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Sustainable Neighborhoods Initiative class roster: Winter 2015

Students in 11 classes from across the University are engaging with Portland neighborhoods in meaningful ways this term through the Sustainable Neighborhoods Initiative. Check out this quick snapshot of the urban sustainability projects being explored in classes this term.

Green Campus Living | Laundry (the green way)

We all wash our clothes (well, hopefully—dorm life can get a little iffy in that department). But what about all the water and energy that goes into this process? According to SFGate, modern washing machines use up to 40 gallons of water per load!

Divest Portland State—what’s all the hype about?

Maybe you’ve seen the little orange squares pinned on jackets and backpacks around campus or have heard murmurs about “divestment” at Portland State. But what does that word—divestment—actually mean? Divestment is the opposite of investment. In the case of the student-led initiative Divest Portland State, it would mean moving PSU’s financial investments away from oil and coal companies as part of a larger international effort spearheaded by environmental activist and writer Bill McKibben through his climate action organization 350.org.

Living, working, and napping in China: The urban planning internship experience

Ever wondered what it would be like to work as an urban planner in China? I have one word for you: naptime. That’s right, according to six Portland State Master of Urban and Regional Planning students who did internships through the PSU-China Innovations in Urbanization program last summer, professionals in China get a designated naptime after lunch (along with a pullout bed in their office to facilitate said nap). Whaaat? That. Sounds. Awesome.

Community Spotlight: Q&A with Irene Bailey

Irene Bailey is a graduate student in the Leadership for Sustainability Education program who once bought a sailboat with two other women and navigated the high seas from Ventura, California to the Sea of Cortez in Mexico.

VIDEO| Cheap, easy, eco-friendly: This is reuse

Portland State's Reuse Room, Mug Runners, and Pop-Up Swaps are three of the ways we make reuse on campus easy. Check out the video above to learn about three of PSU’s reuse programs. Give, take, share!

Green Campus Living | Composting: What’s all the stink about?

Although some students here at PSU may be old pros at this whole composting business, to many of us the term remains shrouded in mystery. What is “composting”? Why should anyone care about it? Is it possible to do it on campus? And, most importantly, will it lend an unpleasant stench to my dorm room? (Spoiler alert: if you empty your compost pail regularly, it won’t stink!)

Getting outside the Portland bubble at the Net Impact Conference

Thanks to generous funding support, nine members of Portland State Net Impact were able to attend the Net Impact national conference in Minneapolis last November. Net Impact is a sustainability-focused nonprofit composed of student and professional chapters with a mission to create positive social and environmental change in the workplace and the world.

This is what community building looks like. Join us?

Hi, I’m Devin Burgoyne. During my first year at Portland State University, I volunteered with the Sustainability Leadership Center’s Garden Task Force and the experiences I cultivated contributed greatly to my transition as a SLC staff member.

Taking on displacement and gentrification effects in Cully

This blog post was written by Karri Benjamin, Julienna Cates, and Angela Spencer, students in the fall term Health and Social Inequalities class. Photos courtesy of Verde. 

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