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.

Student Profile: Brittany Buckles

26 09 2012

On September 5th, SOS had its first meeting of the new school year! There was a great turn out and it really helped kick start the club for this semester. New and returning members got to meet the officers, here about the current committees and new ones that will form, vote on meeting times (there will be two meetings a week, every other week – one on Tuesday at 5PM and one on Wednesday at 5PM), and hear about how this blog will now be run.

This blog will continue to be used to inform members on the events and activities that SOS hosts, but it will also be looking more into sustainability news in the area, the nation, and the world. Furthermore, the blog will focus more on members of the club and what they’re doing so that SOS can connect to other students by showing students just like them in the club!

At our first meeting, members were supposed to come with their own personal answer to the question, “What does local, economic sustainability mean?” They entered their name and answer into a drawing and one lucky member was able to leave the meeting with a new bike. This member was Brittany Buckles and she will be our first student profile feature!

Brittany Buckles with the bike she won.

“Hey! I’m Brittany Buckles and I won the SOS bike giveaway at the first SOS meeting. I am so grateful for the bike, and I use it every day!

My description of local sustainability included the idea and importance of supporting your local economy.  This includes buying food from local farmers markets. Local sustainability also encompasses the idea of conservation and reuse.  Only buy what you need. Also, do not use plastic bags. Bring your own reusable bags when you purchase locally produced items.

This link will lead you to several farmers’ markets in Collinsville, IL.

My views on sustainability include reducing energy costs, such as turning off lights when no eyes are present. I support implications of sustainable machinery including wind turbines, solar panels, and grey water systems. I am a founding and current resident of the Eco-House on campus, and we are currently writing grants for these things to be applied to our home. Also, a very simple step towards becoming more sustainable is replacing the use of plastic water bottles with refillable ones. (If you do not have one contact myself or Dan Burton.)

I plan to use the bike from SOS to reduce my carbon footprint. I ride it everywhere I go on campus, which is easy for me because my house is located on campus. I gave the bike I was using to Inci Genc, a Turkish Industrial engineer student here at SIUE. She is a part of the Dual Diploma Program. She could not bring her bike to school on the plane, but now she is reducing her carbon footprint as a result of me winning the bike.

You can calculate your carbon footprint here.

Sustainability is a lifestyle. Energy is neither created, nor destroyed; do the conversions wisely.”

Earth Week 2012

5 09 2012

From Monday April 23rd to Friday April 27th in 2012, SOS helped SIUE celebrate the Earth all week-long. Earth week was a huge success. Here are some of the highlights:



SOS set up outside in the quad

Sold recycled notebooks

Earth Week t-shirts

Station to make natural cleaning solution

Bike-share display

The Matt Rowland Band as musical guest



SOS set up outside in the quad

Station to make natural cleaning solution

Tell us how you will be sustainable!

Aaron Kamm and the One Drops as musical guest



SOS set up outside in the quad

Play our home-made ozone-themed carnival game to win a free plant!

Student Jazz Combo as musical quest



Workshop titled: “Integrating Sustainability into the Collegiate Lifestyle” inside the MUC featuring crafts and tips for being sustainable in your home, like:

-storing food without a refrigerator to save energy

-a recipe for making your own environmentally-friendly laundry detergent

-how to make your own paper with previously used paper

Thrown Away play performed



Volunteer in the Gardens at SIUE

Greening of the Campus Conference

5 09 2012

In March of the Spring 2012 semester, members of SOS and SAG (Sustainability Advisory Group) attended the Greening of the Campus Conference in Muncie, Indiana at Ball State University. The conference focused on Building Pedagogy, which means that actual buildings can used as a tool to teach students about sustainability. There were many classes  that our representatives attended and guest speakers that they heard speak so that they could learn more about sustainability practices at other universities across the nation. These classes focused on making buildings more energy-efficient, design techniques for reusing materials but still maintaining an aesthetic-pleasing  environment, and even how to host classes outside.

Our representatives showcasing the infamous green SIUE re-usable water bottle in Muncie, IN.

The first time the 2012 Earth Week shirts were showcased and modeled!

