Sustainability Pledges

Will You Pledge to Act More Sustainably?

When you make a pledge to join us in sustainable action, you can look forward to email updates with reminders, advice, and statistics to help you continue to make an impact! 

Building a sustainable world requires both personal and collective action. These pledges are a way to share and uphold our commitment to sustainability together. For more on Western's institutional commitments, view the Sustainability Action Plan.

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Pledges


Changing our transportation habits can have a big impact! Assuming you travel an average of 10 miles per day, that would cost about 7 pounds of CO2 in the average car (that’s .7 pounds of CO2 per mile). However, biking or walking keeps those 7 pounds of CO2 out of the atmosphere, and bussing reduces these emissions by an average of 5.6 pounds of CO2 per mile (the average full bus emits about 0.14 pounds of CO2 per person per mile). 


According to the UN, “The impacts of climate change will not be borne equally or fairly, between rich and poor, women and men, and older and younger generations. Consequently, there has been a growing focus on climate justice, which looks at the climate crisis through a human rights lens and on the belief that by working together we can create a better future for present and future generations.” Read more on climate justice from the UN Sustainable Development site here

As we return to campus this quarter, there will many events and lectures offered on the subject of climate justice. Through these events, our community is exposed to a variety of voices sharing their experiences and understanding around this critical issue. The revered Huxley Speaker Series resumes this fall on 23 September and continues throughout the quarter. Find a lecture to attend at the Huxley Speaker Series website to learn more about climate justice and connect with other sustainability advocates. 


Raising and preparing just 500 calories of beef (a typical half-pound hamburger) emits 34 pounds of CO2, and 500 calories of chicken or fish still require 10 pounds of CO2 to produce. If you would normally eat one beef-based and one chicken-based meal per Monday, participating in Meatless Mondays reduces your carbon footprint by 44 pounds of CO2 every week! And that doesn’t even account for the land and water usage associated with meat production; it takes roughly six times as much water to produce a pound of beef than a pound of tofu.

 

Shopping at locally-owned businesses decreases our community’s dependence on the transportation industry, thereby conserving critical resources and decreasing the amount of pollution in the biosphere.  It also encourages entrepreneurs and creates jobs right here at home by cycling money back into the local economy, creating a more resilient, interdependent social fabric. Whether looked at from an environmental, economic, or social justice perspective, shopping local is sustainable—give it a try!

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