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Sustainability

Make Sustainability Happen

Our goal is to provide resources for all students, staff, and faculty to practice and preserve the campus environment and reduce the overall harmful impact on the environment through partnership with the community. We hope to eliminate this harmful impact by reducing UW Eau Claire’s carbon emissions. UW Eau Claire has successfully implemented strategies surrounding efficient energy use, minimizing greenhouse gas emissions and educating students, staff and faculty on sustainable transportation alternatives. 

The BluBox Program

We are excited to launch the BluBox Program, a reusable food container program, in the fall of 2021. This program is designed to reduce plastic waste on our beautiful campus. Individuals will use a designated 'coin' to obtain a reusable food container while dining on campus. The food containers will be returned after use to a designated location on campus, then washed and sanitized for reuse. This incredible program will eliminate thousands of plastic containers each academic year. Keep your eyes open for BluBox machines in the Davies Center this fall! 

Campus Sustainability Month 

Campus Sustainability Month is held every October as a celebration of sustainability in higher education. Throughout October, universities will engage students, staff, and faculty in campus events to inspire individuals to become a sustainable leader at their institution and community. These events include conferences, challenges, and educational materials. The goal of Campus Sustainability Month is to reflect on your sustainable practices. This is an excellent opportunity to get involved and be recognized for your sustainable contributions. 

As a campus, we:

  • Incorporated LED lighting throughout our campus. All exterior lighting on campus is now LED. LED lamps have been installed in some buildings on campus.
  • Utilize composting in Davies.
  • Donate food at the end of the semester to the food pantry so it doesn’t go to waste, menus feature locally grown food whenever possible and financially feasible. Vegetarian options are available at every station in Marketplace.
  • Use Renew Green Cleaning products that support the health and safety of our campus community. This helps cut toxic cleaning chemical products in favor of a more economical, simplified and environmentally friendly approach.
  • Removed deodorizers. 
  • Planted 50 trees on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.
  • Use a non-Glyphosate alternative which creates time savings efficiencies for the ground's workers.
  • Eliminated coal from campus fuel mix. Coal has been eliminated and is no longer burned in the Heating Plant. 
  1. Reuse and Recycle
    • Whenever possible, use a reusable water bottle, coffee cup or utensils.
    • Ask for paper bags instead of plastic bags when shopping or bring a reusable bag. 
    • Be sure to recycle newspapers, aluminum cans, paper, plastic bottles and jugs, glass bottles, jars and cardboard.
    • Some things that do not belong in the recycling bin include Styrofoam, chip bags, plastic bags, paper towels or napkins, juice or milk cartons and lightbulbs.
  2. Spending Habits
    • Buy locally, if possible, instead of purchasing something further away.
    • Buy second-hand! This can include clothing, furniture and decor.
    • Embrace the minimalist lifestyle. Only buy things when you really need them.
  3. Electricity Use
    • Use alternatives for heating and A/C. Try opening a window or adding layers before activating a heating or A/C system.
    • Change your lightbulbs to LED. LED bulbs typically use 75% less energy.
    • Use power strips instead of plugging all appliances into outlets. When you are finished using the appliance, turn off the power strip to save energy and money.
  4. Food Consumption
    • Buy locally sourced food from the farmer's market. Not only are you supporting the community, but small business owners as well.
    • Try composting food waste.
    • Instead of throwing out food, save it for lunch/dinner or freeze it.
  5. Transportation
    • Walk or ride your bike to destinations instead of driving a car.
    • Use public transportation through Eau Claire Transit. 
    • Carpool with friends and utilize the UW Eau Claire Rideshare page on Facebook.

Sources: Top Universities and Princeton Review

  • STARS: The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, & Rating System (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. STARS will allow UW-Eau Claire to comprehensively measure our current sustainability performance and assess progress both internally and in comparison to other institutions. Based on our sustainability performance, we will be awarded a bronze, silver, gold, or platinum medal as public recognition.
  • Monthly Sustainability Newsletter: In this newsletter, we will highlight events happening on campus and in the community; spotlight an individual for their outstanding sustainable efforts on campus; and provide tips and tricks for practicing sustainability in your everyday life.
  • Chancellor's Advisory Council on Sustainability: UW-Eau Claire will be forming a group of experienced and knowledgeable participants to help foster collaborations for the purpose of increasing awareness of sustainability concepts throughout the campus community and educating/engaging students, faculty, staff and community members.   

Additional resources include:

Campus Organizations

At UW Eau Claire there are a variety of organizations students can join to learn about and practice sustainable efforts. If you are interested in joining an organization, please see the clubs and organizations listed below.

  • Students Encouraging Environmental Deeds (SEED): Students Encouraging Environmental Deeds (SEED) is available to help Housing residents grow their "green" knowledge
  • Conservation Club: The purpose of The Conservation Club is to increase awareness of the environment, and provide professional development opportunities in the Eau Claire community and for the students of the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire. We seek to achieve our goal by implementing hands-on restoration, ecological education, and career development through productive collaboration with other organizations, thereby being a part of returning the environment to its natural state.
  • Geology Club: All Geology majors and minors are automatically members of the Geology Club. We work to create a collegial environment among our members and share love of rocks!
  • Student Office of Sustainability (SOS): The purpose of the SOS is to allocate the UW-Eau Claire Green Fund for projects, programs, and events addressing the various sustainability areas of transportation, energy, waste, climate change, water, food systems, campus ecology, education etc.
  • Geography Club: Geography and Anthropology Club, or GAC as we affectionately call it, exists to unite all individuals interested in Geography and Anthropology. We are a social club for the department and have official meetings once a week with other social and service events throughout the semester. All interested students are welcome to join us for meetings and events.

Contact Us

Have green ideas? Share your thoughts with us at sustainability@uwec.edu!