Sustainability presses onward

Since May, the office of Environmental Sustainability has been without a director. Previous director Deric Gruen left, opening up the position to potential applicants. According to Patrick Green, program manager for the Office of Sustainability, “the position was opened at the beginning of June, and closed at the end of June. The hiring committee is currently reviewing.” The office should have a new director by the end of the month, and will be running at full capacity once again.
The Office of Sustainability has continued its work despite the lack of director, completing several projects in the interim. “We did reconstruct the student garden,” said Lana Mack, ASG environmental and social responsibility representative. “We’ve been overrun with food and have been giving it away both on campus and off campus to different organizations, and that’s definitely going to be a continuing building project.” In addition, according to the Office’s website in May, the Cascade Bicycle Club was invited to complete a ‘bike-ability audit,’ suggesting improvements to the bike routes leading to BC.
With or without a director, however, there have been several ongoing projects that have been worked on by the office. “The T building that is in progress is going to be the most sustainable building on campus,” stated Mack. “They tracked the shade patterns to see where the sun heated the building and where it would be cooler to figure out where to put the windows, and which walls to make thicker and thinner to regulate the temperature inside. They’re also using a water retention pond with what’s called a ‘rain garden.’ The plants work to hold the water and filter it as well, the water is then used in an underground piping system used for the heating and cooling of the building.”
Some other notable projects include the funding and installation of solar panels on the C building and the ongoing expansion of the ‘Sustainable Foods Program’ or ‘SFG’ which has coordinated the organic produce market that was hosted almost daily on campus in spring quarter and which will continue in fall, greater options for students on the EBT program, and greater awareness for people with food allergies access to better labeling improves. More information can be found on the office’s website as well.
The Office of Sustainability has been conducting training meant to improve teachers’ awareness of sustainability in the classroom. “Basically, the training is how to incorporate environmental sustainability in the classroom,” said Mack. “How to be greener, how to be conscious of the resources they’re using, how many resources their students are having to use for their classrooms, I know I haven’t received a paper syllabus in a very long time. That is part of that.” The environment isn’t the only concern that sustainability has however. “At this last Student Environmental Sustainability Fund Meeting, we had a proposal brought to the table where we would have faculty complete training on social justice, which is one of the other pillars of sustainability, which we passed.”