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Sustainability

The University of Idaho promotes sustainable behaviors, curricula, and operations through the UI Sustainability Center (UISC). UISC is funded by student fees ($5/semester/student) and is administered primarily by students. Student fees support numerous student staff positions, student programs and events, mini-grants and administrative support for the center. UISC activities include:

Mini-grant Program: UISC allocates approximately 10K annually to fund numerous student-led sustainability projects. These projects engage students in building real-world skills while bolstering campus sustainability.

Campus Recycling: UISC is implementing an improved recycling system and broad-based marketing campaign in the residence halls, Greek houses, and three campus buildings for fall 2011.

Events: UISC hosts numerous events each year to raise campus awareness of sustainability topics and increase student engagement. Events include teach-ins to increase knowledge about the climate crisis, bike maintenance clinics, a broad suite of
Earth Month activities, and the President’s Sustainability Symposium, among others. In addition, UISC partners with numerous student and community groups in support of their efforts.

E-waste collection: UISC staff collects empty ink cartridges and old cell phones from 17 collection sites around campus. Ink cartridges are refilled and reused. Cell phones are reused, refurbished, or smelted down for metal and plastic components to be made into new products.

Freshman Orientation: UISC helps new students build sustainable habits by providing each student with a reusable water bottle and a jump drive with tips for sustainable living in the residence halls.

Energy Evaluation Internship Program: UISC administers an internship program for UI students. Students work in teams to conduct energy audits of local businesses and make recommendations for how to reduce their energy use (and bill). Fifty-seven local businesses have received free energy audits through this program.

Sustainability Partnership of the Northern Rockies (SPNR): UISC initiated a consortium of sustainability coordinators and advocates from higher education institutions across the Northwest. The network will enable schools to share successes and challenges, as well as pool resources to raise the caliber of sustainability programs – food systems, waste management, etc. –around the region.

Volunteer/Service-Learning Programs:

Gameday Recycling: During football season, UISC engages student volunteers in collecting recyclables at tailgate events outside the Kibbie Dome, and collecting recyclables and compost inside the Dome. This program is a collaboration between UISC, UI Athletics, Sodexo, Moscow Recycling, and the UI Greek system.

Get Rooted: Get Rooted engages hundreds of service-learning students and volunteers in replanting the campus and the surrounding community with native trees and Palouse prairie plants.

Food and Farm Composting: UISC recruits and trains student volunteers to aid Commons food court patrons in sorting their leftovers into recycling, compost, or trash. The compost is used as animal bedding and a soil amendment at the UI Dairy. UISC has worked with Sodexo since 2008 to convert their single-use disposable products to compostable products.

To get involved, contact the UISC Student Programs Coordinator at (208) 885-0125 or uisc@uidaho.edu.