Living and learning
sustainably at UW-Stevens Point
all learning at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point comes from a
after moving into the residence halls on campus, students learn that small
changes make a big impact when it comes to conserving energy, reducing waste
and living an eco-friendly lifestyle.
drop food scraps into composting bins in all halls, with those in Knutzen and Smith
Halls using vermicomposting (worm) bins in their lobbies. Composting breaks
down waste and turns it into rich soil.
in Thomson Hall turned off more lights to reduce their monthly energy usage by
9 percent as part of the 4th annual UW-Stevens Point residence hall
energy reduction competition.
spring, nearly 400 students are growing seedling coleus plants in their
residence hall rooms, and will return them to university Grounds Services on
May 8 for planting across the campus.
like these may seem small on a campus that has embraced sustainability since
the first conservation education courses were taught in 1946. But daily efforts
from students using recycling chutes in every floor of each residence hall
helped the UW-Stevens Point’s Resource Recovery Center recycle more than
849,000 pounds of campus materials last year.
recycle on average four and a half tons of plastic, glass, paper, cardboard and
aluminum a month in the residence halls," Facilities Designer Cindy Von
Gnechten said. “UW-Stevens Point was the first UW System campus, and possibly
national campus, to locate a centralized recycling chute system in all floors
of its residence halls.”
Living's sustainability efforts also include the designation of Knutzen Hall as
the Eco-Hall in 1998. The hall contains the Greenest Resident Room, where
current resident, sophomore environmental education major Bailey Matthys,
demonstrates how earth-friendly products and energy-saving lighting can be used
affordably and comfortably as part of an environmentally friendly lifestyle.
newest hall, the Suites@201 Reserve, was built to LEED Gold-certified green
building certifications. At 400,000 square feet, the suites use 30 percent less
energy than the other, smaller 50,000 square-foot residence halls on campus.
are among the reasons that UW-Stevens Point has been on the Princeton Review’s
Green Honor Roll for the third year in a row – the only Wisconsin campus to
make the list this year. BestColleges.com also named UW-Stevens Point one of
its Greenest Universities in 2014.
are leading the charge. Lindsie Wallenfang, a senior Spanish major serving as
Residential Living’s Green Associate, has seen what her fellow students can do
to be more sustainable. She works on the Green Advocate program with Von
Gnechten, training students as peer leaders on sustainability issues and
behaviors. The advocates lead workshops to spread awareness in their halls on
composting, energy use, waste reduction and recycling.
things can effect change,” said Wallenfang. “If you set a positive example, you
have no idea what will come from it.”
didn’t know much about UW-Stevens Point’s sustainability efforts when she first
came to campus. “Shortly after starting here, I felt like I hit the jackpot as
far as sustainability. We have a transforming culture here when it comes to
sustainable living, a like-mindedness across campus and in the community.”
learning about sustainable living occurs in the classroom, in dining facilities
and residence halls, the lessons stay with students beyond college years.
students are becoming more and more aware and integrating sustainability
efforts into their daily lives. The Green Advocate program’s networking and
peer-to-peer interacting is making positive changes."
Point sustainability by the numbers
Residence halls using solar panels to heat domestic water
13 – Sustainable forests in central and northern Wisconsin, owned and maintained
by UW-Stevens Point
56 – Percent of kilowatt hours expected to come from renewable energy this
88 – Percent of kilowatt hours expected to come from renewable energy next
96.4 – Percent of construction waste recycled when building the Waste Education
180 – Pounds of fresh produce donated to local food pantries from the Campus
425 – Tons of recycled materials in fiscal year 2013
400,000 – Pounds of surplus materials saved from landfills in 2013 through
Surplus Store sales and recycling
696,973 – Dollars saved in landfill tipping fees since the 1980s