What does it mean to be sustainable?
A sustainable campus is environmentally healthy, economically vibrant, and socially inclusive.
UIS Green Projects serves as an avenue for students to take a leadership role in making UIS and the surrounding community more environmentally friendly. We encourage and finance student-driven initiatives that contribute to sustainability.
The Green Fee Committee helps members of our campus community design projects that will help UIS become more sustainable. Each year, we select the best projects proposed by students, faculty, and staff. We will collaborate to implement projects using funds provided by the Student Green Fee. UIS students maintain the majority on the committee as we select projects to fund, and students work together with UIS faculty and staff to implement these projects.
Sustainability during COVID-19
Although sustainability feels like it has been put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are still ways to get out and be sustainable. There are restrictions in place that make some sustainable changes harder than others, but a sustainable lifestyle starts with small steps! Here are a few ways you can continue to pursue sustainability even during these times:
Self-Care. COVID-19 has placed a large amount of mental strain on our lives, due to new stresses and changed routines. Working from home, staying away from people outside of your circle, and losing out on various opportunities are all affecting the way we operate. Taking care of yourself during this time is helpful to not only yourself, but those around you. Washing your hands often, communicating with friends and family through technology, and spending (physically distanced!) time outdoors are all positive ways to take care of yourself that are not harmful to yourself or the environment.
Reduce and Reuse. The age old adage is still relevant during the pandemic. Reusable masks are a great alternative to the single use masks (when used in a nonmedical setting). Starting a garden is a great way to reduce your dependence on store bought produce. Although the planting season is over, you can still check out the UIS Community Garden for fresh produce and to learn more about running a garden!
Continue to Learn. Commitment to sustainability is a continuous learning process. Life has resumed since the pandemic first began, but reading about and researching sustainable initiatives is a great way to continue to grow your sustainable lifestyle. This could be through supporting sustainable brands, learning about how your community supports sustainability, and new ways to be sustainable in your own time. Some helpful resources to get started can be found here, as well as on these webpages created by our sustainability colleagues at Loyola University, University of Connecticut, and Swarthmore.
Though life may never look how it did before, we have been given an opportunity to change for the better. Sustainability is an ongoing journey and not even COVID-19 can prevent us from continuing to make our world a better place for those who come after us.
To help us make a difference here at UIS right now, you can:
Create Green Projects
Use the links below to learn about our green projects and the proposal process.
Be a Green Projects Leader
We need motivated students to serve on our Green Fee Committee and to help implement our Green Projects. Use the links below to explore these possibilities.
- Apply to be a campus sustainability projects coordinator
- Each Fall semester, UIS students can apply to be one of the Campus Sustainability Projects Coordinators. Two part-time (20 hours/week) positions are available. Contact Dr. Megan Styles at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- Apply to serve on the student-led Green Fee Committee
Participate in the Green Community
We have several opportunities to be active in green initiatives on campus. Use the links below to learn more about these groups.
- Sit in on a Green Fee Committee meeting
- Sit in on the faculty-led Campus Senate Committee on Sustainability meetings.
- Join the Garden Club or S.A.G.E.