The Green Love Climate Action Committee, an Associated Students sustainability commission at San Diego State, is currently in the process of drafting a climate action framework, soon to be presented to the administration in mid-November.
Green Love created the temporary Climate Action committee to accomplish its climate action goals.
“The temporary Climate Action Committee is a team of Green Love members who are drafting our suggestions for a campus climate action framework,” Climate Action Committee Chair and Lead Climate Strike Planner Sarah Karver said.
Karver also said the committee sought out climate action plans from other public universities for inspiration.
“We started by researching what other campuses are doing toward climate action – four campuses in the CSU system have a carbon neutrality goal of 2030, where ours is 2050,” she said.
The Climate Action Committee is currently in the consulting phase, gathering feedback from organizations on campus and asking what they would like to see in a climate action framework.
Their final step is to complete their draft and share the plan as a Green Love suggested policy proposal to the administration due to its receptiveness, Karver said.
“Our main goal is to ensure that our campus is accountable for doing our part toward climate justice,” she said. “Our current campus climate action plan isn’t good enough to call ourselves leaders in sustainability. While we haven’t solidified any policy yet, our overarching theme is to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030, keeping equity and environmental justice as our focal lens.”
In September, Green Love had a meeting with President Adela de la Torre to address the specific problem areas they saw in the SDSU Mission Valley draft Environmental Impact Report, Karver said.
“This was a great starting point in discussing what sustainability means not just for the next 10 years, but for a project that will be around for generations to come,” she said. “However, since the meeting, we have not heard from administration of any specific actions they are taking to elevate climate justice on our campus.”
Any students can join the A.S. commission and use their skills they have to be a part of the sustainability movement. Karver said students’ feedback is needed on what to prioritize in their plan through their survey. Green Love is also reaching out to cultural organizations on campus to gain insight into what they would like to see in the framework.
Assistant professor Fernando De Sales, who teaches climate courses, said reducing emissions on campus is not going to solve the problem, and that eradicating climate change will require a global effort. Additionally, the U.S. is the main meter of greenhouse gasses if compared to the population. So that is on us to do better, according to De Sales.
“I tell my students, for example, riding a bike or taking public transportation when possible, or eating locally produced food to avoid eating food imported,” De Sales said. “Another important thing that can help is recycling. Reducing waste, recycling and composting are effective ways to decrease the emission of greenhouse gases.”
Some students have decided to work sustainability into their everyday lives in an effort to combat climate change.
Biology sophomore Lani Pangilinan said she often tried to opt for more sustainable options. She replaces plastic straws for metal or glass straws, brings her own cup whenever she goes to Starbucks or coffee shops and carpools to decrease carbon emissions.
“I try to upcycle clothes,” she said. “I do my best not to buy from big chain stores as much and get hand-me-downs, or go thrifting, because we may not think about it but clothes end up in landfills and making clothes, especially mass production, uses a lot of water.”
Karver said acting on climate change is creating a better quality of life for all.
“We hope the plan will make SDSU a climate action leader in the CSU system while increasing equity when it comes to transportation, food and more on campus,” Karver said. “In the broader lens, we are all at SDSU for our future selves, so shouldn’t our university be held accountable in ensuring that a livable future is there for us?”
In addition to the Climate Action Committee, Green Love committees include Sustainable Events; Food and Gardening; Advisory; Greeks Gone Green and Environmental Justice — all focused on promoting environmentalism and sustainability at SDSU.
Green Love meets every Wednesday in the Park Boulevard room in the Student Union at noon.