Definitions

Sustainability has been described hundreds of different ways—literally.

Many definitions revolve around the concept of the importance of what is called the triple bottom line of protecting the environment, promoting economic opportunity, and ensuring social justice.

Protecting the environment

Short-term vs. long-term perspective

  • Piecemeal vs. systematic understanding of the indispensability of ecosystems for the viability of human existence
  • The concept of built-in limits to the human impact that ecosystems can sustain
  • Environmental degradation as stressor

Promoting economic opportunity

Recognizes the importance of providing secure, long-term employment without jeopardizing the health of ecosystems

  • Importance of natural capital—the economy is a subsystem of the ecosystem.
  • Concerns about growth vs. development
  • Poverty as stressor

Ensuring social justice

Cooperation and community building; well being of the individual and the larger community are interdependent

  • Social cohesion, compassion, and tolerance help make all members of the community feel their contribution to the whole is appreciated
  • An equitable distribution of resources is recognized as essential for the long-term viability of society.
  • Social inequality as stressor

And, because of the long-term impact our actions have, we also need to think intergenerationally.

What we do today impacts the future either positively or negatively. We all should consider the consequences of our actions:

How do our choices impact the environment?

Do those actions promote expanding economic opportunity and ensuring more just social conditions?

Your daily actions speak louder than words.

Brrrr . . . Welcome Back!

Join In this Spring Semester!

We have two competitions coming up this term -- RecycleMania, Campus Conservation National & a host of other upcoming Green events!

It may be called "Spring Term" but so far January 2015 has been anything but Spring-y. Not to worry, there are so many events coming up that you will have so many ways to stay busy that it will really feel Spring before you know it.

Starting February 1st, our annual 8-week competition, RecycleMania 2105 begins. This is your chance to do your Very Best to Always Recycle and encourage (nudge) others to do the same!

Again this Spring term we will be taking part in the Campus Conservation Nationals (CCN) competition. For three weeks, February 23 – March 13, WSU will be monitoring and working hard to reduce use of electricity on campus. You can do your part by turning off lights and electrical devices when not in use and help others to do the same.

This year we will be focusing on educating students as well as faculty and staff about ways to conserve energy and reduce-reuse-recycle resources. Watch for more information and do your part to reduce your Energy and Resource Footprint. We all pitch in and we all can benefit in the long run!

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