PLA's Summer of Sustainability
by Justin Bennington - Sustainability Assistant
The Eco-Hero Spotlight is an intiative started by Campus Sustainability to actively seek out and recognize individuals or groups that make an eco-friendly impact on BGSU. Anyone can be an Eco-Hero, so long as they are willing to do what it takes to promote sustainability. In this month's newsletter, the Eco-Heroes are a group of promising newcomers known as President's Leadership Academy.
The Office of Campus Sustainability partnered with the President’s Leadership Academy (PLA) to provide students with service projects related to sustainability which furthers BGSU’s sustainability goals. This summer, Campus Sustainability hosted three separate events for the PLA students, ranging from outdoor cleaning projects to indoor organizational projects, working with the sustainability manager and intern.
PLA, in early July, cleaned and prepared recycling equipment for sporting events and games occurring in the fall semester. Throughout the projects, which took place at the stadium and Slater Family Ice Arena, students were able to learn about the campus’ recycling programs, sporting events, and Campus Sustainability’s involvement in both. Many expressed that they learned new things about the recycling process on campus, and all of the work that goes into it.
A few weeks following the initial event, Campus Sustainability invited PLA to our Re-Store program for their second service project. This program focuses on waste reduction and donated items from residence halls and offices throughout campus to prevent unnecessary landfill trash. During the academic year, items are offered for free to new and returning students and faculty/staff at the Re-store. Office and school supplies, clothes, decorations, furniture, and electronics are just some of the available items. During PLA’s time there, the students assisted Campus Sustainability with organization of inventory, cleaning, and recycling of broken or unusable office supplies. Additionally, the students were able to learn of the events, practice proper recycling of items, and get a sneak peek at some of the items up for grabs when they return in the fall with the rest of the Falcons. When asked for feedback on this event, Amarionia McKinnon, 2021 PLA Cohort Scholar, said, “I really enjoyed being a part of this experience. It’s truly a unique opportunity to help the campus prepare for the fall. I didn’t even know that this place [the campus Re-store] existed prior to volunteering, but now I feel very passionate to continue to do volunteer work here in the future!”
PLA and Campus Sustainability then worked together on a final cleaning project, cleaning designated, brown bucket recycling containers that BGSU places in classrooms, residence halls, and offices. The students were able to clean a plentiful amount of both large and small recycling containers that BGSU can distribute throughout campus as the need arises.
Due to the effort, hard work, diligence, and willingness of the PLA students, the Office of Campus Sustainability was able to coordinate these service projects at a scale much larger than Campus Sustainability could handle alone. We extend our appreciation and thankfulness to them for what they managed to accomplish this summer and look forward to future partnership with the President’s Leadership Academy.
If you or your organization, office, or department have an interest in helping further BGSU’s sustainability goals with a service project or involvement of our initiatives, you can get involved here or contact the Office of Campus Sustainability at firstname.lastname@example.org.