Creating Sustainable Change
The Student Sustainability Center (SSC) is a collaborative space for student-led initiatives that foster equity, environmental vitality, and economic well-being in the present and future. Through our efforts, we help students develop the skills, strategies, and networks necessary to work towards their vision of society.
More Than Just Recycling
Sustainability encompasses a lot of topics beyond what you might automatically think about. We work on solutions to issues like food security, social justice, and yes, waste reduction. Our goal at the Student Sustainability Center is to connect you to all the ways you can help create a more sustainable UO, Eugene, and world. So how do you want to get involved?
The waste reduction and reusables effort aims to reduce waste on campus. Our programs provide reusable water bottles, mugs, and silverware. We also host educational opportunities to fix broken objects.
Studies suggest as many as half of U.S. college students experience food insecurity while in school. In an effort to reduce this educational barrier, the SSC provides free produce markets, help with SNAP enrollment, and more.
Social and Cultural Equity
Sustainability goes beyond just being green. Social and cultural equity is a vital part of a holistically sustainable society. The Student Sustainability Center advances this cause by focusing on social justice and equity.
Pursue passion projects with the help of leaders in sustainability, get funding, spread the word through journalism, involve your fraternity or sorority, and more with these student organizations.
The Student Sustainability Center hosts events to connect students with resources and opportunities. From the Sustainability Fair to Earth Week and Transportation Day, join us here.
Come get free, fresh produce at the EMU Amphitheater.
The Student Sustainability Center and the Food Security Task Force will be handing out free, fresh produce Every Tuesday during academic terms. A Trillium Produce Plus site, Produce Drops allow you to choose produce.
Bring a student ID, a bag for your produce, and wear your mask.
Rain or shine, EMU amphitheater
Hear micro-presentations from various UO staff, student groups, and faculty members, talking about what they are doing to make our university more sustainable. The fall 2020 speakers are:
Public and Environmental Law Conference (PIELC) - Megan Sweeney and the 2021 planning team
VPFA Admin Internship Program - Debbie Sharp, VPFA Project Manager
Redefining Menstruation Student Team - Abigail Gravatt, Payton Lagomarsino, and Olivia Holah
UO's Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System (STARS) Score and our "Path the Platinum" - Robyn Hathcock, Sustainability Program Manager, and Steve Mital, Sustainability Director
The Duck Nest: Climate Assembly program - Dakota MacColl, student programming lead
Each presentation will be about five minutes long and include a short time for questions from the audience. After the presentations, attendees will have the chance to chat with the speakers in breakout rooms.
RSVP here. The organizer will follow-up with a Zoom link and a calendar invitation (if requested).
What are the psychological, cultural, and political reasons why some people passionately engage with issues surrounding climate change, while others are apathetic, and some are downright dismissive and hostile?
Anthony Leiserowitz, the founder and Director of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication (YPCCC) and a Senior Research Scientist at the Yale School of the Environment, will explore this question as he delivers the 2020-21 Kritikos lecture “Climate Change in the American Mind” on Thursday, November 19, 2020 at 5 p.m. via Zoom. His talk will be the first in the OHC’s 2020-21 Climate Justice series.
Climate change is one of the most daunting challenges of our time. Americans have diverse and sometimes opposing views about global warming, fundamentally shaping the political climate of climate change. Leiserowitz will explain recent trends in Americans’ climate change knowledge, attitudes, policy support, and behavior and discuss strategies to build public and political will for climate action.
Leiserowitz is an expert on public climate change and environmental beliefs, attitudes, policy preferences, and behavior, and the psychological, cultural, and political factors that shape them. At Yale, Leiserowitz examines how Americans and others around the world respond to the issues of climate change and other global challenges. YPCCC seeks to discover what people understand and misunderstand about the causes, consequences, and solutions of climate change; how they perceive the risks; and what kinds of policies they support or oppose.
As he explains, Leiserowitz’s research with YPCCC “suggest[s] it is possible to improve public understanding of the scientific consensus on climate change in a way that does not trigger political polarization. In particular, our findings suggest that scientists, nonprofit organizations, and policy makers should communicate the scientific consensus using short, simple declarative sentences or simple pie charts. Ultimately, better communication of the scientific consensus on human-caused climate change can contribute to improved public understanding and engagement with the issue.”
