The Sustainability Cafe is full of ideas – The Observer

The Sustainability Café is an event where staff and students come together to brainstorm green ideas for CWU and the community to implement. They had a meeting which brought to light many ideas and projects.

Sustainability Coordinator Kathleen Klaniecki claims to help bring the ideas of staff and students to life, empowering each as a collective to make decisions that can benefit the community as a whole by being respectful of the environment.

This Sustainability Café brought together around thirty people from different sections and aspects of sustainability:

  • Transport
  • Food
  • Land
  • Waste
  • Climate and energy
  • Eco-cats

“There is always a space for passionate students or other members of our community, to advocate for the change they want to see and be part of the change they want to see,” Klaniecki said.

Ideas from staff and student members of the Sustainability Café

On the transport committee, there were many ideas from members Bruce Simpson and Adrian Mendoza. Simpson discussed the importance of switching to electric and solar modes of transportation for those coming to campus.

“The more we can reduce this amount of carbon that we take out of the ground and burn and release into the atmosphere, the better,” said Simpson.

Simpson also spoke of the concern for progress, pushing for transparency within the cafe to ensure ideas are heard and to ensure impacts are realized.

While Simpson insisted on switching to greener options, students may have issues with pedestrians when using modes of transportation like bicycles or skateboards. Students may find it difficult to use bicycles and skateboards on the sidewalk due to walking pedestrians.

“I think the biggest issue would be accessibility,” Mendoza said.

Mendoza said he encouraged the idea of ​​creating cycle paths along the campus, creating safer and more efficient lanes for students. He also shared the opportunity for students who have concerns about issues to approach Government Affairs at SURC 236.

Faculty member Clay Arango, a member of the grounds committee, shared ideas and ongoing projects around the campus, such as the concept of biodiversity. Biodiversity focuses on the variety of life on all levels, from ecosystems to and everything that thrives there.

“Biodiversity loss is one of the biggest challenges our world faces as humans depend on biodiversity,” said Arango.

The lands committee has many ideas and projects that are in use to this day. Kristina Ernest, a staff member, worked with her mammalogy class to do live trapping on campus, and former members took an inventory of the birds.

Jerry Fussell, Student Member of the Sustainability Café, was seen contributing ideas and comments to the sharing of several committees and capturing different ideas from several. Fussell put the spotlight on the new Eco-Cats group, which he described as a section designed to become an advocate for sustainable causes with the aim of giving more opportunities to disseminate sustainable knowledge. Fussell is primarily interested in vermicomposting, which is the use of worms to help compost, and hopes to implement it on campus.

Fussell also mentioned what her colleague, Susan Kaspari, a geological science professor, wanted to share about Wendell Hill Hall B becoming a sustainable Living Learning Community (LLC). The concept behind the LLC is that students of all skill levels and ages live in the same dormitory with the intention of participating in a more sustainable lifestyle by reducing environmental impacts. Wendell Hill Hall B would benefit from the CWU Community Garden located near the Wildcat Neighborhood Farm if it were to become that type of community, according to Kaspari.


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