Given our location in one of the world's most beautiful places, it's only natural that Humboldt State has a long-standing commitment to understanding and preserving our environment. This is more than a mission statement or slogan; it's a core principle that pervades much of that we do. Sustainability is incorporated throughout our curriculum, interwoven into our approach to campus operations and spread by our graduates who carry knowledge and skills related to sustainability with them when they graduate. Many graduates, in fact, choose to sign the Graduation Pledge of Social and Environmental Responsibility, which HSU students created and has spread to universities around the world.
Humboldt State's dedication to environmental responsibility and developing innovative green technologies is mirrored by the culture of Humboldt County itself. Nowhere is this more evident than in Arcata, our hometown. Here, both students and community members see sustainability as an essential part of daily life, affecting everything from the food they eat to the transportation they choose to the places they work. The shared campus and community dedication to environmentally conscious living means that sustainability is a key part of the Humboldt State experience. For many students, attending our university and becoming immersed in the local culture is an eye-opening experience, one that introduces them to environmental responsibility on both intellectual and practical levels.
Sustainability Across the Curriculum
Humboldt State has a well-deserved reputation for excellent science and natural resource programs, and environmental responsibility is a key element in majors like Biology, Environmental Resources Engineering and Natural Resource Planning & Interpretation. Just as importantly, while sustainability is a topic in the majors where you'd expect, there are also discussions and projects on sustainability in English, Theatre Arts, Economics, Psychology, Sociology and many other fields. It's our belief that sustainability should not be relegated to certain areas of study, but rather incorporated into many aspects of learning and living.
A Greener Campus
Humboldt State is a leader in researching clean, renewable energy, developing innovative green technologies and promoting an environmental ethic. This approach extends to our campus operations, where there are countless efforts to ensure our practices are sustainable and environmentally sound. For example, our recently completed Behavioral and Social Science Building was certified LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold for its green design features, and we use nontoxic, biodegradable cleaners. Our award-winning 100 percent post-consumer waste recycled paper policy provided an open purchasing contract for the 22 other California State University campuses to supply their universities with recycled paper as well. And, our Dining Services has partnered with the Community Alliance with Family Farms to regularly provide local, organic produce on campus.
The most important champions of sustainability at Humboldt State are our students. They help organize local environmental events, operate environmentally related clubs and run several major programs including our 30-year-old eco-demonstration house, the Campus Center for Appropriate Technology. It's the drive and determination of these students that inspires us to increase vegetarian options on campus, keeps the campus compost program going strong, exposes our local community to sustainable living alternatives and continues to make environmental responsibility a hallmark of our university.
Rollin C. Richmond