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Why We Chose Stars for Our Rating System

Precious metals often utilized as a desired standard of achievement, are synonymous with prosperity and power due to their history of shaping world’s economies and being the first global monetary standard. We fully acknowledge that to this day, precious metals such as gold retain universal world-wide value and therefore are a desirable standard of achievement, but suggest they are also synonymous with a history of human suffering as well as ecological destruction.

The gold standard often used as a desired standard of achievement supports mining operations that utilize slavery as a source of labor and produce negative environmental externalities.  It is because of this that we struggle to view precious metals as an appropriate benchmark for a just and sustainable world. Our rating system therefore utilizes stars in place of precious metals: bronze = 1 star, silver = 2 stars, gold = 3 stars, and platinum = 4 stars. We chose stars because people make a connection to receiving stars and success. As early as elementary school we are rewarded with hand-drawn stars or stickers on our homework. It is because of this positive connection people have with stars that we chose to use them as our award.

To learn more about this topic please consider reviewing the following:

Mining Gold in a Conflict Zone: The Context, Ramifications, and Lessons of AngloGold Ashanti’s Activities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo Brandon Prosansky http://heinonline.org/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/jihr5&div=13&g_sent=1&collection=journals#24Why 3 

Free the Slaves is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that is dedicated to ending slavery world-wide. https://www.freetheslaves.net/ghana/ 

Recycling and Waste Reduction

  • Ink, toner, and laser jet cartridges can be recycled on campus by placing the cartridge in or near a paper recycling bin within the office.
  • Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) is the old style of televisions and monitors that are often known for being big and bulky. CRT monitors are less efficient than LCD and LED monitors and present many more environmental hazards from their toxic components.
  • Clear, brown, and green glass can be recycled at the recycling drop off center located on Adriance Lab Road, West Campus.

Energy

For general information regarding utilities, visit the Utilities & Energy Services website.

For questions concerning DDC and Pneumatic controls contact UES and the Energy Stewards at 979-458-2800.

Purchasing

Local: We define local food as food coming from 250 miles of College Station.

Meetings

Paperless:  Paper copies are not handed out or provided, such as agendas etc., but paper for note taking can be brought in and utilized by that individual. If handouts need to be provided, they are shared electronically and left up to the individual to print.

Social Sustainability

Health and wellness programs are a great way to educate and encourage employees to maintain a healthy lifestyle. One example is Walk Across Texas. Offices may also attend campus or community programs or create their own. Be creative! 

Office participation in community events is especially important to help give back to the community and engage in the social component of sustainability. Examples of community events can be found at City of College StationCity of Bryan, and Keep Brazos Beautiful

Attending diversity and cultural exhibits increases continual learning related to social sustainability.  The Cushing Library, George Bush Presidential Library and Museum, Brazos Valley Museum of Natural History, and A&M campus host many diversity events and exhibits for all to attend.  Participate in the Chinese New Year Celebration on campus or discover something new while observing a historical event at a local museum.

Seminars

Community of Respect (COR)

The Department of Multicultural Services list of education opportunities:

  • CommUnity Conversations
  • Documentary Series
  • Diversity Training Institute
  • Cultural Day Trips
  • Social Justice Seminars
  • Inclusive Leadership Training
  • And more

Office of Diversity

Employee and Organizational Development Trainings

Book List

An example book list can be found in the Office of Sustainability’s Pledge.

Additional books include the following from http://neweartharchive.org/.

  • In Defense of Food: An Easter’s Manifesto by Michael Pollan
  • The Future of Life by Edward O. Wilson
  • Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution by Paul Hawken, Amory Lovins, and L. Hunter Lovins
  • Earth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet by Bill McKibben
  • Thinking in Systems: A Primer by Donella H. Meadows
  • Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth About the coming Climate Catastrophe and Out Last Chance to Save Humanity by James C Hansen
  • Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature by Janine M. Benyus
  • Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D.
  • Down to the Wire: Confronting Climate Collapse by David W. Orr
  • The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality by Dalai Lama
  • Tomorrow’s Table: Organic Farming, Genetics, and the Future of Food by Pamela C. Ronald & Raoul W. Adamchak
  • Plan B 4.0 Mobilizing to Save Civilization by Lester Brown
  • The Vanishing Face of Gaia: A Final Warning by James Lovelock
  • The Bridge at the Edge of the World: Capitalism, the Environment, and Crossing from Crisis to Sustainability by James Gustave Speth
  • Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities and Software by Steven Johnson
  • Prosperity without Growth: Economics for a Finite Planet by Tim Jackson
  • Whole Earth Discipline: an Ecopragmatist Manifesto by Stewart Brand
  • Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
  • Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming by Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. M. Conway
  • Corporations Are Not People: Why They Have More Rights Than You Do and What You Can Do About It by Jeffrey D. Clements and Bill Moyers
  • Linked: How Everything is Connected to Everything Else and What it Means by Albert-Laszlo Barabasi
  • The Transition Handbook: From Oil Dependency to Local Resilience (Transition Guides) by Rob Hopkins and Richard Heinberg
  • Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstien
  • The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality by Brian Greene
  • Reinventing Fire: Bold Business Solutions for the New Energy Era by Amory Lovins, Marvin Odum and John W. Rowe
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