This fall the University become a member of the Post Landfill Action Network, known as PLAN.
According to their website, “The Post-Landfill Action Network cultivates, educates, and inspires the student-led zero waste movement. We inform students about the waste crisis and equip them with the necessary skills and resources to implement solutions to waste in their campus communities. PLAN empowers our generation to be changemakers.”
Funding for the cost of membership was split between SGA and the Office of Sustainability.
Since the University is member of PLAN any student has the opportunity to create an account on PLAN using their university email and use the benefits of the membership. Being a PLAN member university allows students access to online workshops, trainings and a discount with certain brands through the PLAN store.
These trainings and workshops focus on facilitating a movement. Beyond workshops on food waste, expanded recycling and composting they also offer trainings on leadership and volunteer recruitment.
In the PLAN online store, the organization offers members discounts to companies they deem as responsible. The products they carry include anything from reusable straws and sustainable feminine products to granola bars with compostable wrapping.
Robert Abrahamian, senior water resources and political science major, was one of the students who brought the initiative to campus after he and Stevens Point alumnus Alex Thomas presented at the PLAN conference.
Abrahamian feels that the trainings the site offers could be useful for student organizations and that the discounted products that PLAN offers through their online store could be sold in the university bookstore. “I think it can help have the different entities that focus on this like facility services, office of sustainability, student organizations, SGA have a more cohesive and coordinated strategy to like reduce waste so that we aren’t like all trying to work on it from different angles but we can all sort of come together.” Abrahamian said.
Abrahamian feels it’s important to, “Take a step back and think about how much waste you create.” He recommends looking at the PLAN website to investigate alternatives for everyday things like food storage.
Lucy Delain, sophomore elementary education major and SGA Environmental and Sustainability Affairs Director, said of PLAN, “I think having that support is really important for our campus and our students.” Delain thinks that one step students can take towards reducing landfill waste is simply by recycling and composting. She encourages students to look into PLAN and use the resources it provides to further their personal sustainability efforts.