Santa Clara University

sustainability at scu

Twenty Ways to Add a Sustainability Moment to your Class


  1. Begin a class with a poem Gary Snyder, Mary Oliver or Wendall Berry.
  2. Assign your class a business-related case study from CasePlace, by the Aspen Institute Center for Business Education.
  3. Reserve a computer lab and have a class take the Nature Conservancy’s Carbon Footprint Calculator. Or, pilot a new on-line carbon footprint calculator that is being developed by the Markkula Center’s Environmental Ethics Fellows and Sustainable Living Undergraduate Research Project.
  4. Take your class on a campus sustainability tour.
  5. Have your students research current sustainable practices in a relevant field and prepare a presentation or talking points in advance of the class meeting.
  6. Show the class The Story of Stuff.
  7. Take the class to the Forge Garden and ask them to do a writing reflection on how to make their eating habits more sustainable.
  8. Have the class translate a paragraph/page of the SCU sustainability website into the language you are studying.
  9. Ask students to critically review SCU’s Climate Neutrality Action Plan and submit comments via the online form.
  10. Choose an animal species or a habitat and prepare a ten-slide powerpoint presentation about how human consumption patterns affect it.
  11. Analyze the life-cycle of a product.
  12. Invite a speaker into your class to talk about a local environmental justice issue.
  13. Have the students attend David Orr’s talk on Wednesday, April 20th, and write a personal reflection on it for extra credit.
  14. Have your class tour the sustainability exhibit in the library.
  15. Contact librarian Michal Strutin, mstrutin@scu.edu, for the library's list of sustainability-related films.
  16. Visit the Disciplinary Associations Network for Sustainability website to investigate your discipline's sustainability initiatives.
  17. Host an in-class poetry slam featuring environmental poetry the students bring in and perform. Award a prize for the poem that best articulates the challenge of living a sustainable lifestyle.
  18. Invite the Director of the Office of Sustainability to give an overview of sustainability initiatives happening on campus. This presentation can be catered to focus on your course/discipline.
  19. Have students write Profiles or Project Highlights for the Office of Sustainability’s website and monthly e-mails, interviewing campus community members who are developing sustainability programs and telling their stories.
  20. Watch SCU undergraduate-produced videos or have your class create documentaries about sustainability as relates to your course.

This page has been created as part of the Sustainability Teach-In, co-sponsored by the Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education, the Environmental Studies Institute, and the Office of Sustainability.