The California Higher Education Sustainability Conference kicked off Monday night with keynote speaker Dr. Mitchell Thomashow, who spoke about the Nine Elements of a Sustainable Campus. Click here for a written document about the nine elements, or watch a video from a different event on the same topic, below:
One of the major take-aways that I learned from his keynote address was that "How we act is how we live," meaning that the ways in which we live day to day make up our life, not the things we think or the things we tell others or ourselves. This is a pretty obvious statement, but it's important to remember that for a university to consider itself environmentally responsible or "sustainable," the students, staff, faculty, and administrators have to understand basically why sustainability is important, and they should be living this way and encouraging others to live with sustainability in mind. This interpretation isn't necessarily what Dr. Thomashow said, but it's how I'm understanding its relevancy to my own experiences.
|Catchy, awesome sign at UC Davis encouraging people to bring their own reusable bags.|
|Being the Change can mean riding your bike... and encouraging others to join you!|
|My friend and coworker Tan putting his leftover peach in the compost bin. Nice job on doing the right thing, Tan.|
Art imparts understanding, and artistic collaboration imparts even further understanding of the way our world works, how sustainability can work, how we as humans can work together and really make things happen. I am craving more discussion and implementation of collaboration and ideas for how to do this at UCSC and in my life as a literature major who frickin' loves this planet (ask anyone who I spent time talking to at this conference, this combination and what I am to make of it is both exciting and challenging).
|Davis's Downtown Picnic in the Park Wednesday evening|
What are you thinking about right now after reading this? Am I crazy? Are you crazy for thinking this is crazy? What are we going to do about these issues, and what are your experiences? I want to know!
Thanks for reading! Look out for more photos and discussion about the CHESC conference later this week.