March 13th, 2012
CSU Public Affairs
The Institute for Sustainable Development at CSU Chico and Associated Students of CSU Chico continue the tradition of hosting an excellent student-led conference that explores the huge variety of actions and concerns that fall under the heading of sustainability. From March 1-3, the seventh This Way to Sustainability Conference combines student, faculty, staff, industry and community directed sessions with keynote speeches by prominent figures in the green movement.
Taking advantage of the collective talents of those attending the conference, the CSU Sustainability Summit on Feb. 29 brings together expertise and perspective on how to expand sustainability efforts across the system. Eric Recchia (center), a student of Sustainable Development and Economics at Humboldt State, shares his experience with a group of faculty, staff and administrators from across the system.
A key interest for universities is how to incorporate sustainability into the curriculum. Charlie Pooler, a Sustainable Manufacturing major at CSU Chico, conducts a conference session on his projects and those of his peers and department faculty. The comprehensive session covers sourcing of manufacturing material, product life cycle analysis and creation of sustainable business models.
In addition to hosting, CSU Chico models sustainable practices. The zero-waste practices of the Marketplace Café and Sutter Hall dining services divert food, plates, napkins and other material to useful compost instead of landfill.
On a campus where foot and bicycle are the primary modes of transportation, Associated Students provides basic repair and maintenance service through an on-campus cart. Appropriately, the cart is moved by pedal power.
Brittany Brennecke, a CSU Chico Green Campus student studying Business Administration and Marketing, “takes back the tap” by refilling her water bottle instead of drinking from a single use plastic bottle.
The conference highlights the work of other CSU students not attending Chico. Humboldt State Green Campus students Adrienne Spitzer (left) and Brietta Linney (right) describe various efforts being organized by their team of peers. One of their projects is designed to increase awareness of sustainability and energy efficiency in the workplace for staff and faculty at Humboldt State through grades given by students.
Students from the UC and community colleges also take part in the conference. UC Santa Cruz Green Campus students Abbas Mohamed (left), Ben Oberhan (center) and Gabriel Martin (right) have their photos taken by CSU Chico Green Campus student Trevor Prater. The photo booth includes laminated commitment cards and reminders to be sustainable.
The Soltrekker RV exhibit demonstrates a range of sustainable options including solar panels, a composting toilet, water catchment systems, sustainable wood floors, biodiesel engine, LED lighting, and recycled jeans for insulation. The RV also brought a video crew that recorded the CSU Chico conference as part of an effort to share best practices from around the world.
Closing out the conference, Peter G. Joseph recalls the words of Albert Einstein: “The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.” As an emergency physician trained by former Vice President Al Gore, Joseph shares both despair for a looming climate crisis and hope that humanity can rise to its greatest challenge.