Tag Archives: Sustainability

Linfield garden provides student Opportunities

Welcome back Wildcats! Spring semester is finally underway and you know what that means… rain, rain and more rain.

But this is not to deter you from enjoying the outside.

As a matter of fact, you should be outside, specifically in the Linfield Community Garden!

If you had no idea that this existed, do not be alarmed, but yes, our campus does in fact have its own little green paradise right next to Renshaw for those of us who have a green thumb, and more importantly, for those of us who don’t.

As I’m sure you could have guessed, springtime is the best time to be in the garden.

The garden is a student-operated project that began in the fall of 2009.

It is supported, by the Linfield Garden Club, and has since been a hotspot on campus for sustainable activity by providing healthy, local and organic food options to the Linfield Community.

For those who want to get involved in the rapidly spreading “Go Green” initiative, this is the perfect opportunity for you to, literally, get your hands dirty.

The progress in sustainable agriculture they have made since their initial takeoff is quite remarkable.

For those who don’t quite understand the concept of sustainable agriculture, it’s simply the way of producing food that is healthy for both those who consume it and the environment.

Key ideas in sustainable agriculture are organic, local, natural, etc.

It puts real emphasis on production practices that do not use pesticides, growth hormones and chemical fertilizers, things that are commonly seen in industrial agriculture today.

Our garden is also a great example of self-sufficiency because what could be better than being in control of the quality and quantity of the food you consume?

The produce options provided by the garden are extensive and for the 2014 season will include beans, cantaloupe, carrots, cilantro, corn, cucumbers, gourds, herbs, honeydew, lettuce, onions, peas, peppers, radishes, spinach, squash, strawberries, tomatoes, watermelon, zucchini and more!

Long term goals for the garden include operating a booth at the local Farmer’s Market and working with Sodexo to provide produce to Dillin Hall.

Don’t know anything about gardening? No problem!

The garden provides garden work parties about once every month.

The next one is March 8 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Visit the new and improved Sustainability website for links to the garden website and more information.

We hope to see you out in the garden in the coming weeks!

Marisa Specht / Office of Sustainability

The Office of Sustainability can be reached at sustainability@linfield.edu

 

Increasing student involvement for sustainability

Hey Wildcats. I have a question that I need your help answering.

What can we do as a community to increase participation in sustainability related events or projects around campus? Sustainability is an issue that affects quality of life for us all; Hey Wildcats. I have a question that I need your help answering.

What can we do as a community to increase participation in sustainability related events or projects around campus? Sustainability is an issue that affects quality of life for us all; now and for future generations.

I would hope that my fellow students would not only be interested enough to participate, but also be excited to be a part of the creative process.

From my observation, there seems to be a committed core group of people that are active in sustainability work, but the majority of people are more or less apathetic.

Let’s start a conversation about why this is.

If your hall has a green chair, you may have been asked to answer some questions targeting your individual interest and participation in sustainability.

One question in the survey asked for suggestions on ways to make Linfield more sustainable.

Many of the responses included: more fun sustainability focused events and more recycling and composting bins, but those suggestions are already in place.

Greenfield puts on multiple fun events. There was a stuff swap in October, a Do-it-Yourself event in November, and there has been two great bike rides planned and executed.

Yet, attendance at these events hasn’t been as strong as we would hope. In terms of recycling and compost availability, recycling is widely available and compost bins have been introduced for the first time this semester – now we have to be sure everyone uses them, and uses them correctly.

What I’m trying to say is that there are already mechanisms and opportunities in place to get involved but the lack of participation still occurs; so there must be different reasons for it.

Is it because people are genuinely uninterested in the journey towards a more sustainable campus?

Is it because it seems too difficult to become an active participant?

Is it because you don’t want to change the routine you are used to? If you are reading this, ask yourself why there is a lack of student involvement and what would motivate you?

The special thing about sustainability is that it takes group effort and participation to achieve great results, and luckily there are a variety of ways to make a contribution.

Your participation is greatly appreciated because its affects more than just Linfield.

It affects the whole community around us. It is necessary for us all to participate in the creation of a sustainable community.

So what do you think Linfield? What do you think we could do to enhance active participation by overcoming roadblocks?

I’d love to hear your thoughts by sending an email to sustainability@linfield.edu.

now and for future generations.

Nicole Lewis / Office of Sustainability

The Office of Sustainability can be reached at sustainability@linfield.edu

Linfield strives for climate neutrality on campus

On April 22, 2008, President Thomas L. Hellie signed the American College & University President’s Climate Commitment, setting a goal to one day achieve climate neutrality for Linfield College.

The ACUPCC provides a framework for colleges and universities around the country to become climate neutral and advance education for sustainability.

By signing to the ACUPCC, President Hellie has committed to eliminate operational greenhouse gas emissions, provide the education, research, and community engagement to enable the rest of society to do the same, and to publicly report progress on an annual basis.

Lewis & Clark, Willamette, the University of Portland, and Seattle Pacific University are several other colleges in the Pacific Northwest whom have also signed the commitment.

To analyze and record Linfield College’s annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, a GHG Emissions report is written looking at an entire fiscal year.

The first GHG Emissions report Linfield produced was for the 2006-2007 fiscal year and then for the 2009-2010 fiscal year.

Currently, Duncan Reid and the Office of Sustainability staff are finishing up the report for the 2011-2012 fiscal year.

While previously reported through Linfield’s Capital Planning & Development Department, Reid and his staff took on the commitment once he was hired in the spring of 2013.

