Sustainability Q&A with Louie Campbell
What is your year, major, or club affiliation at Gonzaga?
I am a Senior Environmental Studies Major with a Communication Studies Minor at Gonzaga. I am currently the president of Gonzaga Environmental Organization (GEO).
What does sustainability mean to you?
I believe that sustainability is how we characterize an action or lifestyle that favors earth’s resilience within all its ecosystems, communities and natural processes. Simply put, it is the notion that we should consider the long-term effect of choices we make exactly as they affect the environment around us—on the local and global scale.
How have you been involved in promoting sustainability on campus?
I have been a member of GEO since my sophomore semester in Spring 2018. GEO is dedicated to a wide range of different avenues for being sustainable on campus, as well as contributing to the local environment through community service. Such avenues include: increased awareness and engagement with waste disposal on campus, fair trade advocacy and awareness, resale of donated clothing through a campus thrift shop, a renewable investments research and implementation team, a fossil fuel divestment campaign and an environmental-awareness and outreach group. Individually, I have served as the club’s Events Coordinator for the Spring 2019 semester, and I have also been involved with Waste Initiative, Renewable Investments and GEO outreach committees. I think that a huge component of promoting sustainability in general is just one’s ability to engage in conversations and to practice consistent habits that reflect and foster a greater understanding of what it means to be sustainable.
What are some things you do in your personal life to live sustainably?
Some of my daily habits that I have to live sustainably are having a meatless diet, carrying reusable cups and containers every day, disposing of trash, recyclables and compost correctly, being conscious of using natural light over electricity when possible, and walking or carpooling as much as I am able to. When making any purchase, I also consider the environmental implications of the businesses I purchase from. In addition, a recent commitment that I have made for myself at GEO’s Earth Games 2019 is to purchase clothing only from thrift stores for at least a year.
How could Gonzaga continue to improve its sustainability efforts?
Though I believe that Gonzaga has done great work in curating an intuitive and proactive pursuit of sustainability on campus, I think that as they say, there is always room for improvement. That being said, I believe it imperative that Gonzaga both divests from fossil fuel and incorporates more renewable energy on campus. Gonzaga’s missions statement reads: “the Gonzaga experience fosters a mature commitment to dignity of the human person, social justice, diversity, intercultural competence, global engagement, solidarity with the poor and vulnerable, and care for the planet.” These words indicate a recognition of this institution’s responsibility to make decisions that benefit the global community—especially those who are poor and vulnerable—which is exactly what divesting from fossil fuels and investing in renewable energy would be exemplary of.
How will you continue to promote sustainability at Gonzaga?
As a leader in GEO and as an environmental studies student at Gonzaga, I will continue to help plan, advertise and attend events that are for promoting sustainability on campus and in the community. I will continue to support the variety of different initiatives based on creating sustainable change on campus and I will continue to increase my own awareness and practice of living a more sustainable life because as I mentioned before, there is always room for improvement.