Dear Lawrence Community,
Hello and welcome back to campus! To accompany the beginning of a new school year we are excited to highlight a new initiative for Lawrence: Sustainable Lawrence.
Lawrence’s identity is strongly tied to its geographic location in Appleton, WI. Situated along the banks of the Fox River, Lawrence has long worked to be a responsible steward of the natural environment. Last fall, Lawrence embarked on a project to establish sustainability as one of its core values along with a series of initiatives to further foster a sustainable campus. The Sustainability Steering Committee was established to ensure sustainability is reflected in all appropriate university policies and to coordinate campus sustainability initiatives. “Sustainable Lawrence” is a collection of initiatives set out to introduce, or further build upon, best practices in sustainability to help us reach this goal as a community. Be on the lookout for the green Sustainable Lawrence seal that will mark projects and programs that are working to advance this commitment.
We will have a great deal of help in promoting everyday sustainable choices from a group of students who have opted to be RLAs and peer mentors in sustainability. Starting this September, RLAs will be able to opt into one of five educational focus areas to add depth to these programming areas in the residence halls. Each housing community will have at least one RLA focused on sustainability and eco-initiatives. Be sure to seek them out and introduce yourself!
You will also notice the new trash and recycling stations located in the main lobby of each major residence hall and in the major academic and administrative buildings on campus. These new bins were installed as a part of an initiative to decrease our waste contamination rate by increasing our recycling rate and diverting as much waste as possible from the landfill. Students will also find that small recycling bins have been added to every residence hall room. If you need a refresh on which items can be recycled at Lawrence be sure to check out the recycling guidelines on the Sustainable Lawrence website.
Lawrence students help to fund directly many sustainability projects around campus via a sustainability fee of $5 per term. This year funding was leveraged to upgrade the lighting and add insulation to the Chapel as well as to help fund new lights and occupancy sensors in Ormsby Hall. Together these investments will save enough electricity to run ten households each year.
A few other ways to get involved right away include signing up for one of this year’s community reads or applying for a micro-grant from the Student Sustainability Fund. Students, faculty and staff can sign up (or enroll in a one-credit course) to read a common book and participate in joint discussions regarding relevant sustainability topics in literature. Additionally, students with their own ideas to make an impact on campus can apply to the Student Sustainability Fund for small grants averaging $2,500 for research or projects.
We look forward to providing additional updates and welcome new ideas on all aspects of sustainability. If you want to get further involved please don’t hesitate to reach out.