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Sustainability

Sustainable

         to keep up or keep going, as an action or process(Dictionary.com)

Sustainability is an important part of any effort to be environmentally conscious.  Living sustainably means interacting with the earth and its resources in a way that does not deplete the ability of future generations to do so as well.  Recycling is part of that process but the two other R's, reduce and re-use, are even more important than recycling. Recycling is a relatively energy- and resource-intensive process. It is better than throwing our waste into the garbage, but treating our used items as resources (not as trash), or even buying/consuming fewer items in the first place, goes a long way towards making our use of resources sustainable.  Living sustainably may mean taking shorter showers to sustain our water resources or buying items with minimal packaging to sustain the resources that produce plastics.  For more suggestions, click here.

Sustainability is at the core of one of the four pillars of the Kalamazoo College Honor Code. Number Four reads:

Accepting Environmental Responsibility: To maintain and improve the condition of our physical environment, we commit ourselves to the respectful and prudent stewardship of our community's material and natural resources.' Behaving with maturity and integrity, as the Honor Code calls on us to do, means accepting both individual and communal responsibility for the environmental impacts of our institution.

To achieve an environmentally-responsible campus, President Wilson-Oyelaran signed the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment in 2007, pledging to take steps toward a carbon-neutral campus.  Initiatives include the purchase of energy efficient appliances, using alternative energy sources for the Hicks Student Center, and introducing local food in the cafeteria.  Achieving sustainability in our community also depends on the commitment of students, faculty, and staff working together to conserve resources and waste as little fuel and electricity as possible.

Learn more about Kalamazoo College's work on sustainability.

 Have questions about sustainability at K? Contact the 2014-2015 Sustainability Interns: Nate (k11nf02@kzoo.edu), Bronte (k11bp01@kzoo.edu), or Mojtaba (k11ma04@kzoo.edu).