Environmentally Aware Students Offer Opinion of Greenest Campus

Students feel that even though the campus has been named the greenest in the state, there is still room for improvement.

Three students, who are avidly involved in sustainable living, shared their opinions about the campus receiving this recognition, and how sustainability is affecting their way of life .

Junior Bailey Matthys is titled greenest resident on campus, and it is her job to spread the word about sustainability. Matthys is proud of the campus, but believes a lot more needs to be accomplished.

“We have done these initiatives, but one of our main goals is to get students to acknowledge them,” Matthys said.

According to Matthys, the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point has excellent initiatives, like the recycling program. However, not many people are aware of it. Matthys said a lot of students are confused about what they can and cannot recycle.

Taylor Christiansen, president of Students of Sustainable Living, said the concepts of sustainability like recycling, composting and using products with less packaging appear to be common knowledge around UWSP. However, along with Matthys, Christiansen acknowledged that there is a divide among students who are engrossed in sustainable living and those who are not as aware of it.

“I definitely see a big disparity between people that are really sustainably-minded and students I have talked to who have no idea these initiatives are happening,” Christiansen said.

Christiansen expressed that her path to a more sustainable life was foraged from the people she interacted with.

“There is social sustainability, which is making sure I’m surrounded by a good network of friends and like-minded people that can help me find the most sustainable ways of living,” Christiansen said.

Along with finding like-minded people, junior Jenny Teeters expressed that engaging in the topic with people of similar interests assisted her in making her biggest lifestyle changes.

When asked what sustainability issue she was most passionate about, Teeters said, “It’s got to be something with the community.”

Teeters explained that building up a community to be sustainable is important so more awareness is instilled in people’s minds.

“What you put into your community is what’s going to come out,” Teeters said.

Overall, Teeters thinks UWSP is an accepting campus and the people are open to expanding their knowledge on sustainability.

“I’m happy that being a hipster is in style because it’s really eye-opening to people who want to follow through with those practices,” Teeters said.

To these students, UWSP is an excellent campus for sustainability, but students have to actively engage in the topic to fully develop an understanding of what is happening in the world of green living.

Emily Noèl Showers

Eshow592@uwsp.edu

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