ORCA and Zipcar Coming to PLU

In June 2010, the university will transition its transit benefit to ORCA (One Regional Card for All) and will begin offering annual transit passes to all benefits eligible faculty and staff. Once approved for the benefit, the faculty or staff member will receive their ORCA card already preloaded with an annual pass good from June through May. Although the majority of the annual cost will be covered by the university, a small fee will be charged to the faculty/staff member.

ORCA is a collaborative regional fare system involving seven Western Washington public transportation agencies – Community Transit, Everett Transit, King County Metro Transit, Kitsap Transit, Pierce Transit, Sound Transit and Washington State Ferries. The annual pass provided by the university will include unlimited rides on the 6 transit agencies. A ferry pass can be added at the individual’s expense. ORCA is a fare payment card that uses smart chip technology. The card is swiped at the card
reader which allows riders to move smoothly between seven public transportation systems, with no worries about different fares, lost tickets or misplaced transfers. General information is available on the ORCA website at http://www.orcacard.com.

Zipcar, a car sharing program, will be coming to PLU this fall. The cars will be available for personal and/or business use. Contact Gretchen in Human Resources at ext. 7185 with questions. More information specific to PLU will be provided in the coming months.

-PLU Good Fit Article


Think before you press an automatic button (Mooring Mast Article)

Dan Brett
Mast Guest Columnist

The next person who hits the automated handicap door button when they are capable of pushing the door open ought to take a closer look at the costs involved.

I notice the most able, fit and competent individuals fail to grasp a handle and pull openn a door. They feel the need to personally exploit a….


Could it be? A PLU definition of Sustainability?

You may be familiar with PLU’s regular 10 year visioning exercise. In 2000, Pacific Lutheran University went through a plan to map out goals for 2010. Now in 2010, we are in the process of mapping out PLU 2020.

As a newer member of PLU, let me start by saying I am very impressed with this type of long-term planning. It shows that PLU is living intentionally, and aims to shape history rather than react to it. The collaboration, transparency and enthusiastic spirit this takes is inspiring. There are 8 groups tasked with a different theme that the University holds dear. These groups are responsible for asking questions in their first year, and seeking answers to them in the next (2011). Out of this will come a comprehensive vision for Pacific Lutheran University to stand by.

One of the 8 themes is “Sustainable Communities”. That group has the unique task of defining qhat is a sustainable community?, and for that matter, what is sustainability? Well, this is what we’ve come up with, but we need your input. Please comment!

At PLU, the ideal of sustainability incorporates concern for social justice with the inherent value of the natural world, combining attention to immediate needs and long-term goals in both areas.

Commitment to this idea develops directly from the mission statement of the University, which commits us to “seek to educate students for lives of thoughtful inquiry, service, leadership and care – for other persons, for the community and for the earth.”

Sustainability is also a priority for the Christian community with which PLU is affiliated. In its social statement Caring for Creation, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America lists sustainability as a core principle of justice, calling believers and communities to the work of “honoring the integrity of creation, and striving for fairness within the human family. . . . When we act interdependently and in solidarity with creation, we do justice. We serve and keep the earth, trusting its bounty can be sufficient for all, and sustainable.”Division for Church and Society (1993), Caring for Creation: Vision, Hope, and Justice, Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.

Sustainability as a global concern is also frequently traced back to the Brundtland Commission of the United Nations, which defined the concept in broad terms as meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.Brundtland, G. (ed), (1987) Our Common Future: The World Commission on Environment and Development, Oxford, Oxford University Press.

The work of sustainability at PLU involves incorporating these concerns into all aspects of our daily business, influencing our lives together, our attitudes toward the campus environment, the education of our students, the research of our faculty, and our relationships to the local and global communities of which PLU is a part. This work can be summarized in three areas of focus:

Many disciplines incorporate sustainability into their learning objectives, and many research projects involve sustainability, but it is vital that we create and maintain a common set of objectives to solidify sustainability in our students’ education and our faculty’s work. Teaching and studying sustainability requires developing a deliberately multidisciplinary approach while respecting the very different language and tools used by each discipline. The more PLU’s academic community can come together to discuss and engage the challenges of sustainability, the more these themes will be integrated into curriculum, research, and all other aspects of academic life.

