Why Care?
  • Some technologies take the place of tasks that otherwise require physical activity. Not using these luxuries can reduce energy consumption.

    "Physical inactivity has been identified as the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality causing an estimated 3.2 million deaths globally.​" ("Who: Physical activity," 2012)

  • ​​Community and social engagement from working together to find solutions can bring a community closer and increase one's sense of self and pride for their community. ("The benefits of," 2008)
  • ​Can sleep more sound knowing you're not just taking from the world
  • Although there may be initial expenses to sustainable changes, "the US government provides tax incentives for renewable energy investments." ("The benefits of," 2008)​
Small, medium and large companies have found these benefits to sustainability:
This heat makes smog pollution worse, leading to irritation of the eyes, nose and lungs, which is especially problematic for those who have asthma. Higher temperatures also cause an increase in pollen production, which is problematic for those who have allergies. Students with Entomophobia (phobia of insects) will be quite happy to learn that more intense summers, allow different insects to both live longer, and thrive in places where they wouldn’t normally. As a result of this, mosquitoes live much longer, resulting in an increase in the west nile virus, and lesser known diseases such as the “Breakbone Fever”. Warmer temperatures have also allowed ticks, to thrive in even more areas of the united states and Canada, leading to a huge increase in Lyme disease cases. ("Extreme weather: Impacts," 2012)

“Sustainability-focused companies outperform their peers”, this is the conclusion of a study by the global strategic management consulting firm A.T. Kearney ("Business case benefits," 2012). The study found that companies committed to corporate sustainability practices achieved above average performance in the financial markets during the financial crisis of 2008. The performance differential translated to an average of $650 million in market capitalization per company. ("Business case benefits," 2012)

  • Improved company or brand image
  • Cost savings
  • Competitive advantage
  • Improved employee satisfaction, morale or retention (sleep at night)
  • Product, service or market innovation
  • Business model or process innovation
  • New sources of revenue
  • Effective risk management
  • Enhanced stakeholder relations
Business Case Benefits for Sustainability
When working towards being sustainable we can sometimes find that there are many obstacles and barriers in our way. These barriers, both internal and external, stem from our attitudes, values, beliefs, and individual inhibitions. We find that these barriers are linked to cultural norms and expectations as well. In hopes to overcome these barriers we first have to address them:
  • Change is exciting and helps you grow emotionally when done right 
  • Although there may be initial expenses to sustainable changes, "the US government provides tax incentives for renewable energy investments." ("The benefits of," 2008)
  • ​​​Encourages innovation; ​"...sustainability can drive operational efficiency and innovative business outcomes."​​ 
  • Students can feel empowered with the need for innovative ideas
  • Food tastes more unique when it's local. When people go to a farmers market to get their food they get a lot more human interaction than when they go to a big grocery store.
"People love the high quality produce socialize ten times more than they do in supermarkets, ." (Halweil, 2002)

Being aware of the benefits to sustainable behavior can motivate action. Some efforts may not show immediate or clear results. Keeping the abundance of benefits possible in mind can help us justify the great efforts and changes that the issue of climate change demands.​

Barriers to environmental learning and action. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.greenhearted.org/barriers.html

​​Business case benefits for sustainability. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.sustainabilitylearningcentre.com/Sustainability/business-benefits-from-sustainability.html

​​DePalma, T. (2005). Stop pollution in the ​cayuga lake watershed. Retrieved from http://www.cayugalake.org/news/DePalma07.php

​​Extreme weather: Impacts of climate change. (2012). Retrieved from ​​http://www.nrdc.org/globalwarming/climate-change-impacts/
Halweil, B. (2002, November). Home grown: The case for local food in a global market. Retrieved from http://www.worldwatch.org/system/files/EWP163.pdf
​​Robertson, T. (2002). Urban pollution. Retrieved from http://www.protectingwater.com/urban.html

​​The benefits of going green. (2008). Sascom magazine, Retrieved from http://www.sas.com/news/sascom/2008q4/feature_green.html

​​Who: Physical activity. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.who.int/topics/physical_activity/en/
Global climate change can lead to drought, flooding, infectious diseases, extreme weather and an extreme increase in heat. No, scratch the “can” in that sentence...it already has. The 60 degree days we’ve been experiencing this fall, are not as wonderful as they seem. Extreme heat is one of the many side effects of global climate change. We see only a few small bits of it here at Wells, but it’s getting worse and worse around the globe. These oddly warm days in the middle of October are evidence that temperature changes caused by global climate change have resulted in longer, more intense summers.
The increase in temperature also has a horrible effect on the aquatic life in Cayuga Lake. A temperature change of just a few degrees can completely throw off the ecosystem, and kill hundreds, if not thousands of life forms. Pollution is a huge problem too. For example, pesticides and other chemicals can be washed into the lake by rain (DePalma, 2005). These chemicals can be absorbed by not only marine life, but also any animal drinking from the lake; perhaps even those swimming in it. If these toxins and chemicals keep getting washed into the lake, there's a very good chance we will be unable to utilize Cayuga Lake at all, whether it be for recreation or purely aesthetics. (Robertson, 2002)
Financial Reasons: When we think about starting to be environmentally friendly we can often times find that it may be a more expensive route. But really in the long run it will work out in our favor. If anything don’t you want to save yourself a little spare cash here and there? Going green is designed to save us all money; energy is expensive, and using less and less of it can help the environment and in turn save us all some money. If we do it right taking care of the environment can and should be financially rewarding.
Denial and Guilt: Denial and Guilt can come as avoidance reactions when we are first beginning to become environmentally sustainable. Sometimes the easiest answer is just to deny the affects that we as humans have on our environment. Guilt comes along after we move past denial and can become a barrier that is draining and oppressive.
Lack of concern for the future: Humans as a group of people tend to want to ‘live in the moment'. We are so wrapped up in everything that gives us instant gratification that it is beginning to warp our sense of time. When it comes to the environment we tend to put it’s needs on the back burner and think that we will someday have the time and energy to make a difference. We need to shift our way of thinking and make the time and a difference now. We need to think about future generations and the kind of environment that we see them living in. In order to change the future of the environment we need to start today.
​​“I’m not an Expert”: Many people choose not to become overly involved in the effort to save our planet because they don’t feel as though they are educated about the 'facts' enough, or they may feel like they don’t have enough knowledge about how we can turn our effects around. In order to get more people on board we have to address the facts that climate change is an issue, and we should spread our knowledge about barriers, and benefits as we shift into being more sustainable. ("Barriers to environmental," 2012)
​​​​​Confusion and Fear: Confusion can come into play when we are thinking about barriers because it is hard to make the connection from our personal actions and the harm that they can have on our environment. Confusion can have a negative effect on trying to become sustainable because as we shift into these behaviors if we begin to question them we may fall back into our old ways. Fear can also have a negative effect on environmental action, and can serve as a barrier because in essence we may feel overwhelmed, and left helpless. In order to be effective we can’t just use doom and gloom to get people to change their actions, but offer hope for the future and a healthy planet and decisions for everyone.
Room for sustainable innovation on a college campus can sprout opportunities for students and their resumes to grow and blossom.