Winner of “Go Green” campaign essay contest

In an effort to raise awareness about the “Go Green” campaign, UVUSA Hosted a campus-wide essay contest.

I remember as a freshman sitting in Dr. Renee van Buren’s BIOL 1010 class when we were still UVSC. She showed us her shirt, which proclaimed “Fight Entropy” and I thought, ‘Fight Entropy? What’s she talking about? This lady is crazy!’ As it turns out, she’s a pretty smart woman, and I discovered that entropy—the irretrievable loss of our planet’s energy into voidness—is an issue that concerns not just zealous environmentalists and dedicated professors like Dr. van Buren, but me, as a struggling, starving college student, and all my fellow struggling and starving college students. Or at least it sure should if we want to enjoy a fruitful life of quality, which brings me to another important point: exactly how do we as individuals, and students, make a difference in our environment, in our world? How do we ensure that we’ll always have a strong, healthy planet to live on, with plenty to sustain us, and our posterity?

Well, that’s where organizations like the Sustainability Committee come in. UVU’s Sustainability Committee, created in September 2008, is there to educate and enable students and the community in ways to preserve our environment and protect the many resources that our world has to offer. Some may wonder exactly what is the meaning and mission of “sustainability?” Sustainability Is…Balancing the relationship between environmental stewardship, economic development, and social responsibility while meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. (UofU Office of Sustainability). As students at the awesomest and greenest university in Utah, there are many ways we can contribute to making our campus and community better places to live.

You don’t have to look far on campus to see the big green recycle bins. They’re there for a purpose: throw your recyclable materials in them. This saves energy for our community. Use the shuttle bus and UTA bus that we are provided with for minimal or no cost: this saves energy from being lost and our air from higher levels of pollution. Smokers, don’t discard your cigarette butts around our campus grounds—that makes them look trashy and encourages litter bugs everywhere: put your butts in designated ash trays that are conveniently placed around the campus. There’s more to sustainability than just environmental awareness, important as that is. Sustainability is also about taking care of ourselves so that we’ll be around and in a condition to contribute to our community. Make healthier food choices. For instance, did you know Sunflower Market on State St. has a variety of healthy and organic foods to choose from? And on Thurs. nights college students get a 20% discount. Exercise. Need there be anything said about that? Use your money and resources wisely. Utah has a strong pioneer heritage of being aware of the environment and using resources well. A clever little adage says “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.” Make your things last, use them with care and don’t spend your money carelessly and without careful planning. These are all practices that will empower us as individuals to make a difference in sustaining our own lives as well as our world, for quality of life, for ourselves as well as future generations.

We can be proud that as wolverines at UVU, we know our student body and our leaders are committed to sustainability. They’re committed to making a difference on our campus and in our community. Our state of the art library is the first “High Performance Building” in the state of Utah. Our school was awarded a several thousand dollar credit by Rocky Mountain Power for amazing energy conservation implementations in the dining services. And our campus grounds are used to heat and cool the buildings, ever with energy conservation in mind, and preserving the health of our community’s environment and people. UVU has achieved incredible success in its mission to sustain the campus and community of Orem, Utah. As students here, we have the right and responsibility to do all we can to sustain ourselves and our school. After all, isn’t that what education is all about? For more information and to get involved with the Sustainability Committee’s projects on campus, go to uvu.edu/sustainability, or contact our student government at uvusa@uvu.edu

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