October 2016 marks the 2nd ever Campus Sustainability Month which officially kicked off on the 1st of the month. Since 2003, Campus Sustainability Day has been celebrated internationally, however in 2015; the events flowed over to fill the calendar for an entire month.
Spearheaded by The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), this month is about raising awareness and engagement on sustainability. AASHE is on a mission “to inspire and catalyze higher education to lead the global sustainability transformation.” While it’s a tall order, thanks to the information age, it’s growing more and more possible.
AASHE has made it that much easier for sustainability advocates on campus to get the resources they need to make an impact on the ground. If you check out the Campus Sustainability Hub, you’ll find an assortment of aids to assist teachers, students, and administrative staff in adopting sustainable practices at their school.
In addition to the Hub, they have also created a database to help spread the word about events happening across the globe to celebrate Campus Sustainability Month. On their website you’ll find the a place to scout out sustainability events happening across North America, and you’ll find a form that can be filled out to share your plans for Campus Sustainability Month.
There are so many different ways to adopt a sense of sustainability on campus, and it truly is a great place to plant the seed. When schools adopt sustainability into their daily operations they are savings resources, promoting environmental stewardship, and educating students about the importance of incorporating sustainability as a mindset rather than a standalone subject.
Some fun ideas for celebrating Campus Sustainability Month are zero-emissions concerts, clothing swaps, conferences and live webinars, tree planting, green design contests, community clean ups, and seed bank drives, just to name a few.
Campuses can also incorporate other occasions into the mix to gain a bigger audience by collaborating with other organizations. For example, October also marks Fair Trade Month in the United States. Since Fair trade and sustainability often go hand in hand, creating an event that showcases both will add more dynamic and breadth to the celebration.
In mid-October, Global Climate Change Week is happening – a great topic to highlight in conjunction with promoting the importance of sustainability. Visit their site and you will find additional resources for students and academics.
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