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Projects Updates for Campus Sustainability Month

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  1. Fall 2021 Semester Summary

    The SSLC underwent many changes under the new leadership of co-presidents Owen Jennings, Maiah Caise, Jack Reicherts, and Maria Maring. The board experimented with the mission and niche of the SSLC, ultimately establishing that the organization shall act as a medium of communication between student groups and the administration. The organization will also be the primary host of the annual Student Sustainability Summit in October, touting – among other interdisciplinary events – Green Quad Day, Sustainable Student Research Symposium, and Tuesday Talks at Bevier Cafe. 

     

    This Summit was the Council’s most noteworthy accomplishment this semester. The SSLC collaborated with: Red Bison, Outdoor Adventure Club, the Department of Agriculture and Biological Engineering, the Sustainable Student Farm, the Pilot Processing Plant, Grand Prairie Friends, the F&S Solar House, Stop Line 3 CU, Students for Environmental Concerns, Prairie Rivers Network, and the Student Sustainability Committee. This myriad of events had varying levels of attendance. The SSLC leadership learned two primary lessons from the inaugural Student Sustainability Summit: first, quality over quantity in terms of events; and second, planning well ahead of time is absolutely essential in order to adequately advertise each event. If you attended or co-hosted any Summit event, and you would like to let the SSLC board know your feedback, please fill out this form. The current SSLC leadership looks forward to how future leadership will expand upon the Summit. 

     

    Another noteworthy accomplishment of the SSLC this semester was action following the publication of the Campus Admin Manual’s Expressive Activity Policy draft. Students were largely emotional about the policy’s stringent punishment for demonstrations on campus, so the SSLC – in conjunction with SECs and the SSC – wrote a letter to Chancellor Jones demanding that the policy more closely align with the student body’s needs. As of January 2022, the SSLC has received no reply from the Office of the Chancellor.  

     

    Co-presidents Maria Maring and Owen Jennings spoke at the Campus Sustainability Celebration and Sustainability Council meeting, respectively, on the topic of divestment. Though SSLC leadership was merely prompted to give basic updates at these meetings, they utilized the face-to-face opportunity with campus administrators to voice student concerns about completing iCAP Objective 9.1: Fully divest from fossil fuel companies by FY25. 

     

    In a first, the SSLC and general members participated in the Homecoming Parade. Roughly a dozen students marched with divestment-related signs. The SSLC hopes to expand Homecoming attendance next year. 

     

    The SSLC revived its dormant Facebook account (@sslcuiuc) and newly established an Instagram account (@uiuc_sslc). On the latter, the SSLC made 40 posts and gained 227 followers. The Facebook account has 93 followers; engagement on this platform is much less. The SSLC also made a linktree and a Google calendar to which other RSOs can sync. That way, all events from all different orgs are all conveniently on one calendar. This joint calendar is still undergoing troubleshooting, and it is not yet available for public viewing. 

     

    Amidst these new endeavors, the SSLC held full membership meetings roughly once a month, as did the previous leadership. One recurring issue was lack of attendance and engagement. Leadership held many conversations with both general members and staff advisors about how to increase the efficacy of the Council, but no good solution was found. The SSLC will continue to hold these monthly meetings and brainstorm about how to increase engagement throughout the upcoming spring semester. 

     

    The SSLC board met weekly. If you have any questions or feedback, please contact the Council at sslc-chair@mx-illinois.edu

  2. Waste Reduction Challenge Wrap-up

    Good morning! First, we would like to congratulate you on completing the second annual Waste Reduction Challenge. You should be extremely proud of yourself for your dedication to tracking waste, whether it was all four weeks or just one. We hope this challenge opened your eyes to the amount of waste we generate and that you use what you learned going forward in your everyday life.

    As promised, later this week we will send an email with raffle winners and statistics on how we did as a group in reducing our waste. To stay connected with fellow participants and be reminded of all things sustainability with U of I, sign up for the Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment newsletter. Also, join the Waste Reduction @ Illinois Facebook group! The group has over 100 members and is the place to communicate and share ideas with fellow sustainability rockstars.

