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Projects Updates for Campus Sustainability Month - Waste Reduction Challenge

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  1. Campus Sustainability Month Activities - Oct 2022

    One of our favorite times of the year is almost here… Campus Sustainability Month! Below is a highlight of major events and programs happening this October, though check out the iSEE Sustainability Calendar for the full list. This is the perfect time to take action and show your support for environmental consciousness (and the Illinois Climate Action Plan!). I look forward to seeing you across campus!

     

    • Plastic Reduction Challenge: Are you up to the challenge? From October 3–30, we provide the resources and point system to help you track your plastic use each week and find sustainable alternatives. The point system and fillable grid are attached, and additional information will be sent out prior to the start of the challenge. Take part with this fun and interactive community, and earn the chance to win a sustainability prize pack. It is easy to make a positive impact! Sign up here for the challenge.
       
    • Clothing Swap: This is the perfect opportunity to donate your clothing items and update your wardrobe! Join iSEE, SECS, and SSLC for this reduce/reuse event at the Channing Murray Foundation on Tuesday, October 11. Drop off clothes at Channing Murray the day before, or during the event itself from 10AM – 3PM.  All are welcome to drop off and/or participate (it’s free!).
       
    • Green Quad Day: Come check out the variety of student, staff, faculty, and community-led environmental groups on Thursday, October 13 from 11AM – 3PM at the Anniversary Plaza (cement area between the Quad and Union). This is a great opportunity to talk with and learn about the many sustainability efforts on campus. The rain date is October 17. If you are interested in representing your organization at a table, sign up here.
       
    • Water Taste Test: It’s 2022 – why are we still drinking from plastic bottles? Let’s put our tap water to the test and see, blindly, which water we prefer. Check out the iSEE table at Green Quad Day (above) and see if you can taste a difference between bottled water and tap! In the meantime, take our drinking water behavior survey (and win a chance for a $50 gift card).
       
    • Illini Lights Out: Join us to shut off lights in buildings around campus to save energy and reduce the environmental impact of our massive university! Meet at 5:30PM in the lobby of the Foreign Language Building on Friday, October 14 to receive brief instructions before heading out to turn off lights in assigned buildings. Come back to FLB (roughly 6:30) when you are done to turn in your clipboard, get a snack, and pat yourself on the back for helping to save so much energy! Register here, and come by yourself or bring a friend!
       
    • Campus Sustainability Celebration: All are welcome to attend this annual event on Monday, October 17 from 3-6PM at NCSA (auditorium and lobby), 1205 W. Clark St., Urbana. The first two hours will be spent in the Auditorium, where we will hear from campus sustainability leaders and from the iCAP Teams. Following the presentations (5-6 PM), each iCAP Team will have a table in the lobby/atrium area for roundtable discussion, suggestions, and a Q&A. Student environmental groups will have tables set up and together, we will enjoy conversation, light refreshments, and cake!
       
    • Trash Cleanup: Help keep our campus beautiful! On Wednesday, October 19, meet at Alma Mater at 4PM and join us to collect trash and recycling around campus until 5:30PM.
       
    • TED Talk: Eco-Edition Series: Tune in to this edition of iSEE’s ongoing Zoom series on Wednesday, October 26 from 7 – 8PM. Our host this month is Lucy Nifong, a senior in Agricultural and Consumer Economics, iSEE Communications Intern, and Vice Chair Internal of the Student Sustainability Committee. Participants will view a prerecorded TED Talk, followed by a guided discussion and roundtable on Campus Sustainability Month! Sign up here.
       
    • Sustainability BINGO: Fill out the iSEE board (attached) for a chance to win prizes! The board (PDF) includes sustainability-related activities and initiatives you can do across campus during Sustainability Month (Oct. 1-31). Make sure you document and let us know which actions you completed using the Google Form to be eligible for the prize drawing.
       
    • Have you gotten your office, event, or Greek chapter certified as Green yet? It’s easy to be sustainable! Get certified and be recognized!
  2. Celebration, Waste Challenge Highlight October

    iSEE planned a series of events throughout October to celebrate Campus Sustainability Month.

    The main attraction was Campus Sustainability Celebration on Oct. 20, at which iSEE’s new Sustainability Training Video debuted (see more details, page 6). More than 50 people attended the event at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, and more watched the livestream.

    The campus community was also invited to take part in iSEE’s monthlong Waste Reduction Challenge by cutting the amount of waste sent to the landfill. Participants received a weekly grid with a point system to help track waste and any positive actions to reduce it. More details on the Challenge webpage.

    Additionally, iSEE took part in Green Quad Day and hosted Illini Lights Out (see more details, page 6) and “TED Talk: Eco-Edition” (see box at left). And student groups hosted dozens of other events. More info on iSEE’s annual events webpage.

    See the attached file for the iQ Fall 2021 to read this article in its original form.

    Attached Files: 
  3. 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)

  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. 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!

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