Every October, colleges and universities are encouraged to participate in Campus Sustainability Day and support the continuous effort put into the future of the campus.
“We did a sustainability information fair here on campus and the goal of the day was really to provide a diverse range of vendors for those that were walking through the sustainability fair,” said Dave Barbier, who, as of July, has occupied the role of Sustainability Coordinator here on campus.
According to Barbier, a variety of vendors were invited to attend the event so students could “see how sustainability is changing” and experience a number of varying sustainability practices.
The Stevens Point Public Transport System, The Wisconsin Institute of Sustainable Technology and Emy J’s coffee house were just some of the many local entities that took part in the information fair.
“We really wanted people to come in and be engaged with vendors who are practicing sustainability in some way, but we also wanted to show the range of sustainability,” Barbier said.
Despite this being the first event of its kind to grace the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point, Barbier was pleased with the turnout.
“We had a very short window to plan the event, put it all together, and get it out, and part of that was due to the newness of my position here on campus,” Barbier said. “There were a couple of things we could’ve done better, but overall I think it was quite successful.
Barbier went on to explain that he hopes the information fair will become a recurring event each year on campus and that this year’s trial run was “a good building block for the future.”
Ron Tschida, the Communications Manager for The Wisconsin Institute of Sustainable Technology, agreed with Barbier.
“We chose to participate in Campus Sustainability Day because we believe sustainability is an important part of the campus culture,” Tschida said. “Compared to a few years ago, many more people on campus today are aware of the importance of moving toward a sustainable future and an event like Campus Sustainability Day helps create a critical mass of support for the ideas and projects that will make this happen.”
Tschida went on to describe the event as “a nice opportunity for networking.”
“It’s important to build broad support for sustainability initiatives and Campus Sustainability Day is part of that,” Tschida said. “Meeting others who are working toward sustainability and increasing awareness of what WIST is accomplishing.”
Barbier urges all students to do what they can to take part in similar initiatives on campus, and like the “UW-Stevens Point Office of Sustainability” Facebook page for updates on ways which they can get involved.
“If we’re going to continue to be successful in terms of leading the way in sustainability initiatives we need everyone to get involved and I think Campus Sustainability Day was a good way to show that,” Barbier said. “There’s a lot of different ways you can be involved, so it’s just a matter of figuring out where your interest in sustainability is, and how to engage that.”
Currently, UWSP is considered the “most green” campus throughout the UW-System, and this past year was the only university in the state to be named to The Princeton Review Green College Honor Roll, which showcased only 22 schools from across the country.