JAM March Update

28 03 2012

JAM has had some breaks because of Spring Break and of course the approaching finals and other class demands, but they still managed to sneak in a show on the 25th. But that’s not all SIUE’s sustainability-themed web radio show has been up to. Now, you can go to their archive site and listen to past shows for free! You can listen to each host’s section on the show and the beginning of the shows too (like the favorite cat breading conversation!). Check this site out to keep updated on the radio show and listen to the topics covered. Learn about sustainability news and share a laugh with the sometimes goofy hosts John, Amy, and Maame!


March 25th

John talked about “Hungry for Change,” a health and sustainable lifestyle documentary. Check it out!

John’s Playlist:

“Pathetique” by Andrew Bird

“Fatal Flower Garden” by Andrew Bird

“11:11” by Andrew Bird

Maame used her favorite site, and found an article on recycled furniture and a recycled home. Both of her articles were about things built from something else!

Maame’s Playlist:

“Satisfy My Soul” by Bob Marley & The Wailers

“Danger” by Erykah Badu

“I Got Five On It” by Luniz

“Love & Happiness” by Al Green

And Amy couldn’t be there so instead the radio show had yet another John on the air!

He talked about Germany and how their phasing out nuclear power.

John’s Playlist:

“Shaft in Africa” by Johnny Pate

“Let’s Get It On” by Marvin Gaye

“Pressure Drop” by Toots & the Maytals

JAM February Update

20 02 2012

February 5th

JAM (John, Amy, and Maame) had their third successful radio show. If you missed it because you were working or your friend tore out your internet line, then fear not! We’re going to catch you up on what happened on the show.

Opening songs:

“Hot In Herre” by Jenny Owen Youngs

“Mr. Tambourine Man” by The Byrds

Amy opened up the show with a non-sustainability related topic; in bread cats. The new internet craze that Stephen Colbert reported on is called breading cats! JAM had a fun time getting silly and talking about this ridiculous topic on Sunday.

Following this opener topic, Amy went into discussing an article she found about ways to keep your food (specifically produce) out of the fridge but still staying fresh. The article showcased designs for shelves to keep apples, potatoes, roots (like carrots), eggs, and spices fresh that utilize the science of these foods. Keeping these produce items out of your fridge makes you have more space, which could mean you can get a smaller fridge and save energy!

Amy’s Playlist:

“Helicopter” by General Electriks

“Home” by LCD Soundsystem

“Private Eyes” by The Bird and the Bee

“Suicide” by The Raveonettes

“Heartbeats” by The Knife

Maame discussed the principle of the Triple Bottom Line and how to apply this to your life in order to be more sustainable. The Triple Bottom Line consists of three Ps: Profit, People, and Planet.  If you want to apply this idea to your life do so by:

-Check out the sustainability tips from the January 31st show. These tips can help you become more energy-efficient and buy better, longer-lasting products. This will help you save money = PROFIT.

-Become involved in your community. Buy from local business and volunteer. Supporting your local economy and lending out a hand to those around you keeps your community strong. It really does feel good to give back and meet new people along the way = PEOPLE.

-The last one is a bit obvious. Do more to help out the environment. Try to conserve all the natural resources we have and keep them healthy and alive = PLANET.

These are just a couple of tips and examples on how you can implement the Triple Bottom Line (which is a business phrase) into your everyday life.

Maame’s Playlist:

“Can I Kick It?” by A Tribe Called Quest

“He Can Only Hold Her” by Amy Winehouse

“Candy” by Cameo

“A.D. 2000” by Erykah Badu

“Wash” by Bon Iver

John dedicated his time on the show to talk about personal responsibility. Whether you’re a big corporation, like GAP, or students on SIUE campus; you need to realize you live on this planet and you need to take care of it. Take responsibility for your actions and for your place in the world. You can affect the environment and the lives of those are you, either positively or negatively. Just remember that.

John’s Playlist:

“Imperials” by Ratatat

“Sivad” by Miles Davis

“Spiral Dance” by Keith Jarrett

“Chippie” by Ornette Coleman

“Birdland” by Weather Report

Closing Song: “Any Way You Want It” by Journey

February 12

JAM went on air at 1PM like always. This time, however, there was a twist. The usual JAM member (John, Amy, and Maame) weren’t all present. Instead, fellow SOS member JoLyn, filled in as the “J” in JAM. John was out of town in St. Louis and JoLyn took his spot for this week.

