Tacoma is in a unique location with a long and complex environmental history. Residing on the ancestral and current land of the Puyallup tribe, in addition to being a major west coast port for industry, Tacoma offers residents many avenues for environmental action. From mutual aid to restoration to policy lobbying, Tacoma community members and activists show their passion and commitment to bettering our planet as well as striving for environmental justice.
As members of this community, University of Puget Sound’s Sustainability Services strives to reduce our contributions to climate change and further the work of our fellow residents through prioritizing initiatives related to waste management, environmental justice, education, and collaborative community-building.
As an almost entirely student-run organization, Sustainability Services student workers bring many different passions and focuses to our work that we strive to develop through various projects. We aim for students and faculty to have the same level of environmental education. This fosters a welcoming campus environment where all members can participate in sustainable action. Possessing this knowledge allows us to be aware of how individual and collective actions impact our campus, the greater community, and the planet during a climate crisis. This empowers us to have a shared language, empathy, and awareness of multifaceted environmental justice issues. Because of this, our educational strategy utilizes (?) involves an intersectional lens.
We believe that having a “sustainable” campus means that we can fulfill the current needs of our community members and support the needs of future generations. Sustainability cannot only be found in one sector of our campus, it must be intertwined in every facet of campus life. From resident halls to sports facilities, we prioritize making sustainable action an intrinsic and accessible part of our community.
A large portion of Sustainability Services work regards waste management. Recycling and compost administration are at the forefront of our responsibilities. We aim to have a team that is well acquainted with and knowledgeable of our campus community and its waste habits. This allows our team to instill individualized education that targets the unique environmental issues found in different areas of campus. We do not seek to fix environmental issues with a bandaid but rather work together with our community to address the issue. Additionally, this personalized relationship with our community supports the projects that our team works on. Our hands-on program allows us to be detail-oriented and fully immersed in our space.
We welcome innovative ideas and questions, as we believe that creativity and thinking “outside the box” is the best way to cultivate the strongest solutions. Our program has stayed passionate and dedicated throughout challenges, such as COVID-19, and we continue to strive for an equitable and sustainable future for all.