Sustainability is not always easy. Society has been operating in a non-sustainable way for generations. But there's much that can be done to lessen impacts. Using alternative transportation, being a conscious consumer, using resources efficiently (see the tips page) and volunteering time are all good ways to start.
Remember students: University staff, faculty and administrators are here to serve you! Contact them and let them know how you feel about the direction in which OSU is heading. Offering solutions to problems is always more helpful than offering only complaints.
Student Sustainability Initiative (SSI)
The SSI has a number of ongoing projects at any time and most require some level of participation or volunteerism. Have an idea of your own? The SSI is always looking for ways to make OSU more sustainable. They have grant money available at the beginning of the school year to fund such projects. They also hire up to 10 students every year.
UHDS Eco-Rep Program
If you are a new student living in an OSU residence hall you can apply for the Eco-Rep Program. This is a paid position of 5-6 hours per week promoting sustainability in your hall.
Waste Watchers is a joint group between Campus Recycling and the Student Sustainability Initiative whose mission is to engage students and the community in waste reduction at OSU by providing educational programming, meaningful opportunities for action, and empowerment of future leaders.
OSU Organic Growers Club
The Organic Growers (ORGs for short) operate a student-run farm near Trysting Tree Golf Course. Volunteers are always welcome to help plant, maintain and harvest whatever is growing. They offer hot dinner to volunteers every Thursday night.
ASOSU Environmental Task Force
As part of the Associated Students of OSU, the Environmental Affairs Task Force works with a hired student director on a self-selected set of projects and initiatives. Volunteers are always welcome to help with current projects or start a new one.
Also be sure to check out this list of sustainability-focused student groups to get involved with.
If you're looking for something different than the options listed above, try contacting Student Involvement, the campus department tasked with involving students in a variety of activities. Even if they don't have what you're looking, they will surely have ideas on where to go.
The Linn Benton Volunteer Information Service (LBVision) is a great database of the many organizations around town that need volunteers.
For Faculty & Staff
Almost all faculty and staff are faced with numerous hurdles in the workplace. Ever-constricting budgets requiring more work and productivity from less, and a layered bureaucracy which makes even simple decisions difficult are common. While this can be challenging, many actions can occur at an individual level to reduce impacts:
- Take a sense of ownership of your area, turning out lights and unplugging electrical equipment at night.
- Try to start an office carpool or get a group together to bike to work once a week.
- See if your office manager is willing to purchase 100% recycled paper. Offset the cost by reusing single-sided paper for drafts and notes.
Check out our tips page for more ways you can make your workplace more sustainable.
One easy way to increase sustainability is to request a Sustainability Audit.
Contact OSU Administration or the Faculty Senate to voice your feelings or concerns.