Opening Songs (played because of a Beatles and high school themed dream Amy had):

“Twist And Shout” by The Beatles

“Lady Madonna” by The Beatles

“Good Day Sunshine” by The Beatles

Amy found an article that week about sustainable measures New York City is taking, especially with their older buildings. Mayor Bloomberg wants to make the entire city more sustainable, and one way to do this is by improving the performance of older buildings through a “greening process.”

Though, Amy also wanted to know what sustainable building measures were being taken in her own city of St. Louis. Apparently, with help from the St. Louis Habitat for Humanity and its developments, St. Louis has one of the highest levels of LEED Platinum Homes in the country! This just goes to show that being sustainable can be a personal choice for improvement or can be something that positively impacts a whole city.

Amy’s Playlist:

“Ho Hey” by The Lumineers

“Hey” by Elvis Perkins

“40 Day Dream” by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros

“Brand New Key” by Melanie

“Ghosts” by Laura Marling

JoLyn had two topics she wanted to discuss. The first one came from an article about global warming. However, this article talked about the name “global warming” and how the phrase is too comfortable-sounding to effectively alert people to the major problem that our planet is going through.

Her second topic dealt with the well-known 3 Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. The ladies talked about which one of those Rs they practice the most and which one they have trouble with. They discussed useful tips and told lots of personal stories dealing with the 3 Rs. Check it out!

(Also, the ladies introduced the word “Upcylcing” and JoLyn wanted to have a link to an upcycle craft place in St. Louis!)

JoLyn’s Playlist:

“Just Jammin'” by Gramatik

“Collarbone” by Fujiya & Miyagi

“Santa Fe” by Beirut

“Bongo Bong” by Manu Chao

“The Joker” by Steve Miller Band

Maame talked about plastic pollution in the ocean (which makes us sad), and how the Grand Canyon is no longer going to allow the selling of bottled water (which makes us glad).

Maame’s Playlist:

“Livin’ In The Jungle” by Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears

“Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat)” by Digable Planets

“Award Tour” by A Tribe Called Quest

“Zimbabwe” by Bob Marley & The Wailers

“Maps” by Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Closing Song: “So Long And Thanks For All The Fish”

Feb. 19th

Opening Song: “Emergency On Planet Earth” by Jamiroquai

Amy informed listeners on what composting is and the benefits of starting your own compost. Check out these sites she found!

She also went into the topic of “zero-waste” and found a great article on places all across America that are implementing zero-waste policies and practices.

Amy’s Playlist:

“You Were the Last High” by The Dandy Warhols

“Blister in the Sun” by Violent Femmes

“Float On” by Modest Mouse

“Like A Rolling Stone” by Bob Dylan

“Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked” by Cage The Elephant

John had an interesting topic; cheese and how it could help out biofuels!

John’s Playlist:

“In One Ear & Out The Other” by Fujiya & Miyagi

“Millennium Dodo” by Atmosphere

“On The Sly” by The Bamboos

“Bloodshot Eyes” by General Electriks

“Bustin’ Out (On Funk)” by Rick James

End Song: “We Built This City” by Starship

Feb. 26th

Maame found a great opener topic with the help of an article about a newly discovered water-world.

She then went into two other articles that she wanted to talk about; one on gardening with bikes and how cool that it and another about how the Heartland Institute wants school to teach climate change as a controversy and not something solidified by scientific facts.

Maame’s Playlist:

“Never Give Up On The Good Times” by Spice Girls

“Show Me Love” by Robin S

“Give Up The Funk” by Parliament

“Award Tour” by A Tribe Called Quest

“Where Do We Go From Here” by Jamiroquai

Amy talked about a new science that is being developed that will allow trees to produce their own light. She tied this into sustainability, by saying that this technology could cut energy costs for street lighting.

Amy’s Playlist:

“No Home” by The Ettes

“Favorite Thing” by The Replacements

“Salty Dog” by Flogging Molly

“Start Wearing Purple” by Gogol Bordello

“The Man Who Would Be King” by The Libertines

John talked about Recyclemania and how our campus has done events in the past similar to it with the Residential Halls, what they’re doing now to see how much the campus is currently recycling, and how SIUE is looking to get involved in the Recylemania competition in the future.

John’s Playlist:

“Bowls” by Caribou

“Imprint After” by Toro Y Moi

“Hurly/Burly” by Man Man

“Leave House” by Caribou

“A Satisfied Mind” by Johnny Cash

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