Sustainability Committee

The Asian Studies Sustainability Committee was created in Winter Term 1 in order to bring sustainable practices to the Asian Studies office, classroom and even our homes, and help us make the department more eco-friendly. This is partly made possible by an $800 Workplace Sustainability Grant which we were delighted to receive.

Look out for our section in each issue of The Update with sustainability tips, events and news!

We welcome questions, requests or suggestions via email – get in touch any time, or complete our survey.


Department of Asian Studies Climate Emergency Declaration

As student, staff, and faculty members of the Department of Asian Studies, who occupy unceded xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) territory, we recognize the climate crisis to be one of the most urgent issues of our time. We support the UBC Climate Action Plan and commit to creating and implementing a departmental Sustainability Action Plan which follows UN Sustainable Development Goals related to food procurement, energy use and emissions, and waste production, while promoting education and knowledge about climate change and encouraging engagement and activism.


Why issue a climate emergency declaration? 

In 2021 residents of British Columbia saw temperatures rise to unprecedented levels of extreme heat in the province. Moreover, as a community concerned with Asia, we have already seen the effects of climate change already disproportionately affecting regions and peoples around the world. Recognizing this reality of our global climate emergency and the injustices that result is a first step we can take toward ensuring sustainability and climate justice are priorities in choices made as a department while we appeal for broader national and international policies to address the climate crisis.

The Asian Studies Sustainability Initiative is seeking your support as we consult with students, staff, and faculty in the Department of Asian Studies on our Sustainability Action Plan in the upcoming Academic Year 2021/22. This declaration is both symbolic and tied to action in that it will lead to consultation and consensus building around implementing the Department of Asian Studies Sustainability Action Plan.


Who has issued a climate emergency declaration, created a climate action plan, or developed similar initiatives?

City of Vancouver

In January 2019, Vancouver Council declared a climate emergency in recognition of the urgent threat posed by climate change, and as a call to scale up Vancouver’s efforts to cut carbon pollution. In April 2019, Council approved the Climate Emergency Response, which established six new targets (referred to as “Big Moves”) to guide the City’s efforts in response to the climate emergency.



Several other departments at UBC recognize that climate change needs are in the process of developing climate action plans.



Start the New Year clean!

This short article has 20 New Year resolutions to make 2021 greener. You can follow all of them or choose just a couple – no change is too little!

A Year of Sustainability

Keeping in line with item #16 on the list: “Only buy second-hand clothing in 2021”, committee member Anika curated this off-and-online thrift store guide to find your next thrifting destinations!


In February 2021 we held a Zoom event and discussion themed around this award-winning documentary about a new geological epoch brought on by human activities. We highly recommend viewing this film at any time (it’s available to anyone with a UBC CWL account through Kanopy).

Gardening Time!

Have you always wanted to start a garden, but do not know how? A guide from our member, Vicky, is here to help, and it is full of resources for beginning and experienced gardeners!


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