What is Sustainability?
Sustainability is often defined as “ meeting contemporary needs without compromising the ability of future generations to satisfy their needs.” However, from a holistic perspective it involves evaluating contemporary problems from a new perspective that values ecological preservation, economic viability, and social justice.
“To be sustainable, a practice must preserve rather than destroy its ecological base, ensure rather than undermine long-term economic benefits, and advance rather than retard matters of fairness, equity, and diversity” (Sustainable UF).
What does the University of Florida have to do with sustainability?
To those who may not know, the University of Florida (UF) is working hard to improve the sustainability of its operations through a variety of initiatives. In 1990, President Lombardi signed the Talloires Declaration, pledging to make environmental education and research a central goal in this institution. After more than a decade of advocacy and promotion of sustainability, UF inaugurated its first fully funded Office of Sustainability on February 1, 2006. Eventually, this office would transform from an ad hoc task force to a joint standing committee of the faculty senate (Sustainable UF).
For more information about UF’s Sustainability Initiatives visit: Sustainable UF’s Web page
What does “Sustainable Swampcon” have to do with hosting a science fiction convention? Why bother?
The University’s commitment to sustainability has created opportunities for Swampcon to recognize its ability to do something different than any other science fiction convention. Although we are still in the planning process, we are coordinating our activities with Sustainable UF, Parisleaf Printing and Design, and Neutral Gator to reduce Swampcon’s ecological footprint and move to be the first Carbon Neutral Science Fiction Convention in Florida.
Conventions are fairly energy and resource intensive in their operation. People from different places make long distance trips in either planes or cars, computers are used all day, paper is used for advertising, and then at the end of the weekend people have to drive or fly back home. This year we are trying to mitigate our impact by working to reduce our resource consumption and offset our direct CO2 emissions by partnering with:
Swampcon’s Partners in Sustainability:
What is Swampcon doing to be more Sustainable?
- Partner with Parisleaf to make printing more sustainable by using 40% recycled paper and having 10 trees be planted with our order to offset our paper consumption.
- Partner with Sustainable UF to achieve Green Event Certification.
- Partner with Neutral Gator to offset carbon emissions of the convention and achieve carbon neutrality.
- Provide outreach opportunities by inviting guest lecturers and professors to participate in panels related to sustainability and science fiction.
- Provide guests the opportunity to offset their CO2 emissions from traveling to Gainesville.
- Helping to raise money for charities in the pursuit of social sustainability.