CSU Voices and Views

The Chico Way

By Erik Fallis
CSU Public Affairs

The distinctive ''This Way to Sustainability'' signs were present throughout the CSU Chico campus, especially in the Bell Memorial Union.

The distinctive ''This Way to Sustainability'' signs were present throughout the CSU Chico campus, especially in the Bell Memorial Union.

In early November, I had the opportunity to attend the sixth This Way to Sustainability Conference.  The three days of speakers and activities were held at CSU Chico and nearby Butte College–comprising the second largest student led conference in the nation with hundreds in attendance.

Students and employees from other CSU, UC and community colleges also joined in the activities.  A large number of local officials and campus neighbors also participated.

It was clear that this conference wasn’t just a lesson in being green, it was a showcase for a deep commitment to sustainability that brings together both campus and community.  There was something different here, something that I describe as the Chico Way.

The first thing I noticed was the number of bikes on campus.  I rarely saw a parking lot while at Chico State, yet bike racks were everywhere.

The first thing I noticed was the number of bikes on campus. I rarely saw a parking lot while at Chico State, yet bike racks were everywhere.

Yes, that is a Chico State student carrying his trash around with him.  For one week Alan Rhoades, the Associated Students Commissioner of Environmental Affairs, came to terms with what he throws away.  The contents as of this picture primarily consisted of Halloween candy wrappers.

Yes, that is a Chico State student carrying his trash around with him. For one week Alan Rhoades, the Associated Students Commissioner of Environmental Affairs, came to terms with what he throws away. The contents as of this picture primarily consisted of Halloween candy wrappers.

Green Campus interns from CSU Chico and Humboldt State advised their fellow students on how to achieve sustainability goals on campus.  Jacquelyn Mercure (right), CSU Chico Green Campus Team Manager, moderated the discussions.

Green Campus interns from CSU Chico and Humboldt State advised their fellow students on how to achieve sustainability goals on campus. Jacquelyn Mercure (right), CSU Chico Green Campus Team Manager, moderated the discussions.

The food at the Welcome Reception was delicious.  It was also healthy, organic and locally grown at locations that included the CSU Chico University Farm.

The food at the Welcome Reception was delicious. It was also healthy, organic and locally grown at locations that included the CSU Chico University Farm.

The conference was designed to minimize waste.  Food scraps and almost anything else that could not be reused or recycled went into special composting bins.

The conference was designed to minimize waste. Food scraps and almost anything else that could not be reused or recycled went into special composting bins.

Bob Linscheid, CSU Board of Trustees vice chair, helped celebrate the accomplishments of students and the Chico campus.  Also celebrating the students was Amy Lance, CSU Chico director of Undergraduate Programs.

Bob Linscheid, CSU Board of Trustees vice chair, helped celebrate the accomplishments of students and the Chico campus. Also celebrating the students was Amy Lance, CSU Chico director of Undergraduate Programs.

Concurrent with the conference, administrators, staff, faculty and students assembled for a CSU Sustainability Summit discussing ways to move the system forward.  Grant Mack, the California State Student Association environmental affairs officer, presented ideas to the group.

Concurrent with the conference, administrators, staff, faculty and students assembled for a CSU Sustainability Summit discussing ways to move the system forward. Grant Mack, the California State Student Association environmental affairs officer, presented ideas to the group.

The conference drew powerful keynote addresses, including a call to action from former Green Party presidential candidate David Cobb.

The conference drew powerful keynote addresses, including a call to action from former Green Party presidential candidate David Cobb.

CSU Chico students understood that the path to sustainability involves more than just one campus or one community.  In preparation for the conference, a class prepared poster boards (using recycled materials) demonstrating the actions being taken elsewhere.  Shown above are boards for Humboldt State, CSU Monterey Bay and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

CSU Chico students understood that the path to sustainability involves more than just one campus or one community. In preparation for the conference, a class prepared poster boards (using recycled materials) demonstrating the actions being taken elsewhere. Shown above are boards for Humboldt State, CSU Monterey Bay and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

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1 Comment to “The Chico Way”

  1. Tweets that mention CSU Voices and Views » The Chico Way -- Topsy.com Says:

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Erik Fallis, CSSA. CSSA said: RT @erikcsuco: Sustainability done the Chico way http://blogs.calstate.edu/voicesviews/?p=809 [...]

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