walking our talk

Living Sustainably as a Core Strategy

At Colby-Sawyer College we recognize that a systems approach is needed to address some of the global challenges we are facing and create a healthy and sustainable future. Throughout our collaborative discussions and planning we have found that Living Sustainably emerged as one of the Four Strategic Themes that characterizes our intent and influences our decision-making.

The college community has already begun to make changes in our policies, operations and curriculum. Over the coming years, we'll likely witness similar changes in legislation, technology and community infrastructure that will help promote personal well-being, social justice, economic stability and environmental sustainability.

In the meantime, each one of us has an important role to play in this process. The cumulative impact of our day-to-day actions is shaping the kind of world future generations will inherit. In this section of the web site we've assembled some of the information and tools that will allow us to make responsible choices that benefit everyone.

GreenROUTES Shortcuts

It's easy to feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of the global crises we are facing, but the good news is that the solutions to these problems don't require us to be rocket scientists. Here are some quick and simple ideas to keep in mind as you are walking down the "Pathway to Carbon Neutrality and Whole Systems Sustainability." Take Our GreenROUTES Shortcuts here.

Ideas for Going Green in the Office and at Home

Many of the steps we need to take to move toward a more environmentally friendly campus are the same steps that will create a safer and more sustainable environment for our families. Check out the Walking Our Talk at CSC guide for more detailed information and tips.

Sustainability for Students

Our GreenROUTES initiative was created by a dedicated group of students in 2006 who wanted to Redirect Our campUS Towards Environmental Sustainability. Their intention was to raise awareness of environmental issues on campus and create a plan to ensure greater sustainability for years to come.

With more than 1,000 students on campus every year, their individual choices and actions play a huge role in how much energy and resources the college consumes. Students can also be the driving force for major changes. This flyer, "Sustainability on Campus," offers some suggestions for how students can help make a difference today.

Students can also join the Students for a Greener Campus (contact club advisor Nick Baer
for more info), or bring their ideas for promoting sustainability to the Student Government Association.

Teaching and Learning Sustainability

One other aspect of the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment is that we integrate sustainability into the curriculum and overall learning experience for our students. To achieve this end every academic department is encouraged to explore how their particular passions and expertise provide a unique lens through which to approach and achieve whole systems sustainability…what is the role of an artist or a sales manager or a writer or a parent or a biologist or an educator or a health care practitioner in creating a genuinely fulfilling present and a vibrant and livable future?

We have begun this academic quest by convening a Faculty Working Group on Sustainability in the Curriculum; these passionate professors are currently assembling the background and classroom tools that we can all use to help our students find their way in a changing world. This Group is working on a Sustainability 101 resource for faculty who wish to weave these ideas and principles into their existing materials and blaze a trail for others to follow. Sondra VanderPloeg also developed a LibGuide on Whole Systems Sustainability for use by our community that summarizes the wealth of information available to us through the Susan Colgate Cleveland Library.