What is Sustain Champlain?
Sustain Champlain is a campus-wide initiative strives to infuse sustainability concepts and practices across Champlain College by coordinating and promoting best practices within four areas: our institution, academics, operations, and culture.
Thursday, November 15, 2012
Environmental Leadership Conference
E2 Environmental Leadership Conference
A few weekends ago I had the pleasure to attend a conference at ECHO. http://www.echovermont.org/events/viewevent.html?event=516 The conference was centered around getting people involved in the movement for environmental sustainability and social justice. This conference was the precursor to an even bigger event ECHO will be holding on January 21st called the Environment and Equity Summit. At the October conference there were representatives from student environmental clubs from UVM, Saint Mikes, and of course Champlain College. We spent the day discussing a variety of challenges we face in raising awareness to environmental and social issues. We also spend a great deal of time coming up with simple solutions to the complex problems society has created.
There were some brilliant presentations and discussions about a variety of different topics the most notable of which was transportation. Chapin Spencer, the executive director of Local Motion, lead a discussion about how we can make our transportation system in Burlington and Vermont as a whole more efficient and more sustainable. We ended up coming to a consensus that the only way to do that is to get people motivated so that people are willing to give up there comfy cars and walk or bike to work or school. We discovered that a large number of people live within a few blocks from where they work but they still decide to use their cars rather than just walking. So how do we motivate these people and others to start doing the right thing for the planet? That's where Matt McGrath of the Vermont Workers Center came in. He gave a wonderful presentation about how to get the word out and motivate people to get involved. It turns out the best way to get people to do things is not though multimillion dollar ad campaigns (sorry Koch brothers, it just doesn't work). It is actually just going out and talking to people and letting movements build though word of mouth. The Vermont Workers Center has had great success using this simple strategy and we can to! Come give us your ideas and get involved. The Champlain College Environmental Club meets every Tuesday in fireside lounge! https://www.facebook.com/pages/Champlain-College-Environmental-Club/180133277258