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Sustainability Task Force Asks, “What Does Sustainability Mean to You?”

On Monday, October 18, I took part in LIM’s semesterly Sustainability Task Force meeting. The meeting was held over Zoom by LIM’s faculty and students.

The meeting started off with a fun song, encouraging participants to “reduce, reuse, recycle." Next, we were asked to engage in a poll asking, “What does sustainability mean to you?” Answers included, “thinking about tomorrow,” “caring for our planet,” and more, which immediately made clear that everyone on the call was conscious about the future.

The Sustainability Task Force introduced their purpose and explained their goal to reduce LIM’s carbon footprint 50% by 2030. The goal seemed almost impossible until they explained their action plan. Suddenly, it seemed very realistic, especially if more people come together to help the school reduce waste and save energy.

The Task Force impressed me with their long list of achievements around campus to date, including installing water refilling stations, removing small garbage cans to limit the amount of waste brought in, and the implementation of a paperless policy in classes.

Next, they talked about current initiatives, which include creating and encouraging a Sustainability Speaker series to spread awareness and give ideas on how individuals can take initiative. They also came up with a free sustainability pop-up store, where students can find giveaway items. These pop-ups take place each month at the Fifth Avenue building, and the theme for next month’s is “Gadgets, Gifts, and Goodies.”

To me, the most exciting part was when they explained how they calculate and assess the college’s carbon emissions. They explained that in 2020, LIM produced about 845 metric tons of CO2, which shall be reduced to about 425 metric tons by 2030.

They ended the Zoom call with another poll, asking participants for their own sustainable action ideas that they would like to see at LIM. The feedback included that LIM should launch a Fashion Sustainability major, a sustainability lounge, a clothing swap, and more. Overall, the meeting showed me how organized and hardworking LIM’s staff and students are in moving towards a more sustainable future.