to travel many miles to get there.
All of these actions have a significant impact on sustainability as well as our quality of life. Getting our life style to where we aren’t so dependent upon existing energy sources is not easy. But, neither is life in a damaged environment.
Sustainability requires us to balance our commitments to ourselves, our community, and to the greater world around us.
Few people mean to be destructive or to add to our environmental burdens, but it’s difficult to see any way out that does not require radically disruptive shifts in our lifestyles and our lives. This is, in part, because of fundamental assumptions about ‘labor saving’ devices and ‘cheap’ energy buried within our cultural norms.
We can start, however, with simple changes and simple rules to guide our actions and decisions:
Give more than you take; never take all that can be taken and leave the rest alone.
Be moderate in consumption.
Practice conspicuous innovation and creativity, instead of conspicuous consumption.
Act on what will happen and where you are going (be proactive), not according to what has happened and where you have been (not reactive).
Think ahead. Think around. Think Holistically.
Don’t just treat symptoms (a mechanistic, linear perspective), treat relationships, balances, and interactions (a systemic, holistic perspective).