October is recognized internationally as Campus Sustainability Month, and the Center for a Sustainable Society at Pacific University is honoring the celebratory month with various events in and around campus.
With events ranging from instructional gatherings to planting trees in collaboration with the Portland-based organization Friends of Trees, students will have a multitude of opportunities to get involved throughout the month.
“Our main goal is to raise awareness to the different ways students can engage in sustainability in our community,” says Michelle Larkins, director of said center.
For current students, there are some university changes to be expected in the near future including a campus-wide ban on Styrofoam, a plastic-based material that takes hundreds of years to deteriorate. Larkins hopes to continue to bring new changes to Pacific’s campus just as years before.
“We are excited about banning Styrofoam on campus. We also hope to bring more community change agents on campus this year to connect with students,” she says.
For those looking to donate to the cause, there will be multiple drive opportunities happening on campus; the Boxer Food Share — which is open to all members of the community at Pacific — will be taking donations, as will the Mug Library just outside the Boxer Market.
The former will be open to donations from Oct. 15 through the end of the month, and the latter open to donations from Oct. 11 to 12. For students who often find themselves shopping, or those interested in learning more about where their products come from, how they are made and where to find sustainable items, a Brand Awareness Event will be held in the coming month.
Larkins and her team of environmentally conscious students hope to educate others on sustainable practices, and to “jump start the academic year with [sustainability] on our minds.”
“Creating space for students to step in and speak out is one piece of helping us all to demand change for a more just future,” Larkins says.
More information about the Center for a Sustainable Society and their mission can be found at pacificu.edu/academics/academic-support/centers-institutes/center-sustainable-society.