Promoting Environmental Justice and Sustainability

 Volunteers from Canisius College at the Massachusetts Avenue Project, an organization that promotes community and sustainability on the West Side of Buffalo, NY.

Volunteers from Canisius College at the Massachusetts Avenue Project, an organization that promotes community and sustainability on the West Side of Buffalo, NY.

The student-run Sustainability Committee has continuously advocated for the promotion of environmental justice. We recognize that environmental degradation and exploitation of resources affects those most impoverished first and foremost and that our institution cannot continue to disregard the need for sustainable practices. A year ago, we kicked off an inaugural “Local Urban Market,” which featured locally sourced, responsibly made products that were free for students. Throughout the year the committee took on other projects such as educating the student body about recycling on our campus and at local dining establishments. We worked to pass a resolution to ban Styrofoam on campus. These projects paved the way for the committee’s development of the “Canisius College Sustainability Policy Brief,” which successfully urged the administration to incorporate sustainability into the college’s strategic plan, a moral imperative at a Jesuit institution.

Consequently, we are developing a community garden, a bike-share program, and the usage of reusable cups. We’ve had a highly successful year to launch our efforts. We look forward to more.

Clayton M. Shanahan, Canisius College, Class of 2018.