Following a motivating speech given by professional snowboarder, Gretchen Bleiler, over five-hundred AASHE 2010 student attendees split into a series of learning sessions centered around topics such as waste management on campus, financing sustainability projects on campus, and connecting campus to the wider community.
During the sustainable success stories session, students from UC San Diego and the University of Alberta shared their experiences in taking action to promote and build sustainable habits on their campus.
Wyatt Tauberman of UC San Diego created the website, Think Green, Live Clean (TGLC), as a side project. Once the site was established Tauberman was able to sell enough advertisements to replace his current job of providing surf lessons, so that he could devote more time to TGLC. One can tell by browsing through some of the site's features, such as the various green guides and an extensive green shop directory, that Tauberman's time and effort was well spent.
Currently the TGLC is holding a Green Resolution Contest, in which college students from around the country may submit plans for sustainability projects they'd like to initiate on their campuses. The submissions are transparent for anyone online to view, making the competition a valuable resource for other institutions of higher education (HELLO GREEN FUND PROPOSALS). October 18th is the deadline for submitting ideas to TGLC, which is only 4 days before UWEC's Environmental Endeavors Commission's (EEC) call for sustainability proposals are due. As an added perk, the creator of the winning submission for the TGLC contest will receive an I-Pad.
At the national student campaigns session, speakers on behalf of the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) and the Sierra Club spoke of their current efforts to pool together college youth in the U.S. who believe in environmental legislation reform initiatives.
PowerVote is a non-partisan movement currently being carried out by NWF and the Energy Action Coalition. The campaign strives for voters to be educated of the running politicians' stances on sustainability in the upcoming November 2nd elections. With big oil and coal lobbying hard, it's critical that people are made aware of each party's intentions. NWF Great Lakes Campus Field Manager, Juliana Goodlaw-Morris, brought up the significant point that our strength is in our numbers, and that by 2015 our generation will represent 1/3 of the electoral vote. Ignorance is not bliss in this case since we will hold such a high percentage of constituency.
Another endeavor, which originated out of the Sierra Club, is the Campuses Beyond Coal campaign. It's purpose is to replace coal plants on campuses nationwide with clean energy sources. Being responsible for roughly 38,000 heart attacks, 21,000 hospitalizations, and 24,000 deaths per year, the pollution emitted by coal plants is not to be taken lightly.
To gain more knowledge and become involved in either of these two movements, visit their websites hyperlinked above.