The point is... Earth Day (and every day) is the day to show Mother Earth some love!

Billions of years old, the Earth has nurtured countless life forms. Today it provides home and sustenance for millions of different species, including more than seven billion individuals of the human persuasion. That’s a lot of work for Mother Nature. However, we can help her stay vibrant and healthy, which will only help us at the end of the day – especially when that day is Earth Day. UWSP, with its premier Natural Resources program, is committed to living like every day is Earth Day!

Sustainability is one of our top priorities as a university, and as a campus, we have been and are continuing to take the steps necessary to save energy, recycle, improve processes, use clean energy, encourage good stewardship of our environment and look for new, improved ways to make a difference to our planet. This commitment by our campus has received a lot of well-deserved recognition. In 2017, UWSP received the Green Ribbon Award for postsecondary sustainability from the United States Department of Education, and the university is consistently listed on the Princeton Review Green College Honor Roll. This year, we received a perfect green rating score of 99!

So, how can you follow in our footsteps and help out Mother Nature? UWSP’s Sustainability Coordinator Dave Barbier recently shared some unique ways people can be sustainable on campus, as well as some easy tips to be sustainable at home!

 

Ways to stay sustainable on campus

Composting

In every UWSP academic and administrative building, composting bins have been made easily accessible. The organic material placed in these bins (i.e., banana peels and apple cores) naturally breaks down into compost, which is then used for soil fertilizer on campus. This is a two for one win – we reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills by recycling natural products and putting them back into the earth and our students use the compost to pursue academic research. The next time you’re back on campus, be sure to compost all organic products. To learn more about products that should/should not go in to the bins, click here!

Bike share program

Next time you come to campus, be on the lookout for flashy orange bikes! UWSP is becoming a more bike-friendly school through its new bike share program. Anyone on the UWSP campus may rent a bike for the inexpensive fee of 50 cents per half-hour and ride it anywhere in Stevens Point. You simply download the Spin – Ride Your Way app, scan the QR code on one of the bikes and ride away—making sure to lock it up once you get to your destination. You can also sign up for the monthly program for $14 and receive of unlimited time and rides. Implementing a bike share program helps UWSP reduce greenhouse gas emissions and overall carbon footprint. When you’re back on campus, think about riding one of the bikes to lunch or dinner in town instead of driving!

Ways to be sustainable at home

Reusable shopping bags

Reusable bags are a simple way to reduce the amount of plastic and paper resources you use – and at several stores it can also save you some “green” ($$$). You can purchase inexpensive reusable bags at your local grocery store or online. Just keep them in the trunk of your car or strapped to your bike so they are readily accessible when you go grocery shopping!

 

Home brew and reusable cups

Making coffee at home reduces your amount of single-use resources, such as paper or plastic cups, straws, cup sleeves and lids. Although most paper coffee cups can be recycled, plastic cups and straws more often than not end up in landfills and are not biodegradable. If you’re the kind of person who loves to go to your local coffee shop for a cup of joe, don’t fret! By using a reusable travel mug, you can still go out for coffee and reduce your consumption of single-use resources. Also, most coffee shops offer a discount for bringing a reusable mug and the coffee will stay hotter longer! Yum!
As you can see, sustainability efforts do not have to be expensive or time-consuming. Simply composting your banana peel or bringing your own mug to get coffee will add up over time, reducing your carbon footprint and helping our planet continue to support us. We only get one Mother Earth. She supports us and it’s our responsibility to do the same for her.

We challenge you to do something that shows our planet that we care, not just for Earth Day, but beyond!

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