For Citrus College, the immense task of thinking about forever has been outsourced to a group of people called the Sustainability Committee.
On Aug. 17 the committee released an update on their report as part of the Strategic Education Plan.
I learned nothing about sustainability from this. Of course, the report wasn’t meant for me.
On paper, which was ironically printed single-sided, the sustainability committee produced charts and figures implying they have made differences and changes.
However, these changes are not visible.
In the men’s bathroom on the first floor of the TC building, the same faucet from last year is still there today. This faucet runs full blast when the handle is left up and doesn’t stop until someone turns it back off, dumping gallons of clean, potable water down the drain.
I had a classroom during the summer where the air conditioner was so powerful and unregulated that it fell to below 50 degrees. The class was taken outside in 90-100 degree weather, where it was more comfortable.
The culture of sustainability is the idea that each thing we do matters and has an effect on the world. At the heart of sustainability as a culture is the firm belief that our actions have substantial meaning – today and forever.
The perceived lack of culture makes me believe that none of the actions taken by the committee actually matter.
Citrus’ campus gives us all mixed messages. In the campus mall there is a banner advertising the free Foothill Transit bus pass. “Get extra credit with Mother Nature!,” It says. This, along with the Metro Gold Line has been well-executed in encouraging students to ride alternative transportation.
At the same time, most of the food sold is junk food and Pepsi products are sold exclusively in plastic bottles that the campus has no visible organized effort to recycle.
The responsibility is on the administration to care and to show it with action. Administration must educate, innovate, communicate and put citizens and students in a position to help themselves.
On Citrus College’s website, there is no trace of community sustainability involvement since 2013. There are mandated, indecipherable reports. They have to actually believe in forever, or it is just a meaningless piece of flair to take up space on a blank sash.
The weight is on all citizens to execute. We must believe that all our actions add up eventually to create and maintain the world that we have worked hard for. We have to point out the problems to get them fixed, if we can’t fix them ourselves. No one is a bystander in saving the world.
I understand that making sustainability happen is not easy. There are hundreds of leaky holes on a ship and only so many hands to plug them up with.
It is so hard for just one person to think about forever. We make plans and are limited by what is right in front of us.
When people have a reason to believe that their effort matters, we can focus together to last a long time.