According to Leiserowitz, despite the distraction of COVID-19, climate change is “not fading from people’s memories, it is not fading from their sense of importance just because other issues have arisen.”
Leiserowitz earned both his MS (1998) and PhD (2003) in Environmental Studies from the University of Oregon. He studied with Paul Slovic, professor of Psychology and president of Decision Research (DR), with whom he currently serves at DR. He conducts research at the global, national, and local scales, including many surveys of the American public. He conducted the first global study of public values, attitudes, and behaviors regarding sustainable development and has published more than 200 scientific articles, chapters, and reports. Leiserowitz and his colleague Edward Maibach (George Mason University) are winners of the 2020 Stephen H. Schneider Award for Outstanding Climate Science Communication. In addition, he is the host of Climate Connections, a radio program broadcast each day on more than 600 stations nationwide.
Leiserowitz’s lecture is free and open to the public. Registration is required to participate in the live Zoom event. Register at: ohc.uoregon.edu. The talk will be recorded and available for viewing on the OHC’s YouTube channel. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
How can centuries of environmental exploitation and social injustice in the U.S. be unraveled? Robin Morris Collin, the Norma Paulus Professor of Law at Willamette University College of Law, will share her passion for creating solutions to remedy environmental injustice. She will deliver the 2020-21 Colin Ruagh O’Fallon Memorial lecture “The Geography of Injustice and the Ecology of Reparations” via Zoom.
Collin asserts that, driven by the legacies of colonialism and slavery, U.S. public policy has deliberately subordinated nature and people in pursuit of profit by discounting the value of people and places into commodities for transactional exchange. Our economy, which relies on patterns of extraction, consumption, and pollution, has deeply harmed the earth and its people. Poor communities, especially communities of color, are disproportionately impacted by pollution, waste disposal, hazardous sites, resource depletion, and disasters in the natural and built environment.
To visualize how people and places are affected by environmental injustice, Collin has been utilizing the EPA’s EJSCREEN: Environmental Justice Screening and Mapping Tool, which collects and analyzes information to assess and compare environmental and human health risks borne by populations identified by race, national origin, or income. Injustice has literally been mapped.
Beyond defining the problems, Collin will outline key strategies that can lead to healing. She contends that in order to heal we must reestablish a reciprocity between ourselves and nature, and we need to center environmental justice in the heart of sustainability. To that end, Collin maintains that environmental justice must be included in the core curriculum so all will understand why equity matters. We must reexamine our shared histories and recognize the truth of where we are now—not try to deny or disguise it. She also believes that injured communities and damaged places need to be reconnected, one by one.
Collin believes that reparations can change the ecology of subordination, but not with payments—payments will not change systems. Sustainable community-based projects create new systems that bolster relationships between people and the land—like the Southeastern African American Farmers’ Organic Network which is committed to culturally relevant, ancestrally guided, and ecologically sustainable, agricultural-based living. Healing entails a community-by-community focus on restorations, reparations, and re-creations.
Collin, the first U.S. law professor to teach sustainability courses in a U.S. law school, currently teaches Global Sustainability. Prior to her tenure at Willamette University, she was a professor at the University of Oregon’s Law School from 1993 to 2003. While at the UO, she cofounded the Coalition Against Environmental Racism’s Environmental Justice conference and the Sustainable Business Symposium, both of which continue into their second decade.
She has been awarded the David Brower Lifetime Achievement Award from the UO’s Public Interest Environmental Law Conference, the 2012 Oregon Woman of Achievement Award, the Leadership in Sustainability Award from the Oregon State Bar, the Campus Compact Faculty Award for Civic Engagement in Sustainability, and the national Environmental Justice Achievement Award from the Environmental Protection Agency for her work with the Oregon Environmental Justice Task Force. She was a founding board member of the Environmental Justice Action Group of Portland, and a founding member of Lawyers for a Sustainable Future.
Collin’s talk is free and open to the public. Registration is required to participate in the live Zoom event. Register at: ohc.uoregon.edu. The talk will be recorded and available for viewing on the OHC’s YouTube channel. For more information contact email@example.com