Sustainability Conference, Pittsburgh

During fall 2011, SMU students are participating in a conference sponsored by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education in Pittsburgh.

If not now, when?

An update from Leslie, a sophomore environmental engineering and Spanish major:  Sunday Our first day at AASHE started off great! Our group thoroughly enjoyed the adventure of picking up trash along the river in Pittsburgh with Friends of River.  Climbing through the vegetation to retrieve the various bottles, cans and bags that were deposited there was an adventure. My sense of adventure was enhanced even more as I listened to the first keynote speaker for the Student Summit, Bill Mckibben, speak of how we must put into action all of the wonderful ideas that are formed during the conference in order to attempt to make a difference in climate change.  His speech impressed the urgency with which our Earth’s situation [...]

2011-10-17T19:01:13+00:00 October 17th, 2011|Sustainability Conference, Pittsburgh|

A global passion for sustainability

An update from Jennifer, a sophomore civil engineering major: Sunday Well, my first full day in Pittsburgh began when I awoke in the hotel’s Sleep Number bed.  Before this trip, I have never ever used a Sleep Number bed.  Needless to say, my roommate and I had a grand time figuring out what our Sleep Number was the night before.  Anyway, we arrived at the convention center at 8 a.m.  Yes.  Might I add that Pittsburgh is rather chilly at 8 a.m.?  Maybe only compared to good ol' Dallas… However, this ended up not being much of an issue for us Dallas-ites once we began stomping through the brush surrounding the sidewalk along the river in attempts to rid the [...]

2011-10-24T22:28:28+00:00 October 13th, 2011|Sustainability Conference, Pittsburgh|

Mission: Save SMU, save the world

An update from Keya, a sophomore mechanical engineering major: If you think a sustainability conference is all about sitting in a room listening to some hippie rant about tree hugging, you haven’t been to AASHE (Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education). The true reason for the AASHE conference is to congregate different people from all around the world so that they can share their ideas about how to better their communities and schools toward sustainability. What is sustainability you ask? It’s a way to produce and consume on a level that can be continuously reproduced without depleting a resource toward extinction. It’s a circle of life; not a beeline of death. 1st Day: Right as I [...]

2011-10-13T19:32:42+00:00 October 13th, 2011|Sustainability Conference, Pittsburgh|

Our responsibility to the Earth

An update from Ashley, a sophomore flute performance and environmental studies major: The day started off with a keynote speaker, Dr. Timothy White, who talked about the actual meaning of sustainability and how we as a society are influenced and affected by the climate change.  He brought up many valid points, such as how we have this "idea" that the Earth's resources are "infinite" when they are definitely not.  We have the mindset where we put the responsibility on someone else, like, "Oh well, the next person can take of it, I already do a lot." This really hits close to home, because I feel as if most people (including me) have our moments of weakness where we will just [...]

2011-10-12T20:52:23+00:00 October 12th, 2011|Sustainability Conference, Pittsburgh|

Catching the President’s eye

An update from Samuel, an SMU E-Representative and a sophomore mechanical engineering major: “Stop the pipeline and the greed, give the people what they need!” Political activism is a new experience I had today along with the rest of my peers attending AASHE (Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education). Peaceful protest is a powerful action that reaches the community and authority figures. The student summit at AASHE peaked in a speech by Bill McKibben of 350.org who encouraged student political action. Student mobilization is a powerful catalyst to influence political leaders who create environmental policy. Marching a mile through Pittsburgh yelling chants and being part of a motivated group of people gave meaning to what [...]

2011-10-13T15:07:27+00:00 October 11th, 2011|Sustainability Conference, Pittsburgh|

At the Student Summit

An update from Ashley, a sophomore flute performance and environmental studies major: I woke up bright and early on Sunday morning to catch the 7 a.m. shuttle from the Radisson to the downtown convention center. Once we walked inside, we went through check-in and grabbed a quick breakfast before heading off to the Student Summit Community Service briefing room. We had the option of either cleaning the riverfront or going door-to-door handing out tools to live more sustainably. The SMU delegation decided to take on the riverfront project, and Stephen, Keya, Jennifer and Leslie picked up trash while Samuel, Pamela and I planted a large bucket's worth of daffodil bulbs. We finished after two hours of hard work [...]

2011-10-11T15:18:57+00:00 October 10th, 2011|Sustainability Conference, Pittsburgh|