Sustainability Q&A: Kaaren Goeller-Bloom

What is your position and department?

Administrative Secretary in the Student Development Office.

What does sustainability mean to you?

Sustainability means finding thoughtful and creative ways to lessen my impact, primarily by integrating physical activity to get where I need to go, and by changing the way I consume (or don’t). For me, sustainability is less about what I should or shouldn’t do, but rather is a fun way to structure my life that ends up costing less.

How have you been involved in promoting sustainability on campus?

Most days I travel to work by bike or on foot, and I’m excited to take the bus this winter (thanks Gonzaga!). Additionally, I use the campus recycling bins for disposing paper, plastic and batteries.

What are some things you do in your personal life to live sustainably?

Probably the most significant way is by choosing to live close to the urban core and thus being able to get around easily without the use of our car. Additionally, my family loves to thrift shop, we cook a lot and put thought into the ingredients we use and how they are produced, and I try not to get overbooked, in part because many of the ways I practice sustainability require a little more time and are difficult to sustain if I’m overly busy.

How could Gonzaga continue to improve its sustainability efforts?

By continuing to make sustainability accessible: Recycling bins in every building, classroom and office, having a CSA pick-up on campus through Linc Foods, and providing complementary bus passes for staff, faculty and students. My niece is a student here and recently took the bus downtown; I’m not sure she would have tried that if she didn’t have a bus pass.

How will you continue to promote sustainability after you leave Gonzaga?

If practicing sustainability is a way to promote it, and it becomes a part of your lifestyle, you will be living and promoting sustainability in all aspects of your life, whether at school, work or home.