    In addition to the Facebook group, check out these links to participate in sustainability activities and continue learning more:

    ·        Sign the "Use the Bin Pledge" - pledging to always use the recycling bin!

    ·        If you are on the Illinois campus, check out our Greener Campus Certification opportunities (for offices, events, and Greek chapters)

    ·        Watch the new (brief) sustainability training video - and take the survey afterward!

    ·        Read the iCAP 2020

    ·        If you missed any of the information throughout the challenge, here is a folder with all of the links and guides.

    ·        Monday, November 15 is America Recycles Day! How will you celebrate? We'd love to see you at the monthly iSEE TED Talk: Eco-Edition series from 6 - 7 PM on Zoom. Sign up here.

    Again, big congratulations on completing this month-long challenge. Attached is a guide with tips on going forward from here. This is just a starting point! Continue trying to live as sustainably as possible and set a positive example for your friends and family members. Remember, "we don't need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly" (Anne-Marie Bonneau).

    If you have not already done so, please submit your Week 4 Google Form and grid as soon as possible. As always, please feel free to continue to reach out to us with any questions, comments, or feedback. We look forward to interacting with you on the Facebook page, via email, and at future events!

    Have a great week and thanks again!

    Emily (iSEE Sustainability Intern) and Meredith (iSEE Sustainability Programs Manager)

  3. ECEB Energy Kiosks

    In the atrium of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Building (ECEB), there are two kiosks where people can sign various pledges related to decreasing energy use. Two solar-powered phone chargers will be raffled off to those who have signed the pledge during Campus Sustainability Month, October 2021.

    Nearly 20% of energy is unnecessarily wasted each day; very simple steps exist to reduce that number, such as turning off the lights when you leave a room or unplugging devices and cords when we aren’t using them. Other examples include replacing inefficient appliances (like lightbulbs!), which can also save money! Signing the pledge to be more conscious of your energy is a great step toward leading a more sustainable life. Here are a few other ways to learn more and get involved with sustainability on campus:

    If you have any questions about energy consumption or sustainability in general, feel free to reach out to campus sustainability staff at sustainability@illinois.edu

  4. Celebrate Campus Sustainability Month in October!

    iSEE invites you to a series of events throughout October to increase sustainability in our campus community. Take part in the Waste Reduction Challenge, join us for Green Quad Day (Oct. 7), or check out the first Student Sustainability Summit Research Symposium (Oct. 26)! And don’t miss the Campus Sustainability Celebration on Oct. 20. Find all the events on iSEE’s Sustainability Month Calendar!

    October 1–31

    Celebrate Campus Sustainability Month in October!

  5. The 2021 Waste Reduction Challenge starts on 10/4!

    The second iSEE Waste Reduction Challenge starts on October 4! 

    The average individual generates around 6 pounds of waste per day, and about 40% of all waste is in the form of food. Each person disposes of approximately a ton of waste per year. Yikes!

    Thank you for taking the first step to be more conscious of your personal waste output. Your actions matter. You are helping to combat climate change and to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in our landfills. We have the power to make a change.

    How to participate

    Sign up today using this form >>>

    By registering to participate, you will receive a weekly grid to fill out with the items that you throw in the garbage each day; for example, food, single-use disposable items, paper, and plastics. A point system will be used for you to keep track of your waste. The goal is to earn as few points as possible. There is also the opportunity to subtract points for positive actions. These actions will result in a subtraction from your weekly total.

    At the end of each week, upload your grid and reflection to the weekly Google Form.

    Click here for more information! 

  6. MASSMAIL - Student Sustainability Committee Application and Updates

    The following email was sent as a Massmail to U of I students:

    ======================

    Hello students,

    The Student Sustainability Committee (SSC) is a student-led organization that funds student, staff, and faculty project proposals via two student fees—the Cleaner Energy Technologies Fee and the Sustainable Campus Environment Fee—which together make up the Illinois Green Fund. Projects selected for funding are those which provide the greatest benefit to sustainability on campus, while providing engaging, educational opportunities for students to learn more about sustainability. The SSC is accepting project applications now! 

