Campus Sustainability Day

22 10 2012

Campus Sustainability Day is a day for individual campuses all over the nation to celebrate the success of their sustainable efforts while still seeking out new ways to improve and maintain their strengths in the sustainability arena.

This national day was first celebrated in October of 2003. When it started, The Society for College and University Planning hosted a webcast where many collegiate leaders discussed ideas for integrating sustainability practices into all areas of a campus. Until 2010, these annual webcasts continued to generate conversation and analysis of the campus sustainability movement.

Then in 2011, a website was created for the purpose of sharing events and conversations hosted by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) while the anchor webcasts and other virtual conversations were still hosted every year.

For Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, the Student Organization for Sustainability did their own part to recognize campus sustainability this year, however their events happened a week before Campus Sustainability Day, which is on Oct. 24.

On Oct. 18, SOS  hosted a costume party in the Meridian Ballroom in the Morris University Center at SIUE. The theme for this costume dance was “vampires, werewolves, and zombies” and how these supernatural creatures can humorously be related to sustainability. This was a free event and had door prizes and a DJ. The Student Government had “mocktail” drinks and the Association of Students Against Poverty collected clothes to donate to the Oasis Women’s Crisis Center in Alton, IL. All students and even families were encouraged to dress up (though not necessary), show up, and have a great time.

The following day, Oct. 19, SOS hosted Global Campus Sustainability Day in the Morris University Center. The theme for this event was that sustainability has no bias and no prejudice, because it can affect everyone equally. There was also a special emphasis on showing SIUE students the importance of sustainability no matter what professional career they choose. Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe, SOS officers, and members of SAG all gave speeches and presentations at the event, while tables were set up around the area to feature student displays of sustainability initiatives from around the world.

Finally, SOS and ECO house joined together to participate in a dumpster dive on Oct. 20. They opened up trash bags to see what people on campus were throwing away that could actually be recycled or even used for composting (if the campus had composting). What they found was incredible.

Campus Sustainability Day was greatly featured this past week at SIUE but feel free to celebrate it in your own way this Wednesday!


Feature Story: Sustainability Chats

8 10 2012

Many students at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville have asked what sustainability is when the Student Organization for Sustainability tries to reach out to them. So, SOS came up with a solution to deliver their message and educate the student body.

On Sept. 18, SOS hosted the first of many Sustainability Chats. These chats create an opportunity for students and teachers of all departments to get together to learn about and discuss sustainability.

The message SOS wants to get out with the Sustainability Chats, is that sustainability touches upon all fields and majors. Showing students this will hopefully help them make connections between sustainability and their own lives.

Kim Lee, president of SOS, said, “The chats create a chance for students to see what is going on in their fields as well as other fields of academia.” Also, they provide a chance for professors to teach whatever and however they want since it is not in a traditional classroom setting. The chats are simply supposed to be informal discussions.

The student organization wants students to see how important sustainability is no matter what career path they choose to follow, but they also want students to go above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to their education.

The idea of the Sustainability Chats came from Mark Veverka’s former experience with interactive classrooms. Veverka, vice president of SOS, said, “Instead of just listening to a lecture in these classes, the students asked questions, directed the discussion to a point and had quite a lot of input.  These classes were truly a platform for seeking knowledge and for students to expand their education.”

The Sustainability Chats took place in the Maple/Dogwood room in the Morris University Center at SIUE. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., three different teachers from three different departments on campus talked about what they believe sustainability is and why it is important. Those who attended the chats got to hear about sustainability from the perspective of geography, sociology, and philosophy. Veverka said, “The professors chose their own format and subjects. They were able to teach from the heart on what they are passionate about. The entire hour is supposed to be very interactive so the students can become involved in the learning process.”

The next Sustainability Chats will be taking place on Nov. 7 in the Maple/Dogwood room from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. again. This time around, speakers from the Anthropology Department, English Department and National Corn to Ethanol Research Center will be speaking. This is a great opportunity for any student at SIUE to come learn about sustainability and get ideas on how they can help the sustainability movement.

DIY Laundry Soap

8 10 2012

Vice President Wolf Veverka thought it would be great to share a “Do It Yourself” recipe for making your own laundry detergent!

“The recipe is basic and has been around for decades. With this homemade laundry soap you don’t need any fabric softener and it is as powerful as name brand detergent with stain remover. My wife works in a factory and it gets every bit of grease and grime out of her work clothes without any extra stain remover needed.

You only need 2 tablespoons to do a full load and you only need enough warm water to dissolve it before you add the clothes. After that fill up the washer with cold water, even for whites.

It costs approximately 7 cents a load compared to 21 cents a load using cheap, generic laundry soap, stain remover, and fabric softener. Besides being better for the environment, it is more cost-effective than the harsh chemical filled commercial detergents.

The Recipe (Does about 25+ loads)

1 Bar of coconut oil based Castile bath soap (I use Kirk’s Natural Castile Soap)

3/4 cup of Borax (I use the 20 Mule Team Brand)

3/4 cup Washing Soda (NOT baking soda, but Arm & Hammer does make it).

Use a food or cheese grater and grate the bath soap fine. After that just gently mix in the other two ingredients until it is well blended and store in an air tight container. I usually just put it all in the air tight container and shake it up to mix it.

That’s it; easy and takes no time to make a batch. Remember, it only takes 2 tablespoons to do a full load of laundry.”

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