ISU students and staff have taken initiatives to make campus more eco-friendly. This is an example of sustainability. Students gain leadership skills through civic involvement, which elevates the University.
One example is the student chapter in the Food Recovery Network(FRN), a national nonprofit. Students work with ISU catering to salvage leftover food from dining halls. This helps reduce waste and fight hunger. Home Sweet Home Ministries (HSHM), Bloomington, receives the collected food. They serve the homeless and hungry.
Phillip Cade, ISU Catering chef, stated that all food served to the community is the leftover food that was not eaten. Any food that does not reach customers is put in pans, cooled overnight, then labeled and ready for delivery the next morning.
Usually, two to three students volunteer to help with each recovery. Elizabeth Gilmore, a junior elementary teacher major, stated that the FRN has a significant impact on our area. She is also the co-president of ISUs chapter and co-founder. HSHM Food Services Manager Carol Schrenk agrees.
HSHM is greatly helped by the food provided by these students. Schrenk said that it is possible to feed so many people who are struggling to get food. This is a prayer answered by so many through the work of these students.
The campus also gains. Students saved 4,089 kg of carbon dioxide and recovered more than 2,100 pounds worth of food during the fall 2020 semester. FRN recognized the ISUs as the Top Food Recovery-er for 2020. The group logged more food recoveries than 99.9% of FRN chapters in the country.
Aly Hearn 13 is helping to reduce the Department of Chemistry’s environmental footprint. Hearn, the stockroom manager for the department, advocates reuse, recycle and reduce. She is committed to implementing greener practices, including eliminating hazardous materials from labs whenever possible.
Members of the Student Sustainability CommitteeLook out for partnership opportunities that include working together Engineering Technology ClubTo build donation boxes that can be filled with school supplies, instead of being discarded.
Student organizations that are registeredThey can also contribute to the effort. The Renewable Energy Society promotes efficiency and sustainable energy. One project is to create grills powered from solar panels on campus. Another student group, Fix-It Friday, helps reduce waste by offering basic sewing and mending throughout the semester.
Elisabeth Reed (Office of Sustainability) is the director. This task force, which included 30 faculty, staff, students and staff, was formed to draft ISU’s first Sustainability Strategic Plan. This spring semester, the office will launch outdoor compost kiosks that will divert food waste and make single-use plastics into compostable packaging.
ISU’s sustainability work has a positive impact on all parties. It empowers students by allowing them to actively participate in protecting the environment. This creates more opportunities for campus communities to save the planet.