Built Environment
Built environment includes human made, arranged, maintained and affected products, interiors, structure, landscapes, campus, regions and earth. All are interrelated and interdependent. Incorporating and utilizing existing knowledge in a way that will uncover next steps in improving our management of the built environment. Educating the campus community of their role in the built environment will reduce current impacts, lead to carbon neutrality and better define sustainability.Bartusta

Campus and Community Culture
Sustainability requires a culture aware of its environmental and social impacts, attentive to its dynamic contexts, and prepared to make positive change. PLU’s strengths are leadership development, professional growth and collaboration. Our task is to utilize these strengths to build a sustainable culture in all the decisions we make, the conversations we have, and the values by which we define ourselves. Our campus and our students will be models to share with our neighbors in Parkland, the Puget Sound, and across the world.

Internship with Sierra Club

Hi there,

Since I know there are a lot of efforts at your school to focus on sustainability and environmental education, I wanted to flag a great opportunity for your students. The Sierra Club is launching a program that we’re calling “The Best Internship on Earth!” and we’d love to have your students apply.

The Sierra Club announces The Best Internship on Earth:

* Travel around the country hiking, rafting, and enjoying the outdoors as the Youth Ambassador Intern for the Sierra Club’s youth programs
* Create an awesome video blog that documents the experience
* Your home base office will be in beautiful San Francisco at the Sierra Club’s headquarters
* Earn a $2,500 stipend for the 8-week internship, plus all expenses paid for travel
* The Intern will be outfitted with $2,000 worth of gear from The North Face and Planet Explore

For more information, and to apply, click here http://www.sierraclub.org/bestinternship.

The intern will also have a chance to promote their personal story and their college/university as well in their videoblog as well.

The application deadline is March 31st, and we wanted to make sure your students were included in the applicant pool.

Thanks, and good luck!

Best, Orli

Sierra Club
85 Second St.
San Francisco, CA 94105

Bike Generator

I really want to make a bike powered generator. I love renewable energy and bikes, and solar gets kind of pricey. I also think that the practice of building this machine would help me better understand the process when i do end up springing for solar. Would anyone be interested in helping out?


Us these free videos and plans to make your own pedal power bicycle generator station. Good for powering up your television while watching your favorite show. (Or your radio, cell phone, blender, or laptop, or wheat grinder!)

This power generating system is also great for emergency survival backup generator power. Pedal Power is one of the more….

Continue reading

Ideas for change at PLU from Sustainability Summit 3/12

Social and Environmental Justice
• Need more off-campus student outreach. PLU provides on-campus students opportunities to be more sustainable, but does not necessarily educate students about what is being done so when students move off-campus, they lack resources. Including recycling, composting, energy efficient light bulbs, and aerators.
o Students can use compost bins from the UC for own personal houses.
• Reach out to our community. Potential environmental education opportunities at nearby middle schools and high schools?
• PLU works with vendors for in-season and local foods. Label where the food comes from?
• “Farmers Market” on campus with student bringing in their extra produce to sell. Also, educate students about the farmers markets and local farms in the area.
o UPS has started this
• Ways to reduce
o Irrigation
o Gray water
• Education
• Add meters in bathrooms- students will then be aware about the quantity of water used
• Alternative forms
• Most emission from scope 3 carbon come from Transportation
• PLU needs a new system
o Raise parking price to subsidize bus pass
o Charge faculty to park?
o PLU subsidizes passed for commuters, but not for all students
• Check out ORCA card options
o UW Tacoma has a u-pass system
o Reasons for not riding the bus: time, inconvenience, comfort, social environment, price
• June 1st we will have 2 flex cars available
Solid Waste
• 4 R’s.
o Rethink our actions
o Recycling is not the first priority
o Set goals and standards
Energy Efficiency
• In half full classes, turn off half the lights
Service Learning
• Want to expand, but needs personnel
• Organize a fair to connect people

GREAN events

Good Morning!

I apologize for the late notice on some I just found out about, but here are some events this week:
– Tonight (Tues), 6-8pm, Admn 100. Free Rain Garden Workshop (suggested $10 donation) http://www.stewardshippartners.org/raingarden_workshops.html
– Tomorrow (Wed), Fellowship applications are due: http://www.plu.edu/sustainability/How-can-I-be-involved/home.php#fellowships
– Thursday March 18, 2010 at 6 p.m. in Ingram 100. MediaLab at PLU in conjunction with Independent Television Service and PBS will screen “Dirt! The Movie” with discussion led by grean’s own Marta Behling to follow. The movie is about an hour long.

Question: The rest of the student green fees are going to purchase about 5 hand dryers to replace paper towel dispensers. Where do you think is the best place to install them? (building/restroom location)

I think that’s all for now. Have a great day!

GREAN has a new and improved website!

Also check out our Google Calendar for all upcoming events.