Here are some opportunities that you can pursue to become a UNC Charlotte campus sustainability champion.
Get involved with student groups:
Sustainability is about making a positive impact; whether that is environmentally, socially, or economically, in the local community or across the world. Students can work on addressing social justice issues, promote the importance of voting, or volunteer for good causes, all by getting involved with student organizations. Depending on what impact you are looking to make, you can almost certainly find an organization that fits your needs. The oldest student organization supporting a sustainable campus is Earth Club, but enterprising students have built clubs focusing on many different topics related to sustainability on campus and in the community, Take a moment and looking through the extensive list of groups you could get involved with today by clicking here.
Students can initiate projects and events by tapping into the student green fund called the Charlotte Green Initiative (CGI), and serve on student committee that decides how those funds are used for campus sustainability projects.
Finally, many opportunities are available through Student Affairs' Volunteer Opportunities website.
There are many campus events promoting recycling and sustainability on campus -- Check the Event page on this site for current listings. The most prominent events occur during Campus Sustainability Week (in October) and Earth Month (April).
Campus Sustainability Week takes place every October and is aimed at highlighting campus sustainability efforts and getting students involved in campus sustainability efforts. Campus Sustainability Week is organized by the Sustainability Office. Recent events include a Transportation Fair, Campus Cleanup, a Student Organization Gathering, and tree care programs. If you have ideas or want to get involved in the planning of campus sustainability week please contact Tyler Sytsma.
Earth Month in April is an outgrowth of Earth Day, April 22. Stay tuned for more and bigger events in 2020, as UNC Charlotte celebrates the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day. The Sustainability Office will be organizing a kickoff Fair early in the month, and welcomes ideas from faculty, staff and students for events. Traditional Earth Month events at UNC Charlotte include the Grounds staff leading Tree Campus USA plantings, Recycling Program's Campus Cleanup, and a student-organized Party for the Planet.
The Recycling Program is a major supporter of sustainability-related events on campus, and deserves a special shout-out. For over a decade they organized Campus Cleanup events every semester. The Recycling Program also runs the Adopt-A-Spot program, Take-it-or-leave-it events, and the Recyclemania competition in February-March. You can follow the Recycling Program on Twitter and Facebook @unccrecycles.
The Sustainability office hires two kinds of student hourly workers. Sustainability Aides assist the office with a wide range of assessment, communication, and event planning activities. EcoReps are peer-to-peer educators trained to engage fellow students in campus sustainability events and activities, as well as helping students with lifestyle choices that impact the environment. If you are interested in student employment, check Hire-a-Niner for our position openings before fall, spring and summer sessions begin.
If you want to work on the operational footprint of your department, the Sustainability Office has a Green Office Program. This program provides advice and recognition to departments that earn a rating by practicing and pledging actions that reduce waste, energy consumption, pollution, and help us provide a safe and healthy workplace.
The Sustainability Office organizes Sustainability in the Curriculum Workshops for teaching faculty. Since 2015, we have had a 2-day workshop in May where over 70 faculty worked on incorporating sustainability concepts into their courses and degree programs. Look for future events during the semester as we look for ways for faculty to share and gain insights in shorter venues. For more information and to get on our email list for faculty opportunities, please contact Michael Lizotte at firstname.lastname@example.org.