For many people who rarely hear about sustainability, you may think that this term is only mentioned in environment-related topics. In fact, sustainability is a “hot” concept in recent years and links to various areas including economics and society. A brief explanation of sustainability is that sustainability is the integrative unit of environmental, economic, and social aspects (I insert a picture below to better illustrate this concept); thereby, when you take into consideration environment, economy and society equally in your decision-making process, you are practicing sustainability.
In my view, sustainability is a direction that we should adapt and follow. I support it not because it has gained more and more approvals globally, but because the concept reminds me that I am a part of a large community and encourages me to think of others, including the environment, whenever I make a decision. From what I have learned in classes, I think that sustainability is very hard to effectively exercise in real life. However, you and I can together learn more and engage in sustainability at our college – Dickinson. Dickinson is proud to be one of the national leaders in promoting sustainability in education; promoting sustainability takes place not only in classroom settings but also in different operations on campus. I am going to mention a few places and activities where you can visit and learn about sustainability as well as about how to live more sustainably.
- The Hive:
The project aims to instruct students to take care of bees and engage in educating the community about the important role of bees in our lives. Hand-on experiences are gained by working in groups with two honeybee hives which are located at the back of the Rector building. After two years of operation, the hives have been recently harvested. The Hive will sell the its products to Dickinson community as well as local residents to raise fund in order to keep the project operating. It surprises me that the students and staff acknowledge that bees cannot be exploited or forced to give us honey. Careful and considerate management with strict examination are needed to produce organic honey. During the emerge of different honey products from unsure sources displaying on market, the honey produced by the Hive is sold to everyone, which practice is viewed as securing the health of the community.
- The Handlebar:
The Handlebar, which is at the basement of Davidson-Wilson, is a teaching bike repair shop for Dickinson community. The volunteer workers will help students, faculty and staff to build, fix and repair bicycles so that more and more people will be willing to drive less and ride bikes instead. When bike riders have basic bike-related knowledge, bikes are used for a longer time; this practice will not only save money for riders but also protect the environment. Recently, beside bicycles, you can also bring scooters and skateboards to the Handlebar.
- The Free xChange:
The Free xChange, which is located at Allison Hall, puts forward the idea of recycling by arranging a place for people to donate clothes they do not wear anymore and letting others use if they are in need. This project is operated for 24 hours and only for Dickinson College community. As the weather starts to change unpredictably and may become colder soon, if you have not prepared any coat, sweater or scarf, I think that you will find some cool warm clothes here. The area also provides a large lounge, which can be a great place to hang out.