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PLU Sustainability Program is a Finalist in Nationwide Competition

sustainability video

This is a still photograph of one of the opening slides of PLU's sustainability video. (Photo: Katherine Martell / PLU)

Voting on PLU's stop-motion video begins April 1

By Sandy Deneau Dunham

PLU Marketing & Communications

An innovative Pacific Lutheran University program that links Study Away and campus sustainability has been selected as a finalist for the 2014 Second Nature Climate Leadership Awards.

Watch—And Vote For!—PLU's Video

From April 1-15, vote for PLU's sustainability video here. Anyone, anywhere, can vote in the competition—but only once a day. Just click on the thumbs-up icon! 

As a result, PLU is participating in a nationwide video-voting competition organized by Second Nature and Planet Forward. Online voting begins April 1 and runs through April 15.

Global education is a pathway to distinction at PLU, and the university offers Study Away programs on all seven continents. As a result, air travel contributes 19.4 percent of the university’s total carbon footprint. The goal of the groundbreaking pilot program, then, is to mitigate those air-mile carbon emissions—eventually helping PLU reach its goal of carbon neutrality by 2020.

To do that, PLU has partnered with Earth Deeds, a developing organization that is redefining the concept of offsetting one’s carbon footprint by reframing it as “onsetting.”

“Aiming for carbon neutrality is important, but it is the bare minimum,” said PLU Sustainability Manager Christine Cooley. “Innovative projects like onsetting soar past neutral and allow for regenerative sustainability projects—serving the ones that support the global and local environments PLU visits, and the communities where students study away.”

PLU will pilot the off- and onsetting program during the academic year 2014-15 for all semester-long Study Away programs. By earmarking a portion of a per-student carbon-mitigation fee, PLU will be at the forefront of responsible travel by involving students in the educational process when dedicating the remaining funds to sustainability projects.

PLU’s video, conceived and produced entirely on campus, illustrates the new sustainability program through stop-motion photography, colorful felt cutouts and a rhyming narrative.

Narrated by Kirsten Kendrick of KPLU, it uses vignettes from Study Away programs around the world—and even locally—to illustrate the impact of travel and carbon mitigation. (Sample line: Students learn about climate-change facts / then measure and transform their carbon impacts.)

Starting April 1, the video will be posted online here. Anyone can vote in the video competition, and everyone can cast one vote per day.

In conjunction with the video competition, Second Nature will run an online feature on each of the 28 finalists, and their videos, two times throughout April: PLU is scheduled to be featured April 11 and April 24. Winners of the 2014 Second Nature Climate Leadership Awards will be notified in May.