    Additionally, the SSC is introducing a new program to guide students from a broad interest in sustainability to a fully-fledged project application. By supporting applicants step-by-step through our process, we hope to engage students on a larger scale, ultimately resulting in the strongest applications possible. This new Project Funding Workshop Series will span five sessions, which can be found on the SSC calendar. Our first meeting will be held this Wednesday, September 29th, from 4-5 pm CT, in Lincoln Hall, Room 1065. We will discuss issues related to sustainability on campus that could be addressed with an SSC-funded project. In subsequent sessions, we will develop solutions to these challenges, create project proposals, and help participants write funding applications.

    For anyone who is passionate about sustainability and the environment, this is a great opportunity to turn your passion into a tangible, positive change for the campus community! Presently, we are not offering this event online. If you are unable to attend in-person, but still would like to get involved with the SSC, you can stay up-to-date by signing up for our mailing list. If you are interested in becoming a General Member, or other aspects of the committee, please visit our website. Every student at the University pays approximately $14 a semester to the Illinois Green Fund, so please join us to help allocate these student dollars!

    October is Campus Sustainability Month! We encourage you to attend UIUC’s inaugural Student Sustainability Summit this October, co-hosted with the Student Sustainability Leadership Council (SSLC). This month-long program includes University- and community-led sustainability efforts through events such as Green Quad Day, a Sustainability Research Symposium, teach-ins, tours of campus facilities, a movie night, and much more! To learn about the full breadth of the summit and stay updated on other sustainability-related RSOs, add the SSLC’s calendar. You can also connect with our social media accounts @ssc_uiuc and @uiuc_sslc on both Twitter and Instagram! Finally, for more information on campus sustainability efforts and events, check out the iCAP (Illinois Climate Action Plan) Portal and iSEE (Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment) Calendar.

    We hope to see you at the Project Funding Workshop Series, Student Sustainability Summit, and more events throughout Campus Sustainability Month and beyond!

    Best,

    Jack Reicherts

    SSC Chair

  7. First Student Sustainability Summit this October!

    The Student Sustainability Committee (SSC) and the Student Sustainability Leadership Council (SSLC) are hosting U of I's first-ever Student Sustainability Summit in October. This month-long celebration includes Green Quad Day on 10/7 from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., and a Research Symposium from 5-8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 26, at the Campus Instructional Facility. If you are an Illinois student, staff, or faculty researcher and would like to present your sustainability-related research, please fill out this interest form! >>>

  8. Campus Sustainability Month is almost here!

    Campus Sustainability Month is right around the corner and we are very excited to invite you to a series of events throughout the entire month of October! Starting this week, Wednesday, September 29 at 6:00 PM, Dr. Ann Perry-Witmer is hosting the next TED Talk: Eco-Edition series over Zoom. She will present a pre-recorded TED Talk and lead a discussion on sustainable decision-making in everyday life - you won’t want to miss out. Register HERE

    Next, back by popular demand, the second Waste Reduction Challenge begins on Monday, October 4. Participants track items they throw away from October 4 – October 31 to learn about and reduce individual waste generation as the month progresses. It is a fun and results-driven challenge with a supportive community. Throughout the month, we send helpful tips and tricks to make it as easy and informative as possible. Sign up HERE.

    Other events in October include:

    • Green Quad Day – October 7 from 10 – 4 PM
    • Virtual Solar Open House – Topia online platform – October 15 from 1 – 2:30 PM
    • Campus trash cleanup – Engineering Quad - October 15 from 3:30 – 5 PM
    • TED Talk: Eco-Edition – Sustainable Economy with Alexa Smith – October 19 from 6 – 7 PM. Register for the Zoom event HERE.
    • Campus Sustainability Celebration – NCSA (1205 W Clark St, Urbana) – October 20 from 1 – 4 PM
    • Illini Lights Out – Foreign Language Building – October 22 from 5:30 – 7 PM. Sign up HERE.  
    • Student Sustainability Summit: Research Symposium – Campus Instructional Facility 4029 - October 26 from 5 – 8 PM 

    Check out more information and other Campus Sustainability Month events on iSEE’s Sustainability Calendar HERE. If you are aware of a sustainability event that is not listed on the calendar, let us know!  

