Monday Moments with President Bergman: April 23, 2018

Gustavus President Rebecca M. Bergman shares her thoughts with College employees each week.
Posted on April 23rd, 2018 by

President Rebecca M. Bergman

Yesterday was Earth Day, and people around the world participated in events and activities that show support for protecting our environment. Many thanks to those who took part in our campus clean-up event, helped pick up litter on our grounds, and celebrated Earth Day in the Linnaeus Arboretum. With the arrival of spring weather, we now eagerly anticipate trees leafing out and flowers blooming. We are grateful for our Landscape Services team, who work diligently in all seasons to keep the 340-plus landscaped acres of our campus beautiful.

Besides a reminder that every day is Earth Day, this is also a good time to remember that we have highlighted environmental sustainability as one of the strategies in the Gustavus Acts Strategic Plan. The President’s Environmental Sustainability Council has been meeting since September to develop plans and tangible steps toward greater sustainability. One initiative under discussion is moving our campus toward a Zero Waste standard, meaning we would track our waste flow and systematically reduce our waste going to landfill or incineration. A Zero Waste standard focuses on eliminating as much waste as possible and recycling or reusing as much of that waste as we can – all things we are reminded of during Earth Day.

In addition to protecting the environment, there are important and immediate benefits when our community engages in good waste management practices. When we throw something into a recycling bin, a composting bin, or a trash can, we do so expecting someone will move the contents of that container to the next destination. Valued members of our community do that work every day. We can demonstrate our care for the environment and for our colleagues who keep our buildings clean by putting recyclable and compostable materials in the right container and making sure that non-recyclable materials go in the trash.

Being good stewards of the environment is everyone’s responsibility. What can you do this week to reduce waste? One thing we can all do is to use a refillable drink container and help reduce the amount of single-use plastic used on our campus. The Earth Day Network is focused this year on recycling and pushing to end plastic pollution. Join the movement you can learn more online.


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