In the last week of October, the entire ASCP staff went to the AASHE Conference in Spokane, Washington. AASHE, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, was a whirlwind week of educational seminars, workshops, and networking with other campus sustainability programs!
Read more about our staff's experiences below and what plans are in store for the future of the Auraria Sustainable Campus Program!
My favorite part of the conference was getting to be surrounded by a community that was doing similar work as us at ASCP. It feels good to know we are not alone in the world of making our campuses more sustainable, and it gives me a lot of hope for our future.
One of the biggest take away I had from the campus was better ways to engage students on campus for our Eco Rep Program. One workshop I attended focused on engaging students who may otherwise be hard to reach, and one way they suggested was to have zero waste DIY events.
I am excited to also implement what I learned for the Green Offices program, and making the checklist easier and more accessible to office who want to participate in the program.
- Hope Bartlett, Education & Outreach Program Lead
I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the AASHE conference. It was incredibly valuable to learn how other institutions around the country have been tackling sustainability on their campuses. I made many connections with new people that I believe will help both myself and the Auraria Campus. I look forward to putting this new knowledge to use in the coming year.
- Jake Kuenzli, Zero Waste Team
My favorite part of the conference was the opportunity to meet so many students around the world that share the same feelings about sustainability that I do. It was also wonderful to learn new ideas about how to implement different sustainable practices on campus. I gained information about how to make campus food vendors use less plastic and produce less food waste. I also learned about how to encourage students to eat less meat without having to compromise the foods that they love. I am hoping to put the information that I learned to use on the Auraria campus in the upcoming semesters!
- Abi Shea, Social Media Specialist
I was incredibly inspired by my time at AASHE. Not only did I gain insight into the great work other schools are doing, I also had the opportunity to network with people who are influencing large, positive change across the country and abroad. A few key takeaways were;
1- Learning about the Sunshine Movement from Varshini Prakash who talked about institutional divestment in fossil fuels and motives for Green Peace.
2- Talking with a WWF representative who is working with various universities across Canada to certify students in personal living planet leadership aimed toward climate action, ecological restoration, and social justice through volunteerism.
3- Learning about the Real Food Challenge and how its goal to procure 25% of campus food supplies from local, humane, eco-sound, and FairTrade sources has been a success in many universities.
Reflecting on my experience I have found that I am motivated to keep Auraria campus moving towards sustainability. Through participation in the mentioned topics or the many other things that were presented at AASHE, I believe that there is a lot of potential for our school to continue our impact. I am excited to see where we go from here!
- Cassy Cadwallader, Zero Waste Team Lead
Visiting Spokane, Washington for the annual AASHE Conference was a wonderful experience for me. It filled me with a lot of gratitude towards our program and the extended efforts the ASCP is making on campus to reduce our ecological impacts. The number of schools attending providing information on their own programs allowed me to take away valuable information that I intend on positing to the rest of our team for even further improvements of our own projects. The ability to also connect with these schools and students around the country and ask questions about how they surmounted challenges is a wonderful tool. Additionally, with a more local focus, several Colorado based students have begun the organization of a meeting where we can discuss more about our programs and how to improve them. AASHE provided sessions for nearly every aspect of my position within the ASCP, and I took away such valuable information that I can’t wait to apply in the future.
- Evan Pierpoint, Digital Media Specialist