Student Sustainability Committee (SSC)

The Student Sustainability committee was formulated by a group of students dedicated to  providing a new system of student-run sustainability initiatives and priorities than what currently exists at Pacific Lutheran University. A student-led initiative has increased efficiency and innovation in the student sustainability priorities that currently exist at Pacific Lutheran University. The Student Sustainability is committed to gaining significant resources to go towards the creation of new perspectives and prospective initiatives each year. 

The Committee was divided into subcommittees: Sustainability Priorities, Carbon Neutrality, the Commons, and the Sustainability Toolkit. 

To establish the Sustainability Priorities, this subcommittee met with the faculty of the Ad Hoc Sustainability (Michael Artime, Ralph Flick, Angie Hambrick, Nicole Juliano, Suzanne Crawford O’Brien, Ray Orr, Wendy Robins, and Jen Smith) to learn the history of sustainability at PLU, what work needs to be continued from this committee and how we can take it a step further in the future. The Carbon Neutrality subcommittee worked with Nicole Juliano to review previous sustainability carbon neutrality efforts such as STARS tracking, carbon offsets, and proposed recommendations for future goals by 2030. The Commons team worked with Wendy Robins to reduce waste coming from the AUC Commons, for example developing the option for providing plastic ware in to-go meals. Below is the Sustainability Toolkit providing students with education on sustainability practices that can be implemented into your daily routine. 

Thank you to the SCC of 2020-2021: Kenzie Knapp, Marae Tidwell, Andre Jones, Dylan Ruggeri, Monroe Torkelson, Seth Gabauer, Sage Warner, Emily Moore, Margaret Murdoch, and Hunter Hobbs

Student Sustainability Toolkit Video - Introduction to the 4 R's

Watch the video here!


Welcome to the written sustainability toolkit!

This toolkit is organized with our 4 R’s. You’ve heard of reduce, reuse, and recycle, but here we are going to explain 1. Reduce & Refuse, 2. Reuse and Repurpose, 3. Recycle, and 4. Rot. 

Why we made this:

  • PLU needs a basis for education on sustainability so we are providing a why, how, and where to practice the 4 R’s. 
  • PLU’s mission statement includes community for the Earth which can mean holding ourselves accountable for our waste and carbon footprint. 
  • In 2019, the United Nations stated that climate change will be irreversible in 11 years if humanity continues to emit greenhouse gases at the current rate. 

What if I can’t afford things or don’t have the time and energy to do something?

  • Little steps are okay and encouraged. Practice won’t be perfect immediately, even our team can’t do all of these things. But we try to do what we can. If you don’t have the energy to recycle, you probably have the energy to not litter. Or if you don’t have the financial security to shop reduction-centered, you can shop locally to cut down on carbon emissions. It’s not your fault if you can’t do something, but try to do what you can. 
  • Most of the pollution pumped into the atmosphere is caused by corporations rather than individuals, so it’s not your fault if you can’t be as sustainable as you want. 

The 4 R's

Reuse & Repurpose/ Refurbish

re·​use | \ (ˌ)rē-ˈyüz  \ reused; reusing; reuses. Definition of reuse (Entry 1 of 2) transitive verb: to use again especially in a different way or after reclaiming or reprocessing.
re·​pur·​pose | \ (ˌ)rē-ˈpər-pəs  \ repurposed; repurposing; repurposes. Definition of repurpose transitive verb: to give a new purpose or use to

Reduce & Refuse

re·​duce | \ ri-ˈdüs  , -ˈdyüs \ reduced; reducing Definition of reduce transitive verb (1): to diminish in size, amount, extent, or number.





re·​cy·​cle | \ (ˌ)rē-ˈsī-kəl  \ recycled; recycling; recycles. Definition of recycle (Entry 1 of 2) transitive verb. 1: to pass again through a series of changes or treatments: to process (something, such as liquid body waste, glass, or cans) in order to regain material for human use.



rot verb \ ˈrät  \ rotted; rotting Definition of rot (Entry 1 of 2) intransitive verb 1a: to undergo decomposition from the action of bacteria or fungi