Sophia Environmental Association:
KASA Sustainability's Action Project
Over 15,000 faculty, staff, and students study and work on Yotsuya campus every day. This is a fairly large community in one place where a significant amount of energy such as food, electricity, and water are consumed.
So, how can we contribute towards the goal of making our campus community sustainable?
We believe there are many ways!
SEA Club is committed to creating a sustainable campus where faculty, staff and students work together to reduce our eco-footprint (low-carbon campus) and to create a cycle of recycling (circular campus).
Current projects and events we are organizing on Yotsuya Campus:
Campus Farming (project)
Campus Eco-Footprint (project)
Why uninterested in the environment? (discussion series)
Trash Talks (discussion series)
Awareness Campaign (SNS)
Our off-campus activities:
Edible School Yard (volunteering)
Nanairo Farm (volunteering)
Fridays For Future Tokyo (climate action)
Join us! :)
WE ARE WORKING TOWARDS
A SUSTAINABLE CAMPUS AT SOPHIA UNIVERSITY!
Why (Un)interested in the Environment (WIE)?
This is a panel discussion series where students plan, organize, and lead discussions on environmental issues. It is framed as college students' lack of environmental consciousness to promote the importance of continuous engagement with environmental issues.
In the first panel discussion, students led by the SEA members exchanged their views about why Japanese college students are generally not interested in the environment citing the case of low participation in the Global Climate Strike in 2019, as well as the government's inert attitude towards the mitigation of GHG emissions and plastic waste.
Our aim is to spread ecological awareness by sharing students' experiences related to the theme.
Edible School Yard (EYS)
Edible School Yard Japan (ESYJ) is the only organization officially certified by the original ESY organization in California, USA.
ESYJ builds an environment in which students can apply skills learned in traditional school subjects to farming activities and cooking classes. Our purpose of collaborating with ESYJ is to give support to the project through volunteering work at Aiwa elementary school.
Through this collaboration we realize the deep and intimate connection between human beings and nature by growing food with children and learning from their sensitiveness towards sustainability.
Permaculture in the City
The Campus Farming creates a circularity of resources by turning waste into fertilizer to grow plants on Yotsuya campus. Cities are often seen as sites of mass consumption, extracting resources from countrysides. Our goal is to make Yotsuya campus sustainable by revising the stereotypical image of wasteful urban campus by practicing reusing, recycling, and reducing. We compost food waste from our dining halls and fallen leaves to fertilize the soil in our farm. By growing food and enjoying the harvest of organic vegetables, fruits and sometimes flowers, we appreciate the importance and difficulty of growing food.
Starting in 2015, this initiative is one of the main club projects.
Let's talk about waste!
Trash talk is a biannual activity to engage Japanese speakers to practice English while discussing waste problems -food, plastic, and much more - worldwide.
Our purpose with these talks is to raise awareness on campus over the effects of high consumption, use and disposal globally and locally - the Japan case.
Our first meeting took place during Sophia CocoEco Week, lunch time at Cafe 9. The participants of this activity were separated, along with the SEA club members, into five groups to discuss plastic usage related to a variety of topics: food packaging, cosmetic packaging, pet bottles and plastic microfibers in our clothes.
During the discussion, not only the plastic dilema was raised up the, but also alternative solutions and actions to be done in our daily life.
At the Community Supported Agriculture [CSA], Nanairo Farm, we learned traditional Japanese techniques for composting organic and soil preparation. After our morning volunteering work, we had the great opportunity to taste delicious lunch prepared by them using their own vegetable. In the afternoon, we plowed the fields and harvested juicy organic vegetables!!! This visit was a great opportunity to learn about Japanese-style organic farming skills that could be implemented in our campus farming. A great experience to be closer to the farmers while helping them to grow and harvest food to be distributed among the community as well as to change the way we produce and consume food.
A good point to start creating a sustainable campus is to understand our ecological impact or eco-footprint on campus. How much electricity and water do we consume and how much waste do we produce on Yotsuya campus? Faculty, staff, and students combined, Yotsuya campus is home to some 15,000 people, and in 2018 we consumed 16,605,815 kWh. This translates to the emission of carbon dioxide (CO2) of 7,555,645.825 kg-CO2 on campus and 473.41 kg-CO2 per person. We detail changes in our campus eco-footprint and consider how we can create a low-carbon and circular campus by using the data. We are currently working on a comparative study of Sophia's campus eco-footprint with other universities' campuses.
Meetings, SNS and Blog
To raise environmental awareness among Sophia students, the SEA club members meet every week to discuss current environmental issues as well as to develop new strategies for campus sustainability.
Our weekly discussions generate ideas for topics to write on our Instagram page (@kasasustainability) and website blog (www.kasasustainability.org/blog). Topics include eco-friendly practices, organic farming, and book and film reviews. We also organize talks, workshops, and debates concerning agrarian societies, climate change, and environmental conservation on campus to create learning opportunities for faculty, staff, and students.