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Student organizations improve campus sustainability

As the renewable energy industry continues to grow, students at college campuses are also taking charge. Two such schools, University of Wisconsin-Madison and Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa are doing their part to help increase sustainability efforts on their campus and in the surrounding communities.

At UW-Madison, the Campus Leaders for Energy Action Now (CLEAN) Club bring together a diverse group of students who are passionate about environmental stewardship with clean energy. One of their goals is to get the University to commit to using 100% renewable energy by 2035. As they work toward this goal, they are:

  • Collaborating on the Google Sunroof program which promotes solar energy.
  • Organizing sit-ins during Board of Regents meetings to promote renewable energy on campus.
  • Hosting conversations with UW-Madison Chancellor Mnookin about implementing more renewable energy.

Anna Englebert, social media executive from CLEAN said that the organization is a “great chance to implement your voice in the campuses’ system, and an opportunity to educate yourself on how to implement clean energy and how to hold the university accountable.”

Meanwhile, at Coe College, students in the Environmental Club are promoting interactive learning activities while making an impact on campus. The organization is committed to educating peers on environmental issues and how to combat them on campus and in the surrounding community. Every year, the Coe College Environmental Club focuses on:

  • A semester long project that helps promote sustainability on campus. This year, they worked with the college to put signage about waste on every paper towel dispenser.
  • Hosting events during Earth Week including aluminum recycling drives, tree planting initiatives and a canned food drive.
  • Petitioning for various on-campus sustainability solutions with the sustainability council.

Julia Lemke, past president of Coe’s Environmental Club, explained how “Together we can make a change. We believe that you can make a difference no matter how small it is, whether it’s at a big corporate level or if it’s making dryer balls to conserve energy with students on campus.”

Both student organizations offer impactful and impressive examples of how students advocate for renewable energy in their communities. Are you passionate about sustainability and making a difference? Research and take part in sustainability organizations on college campuses or join community groups in your area.

Emily Barnhill is our Digital Marketing Intern this semester. She is currently a senior at University of Wisconsin-Madison studying Human Development and Family Studies with certificates in Digital Studies and Entrepreneurship.

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