there has been a lot of buzz surrounding sustainability. More people are going
vegan and vegetarian for environmental reasons, and waste consumption is a
growing conversation. Our campus, like many others, is seeking to find their
own ways to incorporate environmentalism into student life. But they need the
students to want it too.
When buying a sports pass you might notice some of the other optional payments you can make. One of them is donations to the Green Fund, which provides funding to student organizations and groups who have proposed environmental initiatives. These include an entirely utilized greenhouse and recycled 3D printing innovations among others.
“Anytime we can make their ideas happen it shows that they can have a true impact,” said Jason Sampson, assistant director of WSU environmental services, public health and sustainability. The awesome thing about the Green Fund is that it only finances student led initiatives, which gives any student the opportunity to submit a request form and potentially end up leading an environmentally focused project.
One of the projects currently in the works is the bus stop solar panel plan. This proposal will be putting sustainable technology into the bus stop outside of the Chinook. This includes bus tracking and informative displays about other sustainability focused groups and projects on campus. In doing so the group hopes to demonstrate the accessibility of solar power and help in expanding solar power on campus while also spreading the message of green groups and how to get involved.
“Even though it is not complete yet, this will raise questions and it will start a movement. Like as soon as they see panels that are bigger than a desk going up on top of the bus stop people are going to be like ‘what’s that?” said Sara Gleason, junior engineering major who is working on the project. The bus stop solar panel project will be debuting in early April, so keep an eye out.
growth of sustainability on campus is inevitable, and our university is
extremely supportive of it. The foresight of having a Green Fund to support
student driven initiatives allows anyone to get involved in whatever way they
want to. Creating new proposals is as simple as filling out an online
application through the ASWSU Environmental Sustainability Alliance and joining
a preexisting one only requires asking the question.
The opportunities for students are endless, and the expansion of these projects relies on the support of the community. The Green Fund has supported greenhouses, eco-conscious menstrual products and so many more. The only true limit is how much we as a community put into it, and Sampson says that right now only about 10 percent of students donate to the fund. The more we all choose to put in, the more the campus will get out of it.
We can bring our university into the conversation, and if anything, to make it as environmentally aware as we want it to be. These are student funded, student run initiatives — so the only thing that could potentially hold them back is students. If participating in these projects doesn’t sound like your jam then donating to the fund might be more your speed. Nevertheless, our campus is only getting greener and it’s time for us all to get on board.