Moving to a greener tomorrow
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Students and staff from Seattle Central and North Seattle colleges represented the district at the annual conference of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education in Portland, Ore., earlier this month. "Getting to meet the students from Central was one of the best parts," says Zoe Euster, a student at North and the communications coordinator for its Environmental Working Group. "I hope we can keep working together beyond this conference."
North students were able to share their ideas about campus sustainability with President Warren Brown, also a conference attendee. Student Christopher Strouse says it was a great opportunity to speak directly with college leadership about sustainability topics. "We discussed the formation of a college solar energy consortium between North and other regional colleges to research utility-scale solar energy on college campuses," says Strouse. "We also talked about producing a Spring Sustainability Symposium after Earth Day as a ribbon cutting for North's new solar installation."
Students engaged in a critical examination of how to improve sustainability at their colleges. Areas of focus ranged from campus operations, curriculum development, integrating social justice into environmental campaigns, and preparing for green jobs.
Post-conference, the students are working with the sustainability committees at their colleges to implement new ideas and advance the cause across the district.
The Seattle Colleges recently joined forces with the Seattle 2030 District, a coalition of public and private entities in downtown Seattle focused on ambitious sustainability targets.
The 2030 District hopes to reduce energy, water, and transportation emissions 50 percent by the year 2030. The partnership with the 2030 District shows a commitment to regional leadership on college sustainability. Committing to ambitious goals will drive ambitious actions.
The Seattle Colleges hope to take advantage of many incentive programs (http://www.2030districts.org/seattle/district-member-resources) for energy and water efficiency offered through the 2030 District. Regular meetings and sharing of best practices with other 2030 District members will help keep the District at the cusp of sustainability innovations.
You can read about the Seattle 2030 District, its goals, and progress here: