Tips for Parents
Sustainability Striking a Chord with Students
We listen to students. They may not always think they are being heard, yet their voices resonate when it comes to causes they have a passion for. And, lately, creating a "green" campus with sustainable systems is a cause that is certainly striking a chord.
Sustainability refers to the ability to meet our needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs. With that in mind, it's no wonder that students are concerned! We're talking about their future and that of the children in their lives, along with a growing commitment to be better stewards of the earth. Students are taking action because they want to be part of a solution.
This action comes in many shapes and sizes. For instance:
- At Humboldt State University (CA), they fought for a sustainability coordinator to be hired.
- At Dickinson College (PA), students sewed cloth to-go bags to replace paper sacks and sold them outside of the Grab-and-Go food facility on campus.
- At Mt. Hood Community College (OR), work-study members of the Green Team sorted through campus recycling bins.
- At The Evergreen State College (WA), Central Oregon Community College, the University of Kentucky and other schools, students voted by wide margins to pay additional fees to cover renewable energy purchases.
- At the University of Vermont, two students who researched paper purchasing patterns made a proposal to the president, resulting in a school-wide switch to post-consumer recycled, chlorine-free paper.
Talk with your student about what is happening on campus regarding sustainability. It's about raising awareness, getting involved, changing policies and educating communities while looking out for the environment. Tap into what it means individually to your student—the conversation can be enlightening!
Ways That Sustainability Can Show Up on Campus
- Dining services choosing to serve more locally produced foods
- Residence halls having recycling or energy-saving competition
- Events being "greened" through less paper use, offsetting carbon emissions and more
- Campus community members biking instead of driving
- Students opting to have a portion of their student fee go toward renewable energy sources
And more! It's an exciting time to be on today's increasingly-sustainable campuses.
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