Planting ideas for sustaining the planet

By Jazzmin James
Western Sun staff writer

Many students may think of sustainability as just the recycling efforts on campus.  However, it is so much more.

Sustainability could easily be overlooked while on campus.  Who should care about sustainability? What does it have to do with college or even a student’s life on or off campus?

There are thousands who  are interested in the topic and they met in Los Angeles at the annual Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education Conference on Oct. 14-17.  These participates were able to network, attend workshops, gain knowledge of sustainable advancements and practices as well as formulate goals for their schools’ future.

Sustainability is based on the principle that all things needed for our survival and our well-being depends on our natural environment.  It creates and maintains the conditions which humans and nature can exist.

When asked why should someone care about sustainability? A.S. Sustainability Commissioner Jules Luna replied, “There is only one planet, one shot and we all need to do our part.”

The students from Golden West College that attended the event were exposed to other campus’ efforts and learned of the success the programs their counterparts have implemented.

Brandon Alvarado said, “I nearly had my bicycle stolen and since that time I found my passion for sustainability through bicycling efforts.

“This conference has opened my eyes to what other schools are doing to accommodate the bicycle culture on their campuses” Alvarado was able to gain valuable information regarding what other colleges are implementing and has planned to create a similar plan at GWC.

The students also received feedback from other campus leaders regarding the issues that GWC may come up against.

Phillip Quetschke also stated “Individual responsibility and action makes a difference as a part of the global picture.  Sustainability begins with me.  My actions enable the earth to continue supporting human life as we know it and the other systems on this “Spaceship Earth.””

Jules Luna attended a Tertiary Education workshop at the event.   A document was developed and sent to the United Nations as a result of a workshop conducted during the 2012 AASHE Conference in Los Angeles; with representatives from institutions across North America,and the world.

About Western Sun

THE WESTERN SUN is published bi-weekly on Wednesdays by the newspaper production classes of Golden West College. All opinions expressed in The Western Sun, unless otherwise indicated, are those of the individual writer or artist and do not necessarily reflect those of the college, district, or any other organization or agency. The Western Sun is a member of the Journalism Association of Community Colleges and the California Newspaper Publishers’ Association.