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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nicole Lewis / Office of Sustainability