Since the beginning of the spring semester in 2013, the Office of Sustainability has been working on a GHG Emissions report to submit to the ACUPCC by January 2014.

In order to calculate Linfield’s total GHG emissions, campus wide data is collected and broken down into several major categories.

The main contributors to Linfield’s GHG emissions include: natural gas, study abroad air travel, other travel (faculty reimbursement travel or athletic team travel), solid waste, fertilizers and chemicals.

While Linfield has quite a long path to reach climate neutrality, Linfield has reduced its carbon emissions by a whopping 44 percent since the 2009-2010 fiscal year report.

Duncan Reid is leading the march toward a sustainable Linfield, and with the assistance of his staff and groups like Greenfield and ACES (Advisory Committee on Environment and Sustainability), we are going in the right direction.

If you would like more information on Linfield’s GHG emission reports, the ACUPCC, or want to get involved in anyway, don’t hesitate to contact us or visit our website.

To quote Margaret Mead, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.  Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

Joey Gale / Office of Sustainability

The Office of Sustainability can be reached at sustainability@linfield.edu

Sustainability class to be offered during Jan Term

Hiking, kayaking, gardening, foraging, tracking, and natural art: sounds like the stuff that only exists in the dreams of a college student, laden with finals and too much homework.

False.

This January, Sustainability Coordinator Duncan Reid will be teaching an ENVS 298 course entitled “Local Stewardship” that will include all of the above.

Class will be held off campus at Westwind, a 529-acre wilderness area situated in the Salmon River estuary on the Oregon Coast.

Students will be housed in a hostel-like lodge that lies at the foot of the Coast Range, nestled into an old pine and spruce forest.

According to Reid, this gorgeous reserve “evokes an irrepressible impulse for stewardship.” And that is exactly what he intends to teach.

Through hands-on projects and lectures taught by experts such as Lissa Wadewitz, Ned Knight, Joe Wilkins, and professionals from Trackers Northwest. Students on this Jan Term trip will learn environmental, social, and personal stewardship.

What is stewardship, you ask?

In the eyes of Reid, it is “a capacity of caring that is contained within the context of the well-being of the whole.”

This idea is absolutely crucial in a world of environmental and social disconnection, and is necessary for any sustainable community.

This month-long course will give students the opportunity to find a real connection with place, community, and self on a deeper level than is traditionally explored.

This investigation will come through their experience based adventures as well as the study of coastal ecology, native plant identification, group dynamics, nature writing, local history, and connection with native cultures.

This class will take a holistic approach to inspiring and practicing stewardship, while appealing to a variety of senses, learning styles, and qualities of being.

The activities of the course will challenge group and individual goals and ideals for resilience and sustainability.

Prerequisites? Enthusiasm, willingness to learn, and a little thick skin through the Oregon Coast wetness. Reid invites those “already interested and passionate about sustainability and stewardship, as well as students who are just exploring their interest, especially international and first year students.”

This course will give students of all backgrounds and majors a new lens in which to view the world and a new way to relate to their human and non-human communities.

Just to sweeten the deal, this domestic travel course only costs $2050, including room, board, and transportation. If you’re interested, you can register on Webadvisor from Nov. 4-7.

Don’t miss this amazing opportunity to explore the values and ideas of stewardship on the wild sands of Westwind.

The Office of Sustainability can be reached at sustainability@linfield.edu

Participate in ‘No Waste November’

Hey Wildcats,

No Waste November is quickly approaching.

What is No Waste November you ask?

It is period of time to become aware of the amount of waste you are creating, the impact your consumption has on the environment, and work on reducing it.

Maybe even creating a zero waste goal.

As you may have heard, Linfield is working towards zero waste. We have composting in Dillin, residence halls, and select places around campus. Recycling is also prevalent in residence halls and around campus. We are lucky to have these options so we should use them responsibly and think before we throw things away.

Know before you throw: Food waste is the only thing that can go in the compost bins. Paper, cardboard, metals, plastic containers, and plastic bottles are the items that can be put in the commingled recycling.

Of course, glass scraps and glass bottles should go in the glass recycling. Things that do not fit into those categories can be thrown away and will be taken to the landfill. I support every one of you to take advantage of the opportunities we have to create a more sustainable campus.

Furthermore, there are a few events happening to raise awareness for No Waste November. At 7 p.m. on Nov. 18 in Riley 201 there will be a presentation focused on zero waste efforts internationally, in the McMinnville community and at Linfield.

From 2 to 4 p.m. on Nov. 9 in the Fred Meyer Lounge there will be a Do-it-Yourself workshop hosted by Greenfield focusing on repurposing old T-shirts you no longer use into a creative shag rug. Both events should be informative and inspiring.

During No Waste November we are focusing on the themes of food and water (Nov. 1-9) energy (Nov. 10-16) and solid waste (Nov. 17-23.)

We are choosing one thing to do for each of these three weeks in these categories. Challenge yourself this month by choosing an action step towards reducing your individual waste and see how long you can keep it up.

Maybe your action will be to bring a reusable cup to Starbucks.

Maybe it will be to use the new composting buckets in the residence halls.

Maybe you could ask your green chair about what is recyclable on campus.

Perhaps after a week, it will become a habit and it won’t seem so difficult after all.

Taking the extra time to compost and recycle, or making the effort to bring your reusable bag shopping and take shorter showers may seem insignificant, but every small step adds up.

Every person has a role to play in No Waste November and moving towards zero waste. For other sustainable news, check out our web page and like us on Facebook.

Nicole Lewis / Office of Sustainability

The Office of Sustainability can be reached at sustainability@linfield.edu.