What does it mean to practice sustainability?
Sustainability is a way of living that protects the local and global ecology while upholding social equity, creating economic vitality, and maintaining human health. It includes all actions within daily human activity that promote environmental consideration and protection.
How is Juniata Sustainable?
Various departments on campus practice sustainability in a number of ways that contribute to the campus-wide campaign. Facilities services has created a more comprehensive recycling program that includes batteries, cardboard, magazines, paper, plastic, glass and metal cans. The college has also switched to using organic fertilizers, using more paper products with recycled content, and providing only organic, fair trade coffee.
What is the President's Climate Commitment?
The American College and University President’s Climate challenge is an effort by higher education institutions to fight global warming by acquiring commitments to neutralize greenhouse gas emissions and to increase research on the issue. Read what Juniata is doing to help the effort.
Does it cost more to be sustainable?
Depending on what actions are being taken, sometimes the cost is more and sometimes it is less. For instance, walking or bike riding is a great way to get somewhere without using fuel and releasing CO2 – plus they don’t cost anything. You can also start a garden, compost, recycle, shorten showers, layer clothing, use reusable shopping bags, and many more things at little to no cost! When looking at bigger changes, some actions may appear more expensive at first. For example, converting a home to a more sustainable energy source (geothermal, wind power, etc.) may have high initial costs. However, with increasing coal and oil prices, these energy sources will most likely pay for themselves in the long run, while producing clean, renewable energy.
How can I start?
All it takes is some minor changes to start becoming more sustainable. Simply being conscious of what you do, and the impacts those actions have is a good way to get started. It’s important to know what you are doing, so you know what to change. Recycling is an easy way to do something environmentally friendly, that doesn’t take much time or money. You can also keep track of the amount of water and electricity your home uses and how much you drive your car, so that you can find ways to cut back on each of them. You can also make an effort to buy locally grown and harvested products, and plant your own garden. Get more tips on practicing sustainability at home.
Will my efforts alone make a difference?
Every effort made to become more sustainable will absolutely make a difference. No matter how small it may seem, any change made to become more environmentally conscious will have a positive effect. From using less energy, to saving recyclables from the landfill, sustainable actions do make a difference. And if you feel like more could be done, get your friends and family interested too – the more people involved, the better!
Western Washington University, Office of Sustainability