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Sustainability

Michael Ford - Read More

June 21, 2009

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Lewis & Clark

Years at Lewis and Clark: 33 

Role: Various positions within Student Life, Institutional Advancement, and Common Services.
In my current role (since 2000), I’ve served as Associate Vice President for Campus Life with a major focus on program planning, scheduling, and promotion across the institution.

Favorite book recently read: Hot, Flat, and Crowded by Tom Friedman

Favorite Portland restuarant: The Lucky Lab, Multnomah Village

Why do think sustainability is something the LC should pursue:
Business as usual has challenged the seniority of Mother Nature for far too long.   In this particular case, our collective youthful immaturity about use/abuse of resources has/will take our planet beyond earth’s ability to replenish itself.  What we do here at LC, both individually and collectively, matters far more than we can begin to imagine.

What do you want the school to accomplish in the next four years to become more sustainable:

Apart from lowering our carbon footprint in a variety of ways through every way we know how or can learn, we need to educate about the centrality of sustainability without “green-washing.”  And we need to move beyond annual teach-ins about global warming to living more sustainable life-styles, and, most importantly, to engage in the political process that is essential to move our nation in a new policy direction.

What things do you personally do to reduce your environmental impact:

Sustainability begins in the kitchen.  Along with my family, we’ve learned to find protein eating lower on the food chain (i.e. no red meat, very little fowl or fish).  We travel very little, stay away from airplanes, drink tap water, recycle all we can, donate to a variety of non-profits that meet people at the level of their immediate need, turn down the heat during the winter, use water wisely at home, don’t purchase expensive, new electronic devices, and recognize that what we do, as Americans (who consume so much more than other peoples), can and does make a difference far beyond what we may think.

Further, I’ve initiated an Environmental Stewardship Committee at our local congregation (2007), and our congregation has sponsored four “Sustainable Sundays” this year, focusing on energy, food, climate, and transportation.  Our congregation also purchases wind power from PGE, and like LC, is highlighted in PGE publications.

At LC, I’ve served as staff organizer for Focus the Nation in 2008 and the National Teach In in 2009, and volunteered with the Lewis & Clark Sustainability Council.

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