    Start filling your calendars – there are many opportunities to get involved, make a difference, and meet new people. Remember, while we have sustainability events all year long, Campus Sustainability Month is a month-long opportunity to highlight our environmental pride, connect with others, and increase participation in sustainability-related events by the U of I community and beyond. Get involved and come show your support! As always, we are here to answer any questions and guide you in the right direction.

    Have a great week and happy Campus Sustainability Month!

  9. Trash Cleanup 10/15/21

    October is Campus Sustainability Month and there are many events to get involved and make a positive difference toward our campus sustainability efforts. On Friday, October 15, we are hosting our second trash cleanup event. We will meet at the pavilion on Engineering Quad at 3:30 p.m. and disperse from there to pick up trash across campus. Resources will be provided. Stay for as long as you are able, and bring a friend. Everyone is welcome! It will be fun!

    Check out more events during Campus Sustainability Month on the iSEE website: https://sustainability.illinois.edu/outreach/calendar/ 

  10. General Meeting 9/20

    For September's General Meeting, we had everyone introduce themselves and what organization they were from. We also discussed plans for Student Sustainability Summit and how they can become involved. Promoted our development of a general Google calendar that contains general meeting times for all RSOs in the SSLC, as well as any events they are hosting. Lastly, we went through updates on all projects that RSOs are working on.

    Attached Files: 
  11. Fall 2020: iSEE Quarterly Update (iQ)

    The Fall 2020 iSEE Quarterly Update (iQ) was released with the following message from Madhu Khanna, the Interim Director of iSEE:

     

    Dear Colleagues,

    Attached, please find attached the Fall 2020 “iQ” – the quarterly update from the Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE).

    It has been two months since I became interim director of ISEE.  It has been exciting to see ISEE bring in multimillion-dollar research grants, launch a new research initiative in regenerative agriculture, and help coalesce sustainable agriculture research on our campus during this period.

    Our Certificate in Environmental Writing has engaged students in making insightful contributions to a new issue of Q Magazine. We have also expanded our opportunities for education and scholarly discourse with several online events, including those on nuclear energy and geothermal energy research.

    We formally launched the new Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP 2020) on Oct 20, 2020. This ambitious plan is the result of the hard work of campus sustainability folks who worked hand-in-hand with Facilities & Services and incorporated the vision of hundreds of students, faculty, staff, administrators, and community members into a plan for the next five years and beyond — all the way to carbon neutrality no later than 2050!

    I am so grateful to Evan Delucia for his efforts over the first seven years as the first director of our Institute. He has left iSEE as a vibrant part of the Illinois community, and I am working with our outstanding ISEE staff to expand upon the work already begun — as evidenced in this six-page update.

    Please take a quick look at those updates and more in “iQ.” For more regular news, please sign up for our E-newsletter at https://illinois.edu/fb/sec/5031776.

    Wishing you a successful end to the fall semester,

    Madhu

  12. Campus Sustainability Celebration

    iSEE and F&S are excited to invite you to the Campus Sustainability Celebration 2020! This is an annual event that is especially exciting this year with the signing ceremony of the Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP) 2020, (once every five years) and the presentation of energy conservation and Freezer Challenge awards. Everyone is invited and encouraged to stay afterward for a social-hour!

    Campus Sustainability Celebration

    October 20, 3 pm • Map

    Meredith Moore • Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment

    baseline_wifi_black_18dp.png This opportunity is available online.

  13. Happy Sustainability Week!!

    Join iSEE, the Student Sustainability Committee and Facilities & Services for a "plogging" fun run/walk, a tour of Abbott Power Plant, a celebration event with organizations and RSOs that includes the Energy Conservation Incentive Program awards and updates on Illinois Climate Action Plan goals, a socially responsible investing program, and the popular Illini Lights Out energy savings event.

     

    Tony Mancuso . Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE)

     

    Sustainability Week Events Oct. 21-27

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