Every fall semester, CSULB Sustainability, Beach Pride Events, Sustain U, Sustainable Transportation, and other campus and community partners collaborate to host free events throughout the month of October for Sustainability Month. Not only were these events greentasticly fun this year, but they also helped the campus community reflect on current lifestyle habits, inspired ideas to create positive change in the natural environment, and sparked dialogue about the importance of alternative transportation at a commuter campus.
Kicking off Sustainability Month was Recycle Wars, a month-long competition between all Student Life & Development recognized organizations to see who could collect and submit the most recyclable items to the ASI Recycling Center This year’s theme was Star Wars: The Rise of the Trash Talkers. Participants competed to be crowned “recycling champion of the galaxy” and to take home their own customizable pop-up tent!
Bikes were the stars of the show at Cycling 101 where Sustain U gave participants a rundown of cycling benefits, cycling in Long Beach, and bike safety. Participants walked away with two major takeaways: (1) there are plenty of ways to access a bicycle (such as Long Beach Bike Share) if you currently do not own one and (2) you can safely navigate Long Beach (and beyond) while reducing CO2 emissions and improving your overall health. In fact, one of the presenters mentioned that cities across the U.S. are redesigning streets to give priority to cyclists, demonstrating major progress in sustainable transportation development.
Later in the week, Parking and Transportation Services held their annual Green Rides Expo to inform the campus community on the environmental impacts of fossil fuel transportation as well as offer campus and community resources. From Long Beach Bike Share to campus shuttles and LA Metro, attendees learned about sustainable options available for everyone. Many of these programs offer student and faculty/staff discounts throughout the school year.
In partnership with Long Beach Recycles, the Office of Sustainability held a Learn to Compost workshop to teach participants how to divert food waste and become composting pros. A major takeaway from the demonstration and the workshop in general is that composting is a simple way to use reduce the amount of waste being sent to the landfill and to turn your green thumb game to the next level.
The following week, the Student Recreation and Wellness Center (SRWC) hosted Plant-A-Plant where people were able to take home their own recycled plant holders (and of course plant some plants). These events happen twice a semester so make sure to check out the ASI calendar to see when next semester’s events will take place.
Climathon -- an annual, global event geared to identify environmental challenges and come up with innovative solutions-- returned to Long Beach in this year’s topic on food scarcity, waste and sourcing. The Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (IIE) once again hosted 1 of the only two locations on the western U.S. coast. Although there were numerous fantastic ideas, a fully functional app called PopLuck, stood out as the event’s winner for its creative solution to feeding people in schools and low-income neighborhoods. Jose Avalos, Jamie Dogom, Hector Lopez, and Eddie Rangel teamed up to develop the app which allows locals and influencers to easily organize potluck events that will offer home-cooked meals to anyone, no questions asked.
Sustain U wrapped up the month-long celebration with a Sustainable Lifestyle Habits workshop consisting of three modules: Current Habits and Impacts, Benefits of Sustainable Living, and Sustainable Products.One of the key messages was to reflect on our consumption of single use plastics and its impact on our environment and health. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, for instance, was highlighted during the workshop to illustrate the cost of single-use plastics. At the end of the third module, students were able to share their current sustainable lifestyle habits and were able to walk away with some new ones under their belt.
Each year, Sustainability Month continues to bring the campus community together to share resources and opportunities that will help instill a culture of sustainability at The Beach. . More than 400 CSULB students, faculty, and staff took part in this year’sSustainability Month festivities. While Sustainability Month may be over, the opportunities to incorporate sustainability into your daily life are endless and exist all around you. How will you get started?
Here are some ways you can get involved today!
- Get involved with the Presidential Commission on Sustainability. To find out more information, email Sustainability Coordinator Holli Fajack at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Join a sustainability organization/club on campus. There are several organizations available. Find one that suits your interests by clicking here.
- Join our newsletter to stay up to date with upcoming sustainability events and news.
- Save the date for Earth Week on April 20-23, 2020. Earth Week is a weeklong celebration featuring free sustainability events, giveaways, and more!
- Follow-us on social media or join our monthly newsletter to stay in the loop of campus sustainability throughout the school year.