Sustainability Symposium starts something green


By Kailee Dunn

For a growing amount of people, green is more than just color, it is a way of life.

On Feb. 25, the first Sustainability Symposium was presented by EWU Dining Services Sustainability Initiatives and held in the PUB MPR.

Kelsey Crane, who planned the event, is the former president of the Sustainability Project and now holds the position of Administrative Assistant for Sustainability Initiatives.

“The purpose of the symposium is to bring together the community, faculty, staff and students, to create awareness about what is happening on campus and throughout the community surrounding sustainability and prioritize education and adaptation,” Crane said.

Vice president for business and finance Mary Voves gave the opening remarks.

“It was exciting to have EWU’s administration speaking out about sustainability, showing the community that it’s important to us,” said Crane.

Following the opening remarks, attendees took part in breakout sessions, during which they were able to participate in discussing topics like water law, the new economy and waste bio-refinery.

The first keynote speaker, Gloria Flora presented a lecture on “designing our future.” Flora, was rated one of the Nations Top Environmentalists by Vanity Fair in 2004.

While Flora presented, lunch was served free of charge.

According to Crane, all of the items on the menu, including rustic beef and vegetable stew, Pacific Northwest lentil soup and fresh slaw, were all grown locally and sourced seasonally.

Joining Flora on the main stage were many other distinguished environmentalists, including Spokane’s City Council President Ben Stuckart.

Stuckart is a founding member of the local non-profit known as Pedals2People.

“In 2005, five of us saw the need for a bicycle non-profit that benefited everyone, not just those that could afford new bikes,” Stuckart said.

According to the Pedals2People website, their mission is to empower people by using bicycles as a tool and to help build a healthier community. The non-profit is a self-service bike shop and resource center.

Stuckart focused on three main points when he spoke: local food, coal trains and resilient neighborhoods.

In addition to the speakers, the symposium also offered free henna tattoos, sample snacks from Boots Bakery & Lounge in Spokane, samples of coffee courtesy of Roast House Coffee in Spokane, Protein Pucks, sustainably sourced tea from Two Leaves and Choice Organics and the musical stylings of Mikklesen and Madeline McNeill.

The Office of Community Engagement and members of the Sustainability Project ran the check-in table, where they were raffling off a new bike and long board, with all proceeds benefitting the EWU Community Garden located behind the Red Barn off Washington and Seventh Street.

Siobhan Doughtry, an employee with the Office of Community Engagement, admitted that she was not sure what the event was really about at first but had a change of heart after learning more about sustainability on campus.

“Now I want to join the Sustainability Project,” Doughtry said.

Secretary of the Sustainability Project Olivia Fox said for her, sustainability is something that has always been a part of her life.

“It’s a big family affair,” said Fox. “My favorite part is going to schools and talking to the kids about how they can be sustainable. I feel like I’m brainwashing them in a good way.”

For more information about getting involved with the Sustainability Project, visit

For more information regarding the Sustainability Symposium, contact Kelsey Crane at [email protected].

“The most important thing is that we realize that we are all interconnected and on one same team,” Crane said. “By getting educated on sustainability, working together and taking local action, we are voting for a healthy, fair and strong future.”