Sustainability office proposes initiatives, changes

April 4, 2011

Molly Mrazek
[email protected]

Last year’s “Take Back the Tap” campaign – a result of Carole Huber’s class, Changing Places – will host an event filled with prizes, snacks and donated soda on April 11 at 7 p.m. on the West Lawn.

According to Kalee Ricks, co-president of Students for Environmental Awareness and Sustainability, ‘”Take Back the Tap’s” main goal is to educate the students about the problems with bottled water and eliminate its sale on campus by 2014.”

The Office of Sustainability, which was established in 2005, hopes to continue increasing awareness and participation among UCCS students.

Every semester, the Office of Sustainability, in partnership with other clubs and classes across campus, puts on and takes part in a number of events and campaigns to promote greener practices.

According to Ricks, “Take Back the Tap” is particularly important because, “The plastic is bad for the environment. It leaches into the water and it sits in landfills for hundreds of years. It’s a single use convenience.” A Facebook page called, “Take Back the Tap- University of Colorado at Colorado Springs” carries additional information on the campaign. Monday’s event will include a showing of the documentary, “Bag It.”

This semester, Huber’s class has proposed a senator of sustainability position. According to Drew Johnson, a volunteer with the Office of Sustainability and a member of Huber’s class, the senator of sustainability would be the “go-to person, [and] the official liaison for advocacy of a sustainable campus.”

The senator of sustainability would be in constant contact with the Office of Sustainability and other sustainability clubs on campus, and an overall representative of these efforts in student government.

To Johnson, the senator’s job will include working with the community to partner with local businesses and organizations as well as helping determine how fees are spent. Those involved in the proposal hope the position will help change the culture of the university. As Johnson furthered, “recycling has been stuck at only 27 percent for a while.”

Finally, The Office of Sustainability is having a Clothing Swap on April 13 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Berger Hall. This is a chance for students to bring up to five items of gently used, unwanted clothing, bags, shoes and accessories; these can then be exchanged for five items of the student’s choosing.

Both men’s and women’s items will be accepted in the ROAR office on April 4 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., on April 7 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., and on April 11 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. You may also donate items on the day of the swap.