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What Does Sustainability at Pacific Look Like?

Apr 08, 2021
picture of a plant

By: Jane Hwang 

Many people tend to view sustainability as something that pertains to recycling or wearing recycled clothing, but sustainability is also something that allows people of the present and future to have a better life without exhausting all of the Earth’s resources. To invoke change, Pacific established a Sustainability Department in 2010 to ensure that Pacific implements SEE (Social, Economic, and Environmental) methods by maintaining eco-friendly places, implementing environmental classes, and advocating for greener policies.

Emily Winsatt, Music Therapy, ‘23, who was always intrigued with sustainability and environmentalism, joined Sustaining Pacific after attending a talk during her first year orientation and is currently its Outreach Coordinator. Winsatt highlights the fact that though she wishes more people could be more environmentally conscious, she understands that factors such as equity, viability, respect, social, and economics play a tremendous role in people’s outlook on sustainability. 

“Starting next semester, students will have access to our Sustainable Living Guide, which offers helpful tips and includes various resources we can take advantage of while at Pacific and throughout our lives,” said Winsatt. 

Winsatt also mentioned that students can also volunteer to be a part of the green team, which is a group of students who help make sure the Pacific community is being sustainable at campus events by monitoring waste stations. The organization also holds a variety of different events like clothing exchanges, trivia events, Instagram challenges, and produce pick-ups. 

Though Winsatt is elated that Pacific has taken steps in the right direction to become more eco-friendly, such as with the solar panel project, she thinks that the community could do more and encourages everyone to become involved by their own means. 

Kelsey Smith, the Sustainability Coordinator, definitely agrees. She highlights that Pacific has done a great job tackling environmental concerns and is proud of the new solar panel project. She also mentions that students can get involved in the effort too.

“Students always have different ways to make an impact,” Smith said. “For example, creating a club that can decide on having one big project that they want to do and going forward, any organization can really make a difference by coming together, coming up with an idea, and making the idea happen.” 

Smith also advocates for ASuop involvement to help students bring their sustainability projects off the ground. 

“ASuop has a lot of power on this campus and they can get many great things done.” 

Smith added that students should take advantage of internships or independent research projects that can allow them to explore different sustainability sectors and provide benefits as well. SPIF (Sustainability Project Investment Fund) is also another opportunity for students who want to see their ideas come to life with funding up to $150,000. 

If you are interested in becoming a part of any of Pacific’s Sustainability groups or want to stay updated for events or anything related to being green, you can following Sustaining Pacific’s instagram @sustainingpacific16 and subscribing to their monthly newsletter http://eepurl.com/dKd17I