Category Archives: Sustainability Symp- Spec Mod

Communication as an Action Plan

I was unfortunately only able to attend the closing ceremony/panel of the sustainability symposium, where the main topic of the conversation was: How do we keep the enthusiasm created in this symposium and carry it to the future?

I have participated and leaded several conferences when I was in high school and I understand how excited people are about action plans making an exhaustive list of what to do next within the last sessions, but almost all the times not even half of the things on that list is accomplished by the next years conference. Why is that? Because the enthusiasm of the people decay very quickly, and therefore they don’t start their action plans until right before the next conference, which is too late to accomplish any goal that was initially put on the list.

The main solution that was suggested by students and professors was: BETTER COMMUNICATION. From their point of view of the people participating in the panel, if the different schools that participated in the symposium somehow find a way of communication, kept in touch and informed each other about all the projects they are doing, then the enthusiasm wouldn’t be lost. A lot of people suggested different ideas about how to communicate, and one person was taking exhaustive notes again in order to implement this communication action plan.

Sustaining communication is also a big effort and needs enough enthusiasm for people to follow through with it. Creating communication is easy, we live in a very social world with tools such as social media, ability to conduct video conferences etc., but since as the enthusiasm decays, communication also decays, so the main question here is: how to we sustain the communication?

Is Sustainable Food Management Possible at Bucknell?

After going to the Sustainability Symposium and seeing an array of billboards and posters, it is clearly sustainability is defined in different ways. My first assignment in MSUS 300, which I am currently enrolled, was to define sustainability using a variety of sources. After doing extensive research, I came to the conclusion that the Brundtland Commission’s definition of sustainability is the most accurate. Sustainability is the “development which meets the needs of current generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Many of the posters, lectures and speakers define sustainability very differently. Continue reading Is Sustainable Food Management Possible at Bucknell?

Perceived Paper 2 Parallels

On the heels of writing Paper 2, I found Jason McLennan’s talk about sustainability very intriguing. Basically, my paper outlines the ways in which Patagonia has committed to maintaining environmentally friendly and sustainable business practices, and explores them through a deontological approach to ethics. I talk a lot about the CEO, Yvon Chouinard, and not only the great vision he had for his company, but his unwavering determination to make his dreams a reality. Though it was only once a small company of only a few climbing buddies, Patagonia is one of the most successful outdoor apparel suppliers in the industry today.

I bring up Yvon Chouinard again because of the similarities I feel he shares with Jason McLennan. Continue reading Perceived Paper 2 Parallels

How long are your showers?

My first semester at Bucknell I took a lab science class that focused on sustainability.  For the major project of the semester, each group had to come up with a project affecting the school or community, develop a plan to research the topic and make recommendations or solutions to the school.  My group’s project was to research water usage in showers in residential halls around campus.  We used an instrument to measure the flow of each shower head in Swartz Hall and found that there was not much that could be done through switching shower heads that would save significant amounts of water and energy.

Continue reading How long are your showers?

That’s such a waste of food, Bucknell.

At the Sustainability Symposium, it was interesting to learn to see how people viewed and defined sustainability differently. I presented a project I was working on in my MSUS400 class, where we are looking at organizational development. In the class, I see sustainability as the efficient and effectiveness of the stakeholder network in an organization, since communication is one of the key things any organization needs to be sustainable. As I was walking around and looking at the posters on various projects other people have been working on, it was interesting to see how much your field of study plays an influence in how you perceive sustainability and the green movement. Continue reading That’s such a waste of food, Bucknell.

Let’s build a house…with straw!

For every construction project, there is a certain amount of insulation needed within the walls of a home. The amount of insulation needed in a home varies based upon location. For instance, Florida is in zone 1, which means that builders should utilize insulation for the attic that has an R-Value between 30 and 49. To view what R-value your home’s insulation is recommended to have, click here. The R value signifies the thermal performance of the insulation such that a higher R -Value means that the insulation has a greater thermal performance. Thus, Florida builders would want to use insulation with a lower R-Value than New York builders. According to, the most common form of insulation for homes is blanket insulation or known as fiberglass insulation. To read more about insulation, click here.

Continue reading Let’s build a house…with straw!

Sustainability in Terms of Language, Justice, and History

I attended a panel designed to discuss sustainability from the perspective of language, justice, and history. The panel was titles “Imagine” and aimed to present the different forms available to the topic of sustainability. I thought this panel was particular interesting in the representation of different academic departments including English, Philosophy, and History.

Continue reading Sustainability in Terms of Language, Justice, and History

No More Floods: The Science behind Rain Gardens

Hurricane Irene was an extremely large and destructive hurricane that hit the east coast of the United States hard during September 2011. Threats of possible flooding as side-effects of Irene’s wrath caused panic amongst faculty and students on Bucknell’s campus. Due to Bucknell’s close proximity to the Susquehanna River, administrators forced Bucknell students in downhill residence halls to seek alternative accommodations. The destruction of Irene was apparent in the startling photos of entire streets in two feet of water. People were seen in kayaks on 6th street. I was simply blown away. Continue reading No More Floods: The Science behind Rain Gardens

Transparency the new Sustainability

Jason McLennan, one of the most influential people in the green-building movement, gave a very moving and inspiring talk. He has dedicated his life into building a more sustainable world. As CEO of the International Living Future Institute – a leading NGO that focuses on transformation toward a world that is socially just, culturally rich, and ecologically restorative.  McLennan is a sought-after designer, presenter, and consultant on a wide variety of green building and sustainability topics. Green building, also known as green construction or sustainable building, is an environmentally responsible and resource-efficient process used throughout the building’s life-cycle, from siting to design, construction, operation, maintenance, and renovation through demolition.

Continue reading Transparency the new Sustainability

Learning to Create Sustainability

As part of the “Shaping Sustainability” Symposium, I attended a faculty panel discussion today entitled “Create”.

This panel focused on the idea that sustainability requires first truly understanding people and their cultural and political patterns. Continue reading Learning to Create Sustainability