As co-chair of the sustainability committee, it is my pleasure to share with you some of the great work on sustainability that is happening at Whitworth. Our committee was formed in response to the leadership provided by Bill Robinson in recognizing the need for Whitworth, as a leader in Christian colleges and in our community, to address key issues related to our patterns of consumption. The committee is focused on three primary goals: sharing information, coordinating initiatives, and educating the Whitworth community to encourage sustainability.
I don't think it does. I'd just begin here: So what is sustainability? Sustainable living – which includes environmental, social and economic components – is meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
I believe that Bill and so many others at Whitworth have embraced the sustainable ethic because it is so close to our mission. We honor God by caring for His creation, we follow Christ when we are a voice for those who are marginalized, and we serve humanity by not taking so much that others do not have enough.
This newsletter will showcase some of the exciting ways in which sustainability has spread to many parts of the campus and is extending into the larger community. Jenni Holsinger has engaged her sociology students in studying demographics to better understand the environmental consequences of population growth. Kathryn Picanco is working with education students to present their research at the Spokane Intercollegiate Research Conference this spring on teaching environmental issues. Discussions about the design and creation of new buildings on campus have consistently included weighing the financial and environmental costs of maintaining the facilities over time (heating, cooling, lighting). Older buildings have been retrofitted to make them more energy efficient. Staff, faculty and students have increasingly joined in finding alternative ways to commute to work or school. ASWU has spearheaded several initiatives to encourage students to produce less waste.
We've created this newsletter to inform and inspire you about the great work already taking place and to encourage further cooperation as we all search for ways to make Whitworth more sustainable.