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Numerous St. Lawrence courses across the curriculum

include sustainability. A small sample:



Natural Resource Economics (Economics)


Environmental Geology (Geology)


Environmental Justice (Chemistry)


Global Population Issues (Global Studies)


Environmental Psychology (Psychology)


Global Climate (Physics)


Going Locavore (English)


Art and Nature (Art and Art History)


Environmental Movements (Sociology)


Introduction to Peace Studies (Peace Studies)


Comparative Environmental Politics (Government)

Ryan Deuel is St. Lawrence University’s director

of media relations.

“It was really interesting to see how an entire country does

environmentalism,” she says. “I realized that I could be doing

more in my own life, too.”

Gwyneth says it is the life lessons learned on the Adiron-

dack Semester that she will take with her.

“We used to say we were doing something hard-easy,” she

says. “We learned that it’s okay to take an extra minute to do

something that’s harder now rather than wait and do some-

thing easier later on. You’ll see students carrying a yogurt,

plastic spoon and water bottle. If they’d take an extra minute

to wash their spoon and use a reusable water bottle, they’d be

doing something to help reduce waste.”

“I’ve found that St. Lawrence is very receptive to sustain-

ability issues,” Margot says. “We see a lot of cooperation

coming from the administration. If we want to talk about the

number of water bottles sold in the Pub or come up with a

reusable to-go box for Dana, they will usually say ‘what can

we do to help?’”

When we hear a call for environmental action, it no longer

seems like a foreign concept to us. In fact, in many ways, it

seems perfectly normal, like calls for healthy eating and quit-

ting smoking.

And maybe that’s just it. Maybe sustainability has become

such a normalized practice that it now appears simply routine…

simply a part of our culture.


in a 2006 “environmental resolution,” St. Lawrence

University committed itself to integrating environmental

sustainability into the curriculum, culture and operations of

our campus. In 2007, we established climate neutrality as a

goal when we signed the American College and University

Presidents’ Climate Commitment. We now have an off-cam-

pus program focused on sustainability, a main campus that is

pesticide- and herbicide-free, and a new residence hall with

geothermal heating and cooling. We have reduced our green-

house gas emissions by 16 percent.

What do we do next?

Our participation in a sustainability self-assessment (Sus-

tainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System, or

Where we’re headed


STARS) has made two things clear:


First and most exciting, St. Lawrence has developed a cul-

ture of sustainability across all sectors of our campus. We

have laid the foundation from which we can build and create

real and lasting change.


Second, we have focused most of our efforts and resources

thus far on high-visibility, low-impact initiatives. While our

bike-share program and campus thrift store are important,

we have yet to significantly reduce our campus energy con-

sumption or our waste per campus user. As we move forward,

we need to further prioritize and plan for the capital projects

and implement processes and policies that will allow for sig-

nificant and sustained gains in these areas.

Hannah Langsdale ’15 peruses offerings at the “Huge Fall

Sale” run by the Barn Good Thrift Store. Sales of items

students left behind the previous spring keep them out of

the waste stream and fund the store’s annual operations.

Read more about it on page 5.

The Sustainability Semester’s 25 Rhode Island

Red hens keep the students and staff supplied

with eggs. The coop-on-wheels, left, “allows

us to move them to new patches of grass every

two weeks,” says Homesteader-in-Residence

Ben Swimm. “They get fresh food and fertilize

(a new patch of) soil.”

argot and gwyneth, both of whom are

environmental studies majors, both studied off campus in

fall 2014—Margot in Denmark, Gwyneth on the Adiron-

dack Semester.

Margot says she chose Denmark specifically because it’s a

developed nation that is not only environmentally focused

but also tackles issues with financial sustainability in mind.

She witnessed how Copenhagen addressed flooding of its

commuter rail system with green spaces that acted as retain-

ing ponds and also provided new parks for its citizens.