October 01, 2013

‘Green Fund’ project applications available

by Christi Mathis

Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s commitment to sustainability is evident in countless ways, and the proof includes $1.35 million in funding for sustainability-enhancing projects and the university’s two-time designation as one of the Princeton Review’s “Green Colleges.”

A number of sustainability initiatives and changes are now underway at SIU and applications are being accepted for the latest round of Green Fund awards.  Students, faculty, staff and campus units may apply for funding to support SIU projects that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency, enhance sustainability efforts and research or reduce waste. Nearly $150,000 in grant funding is available this semester. 

The funding comes from a $10 per semester student Green Fee enacted in 2009 by the SIU Board of Trustees as the result of a student-led initiative.  A total of 85 projects of all kinds and scopes have received funding. 

Additional information for those interested in submitting an application will be available at 10 a.m., Friday, Oct. 4, in the Sustainability Office, located on the south end of the first floor of the Student Center.  Corné Prozesky, Green Fund Committee chairman and associate director of facilities for Recreational Sports and Services and Eric Wilber, Sustainability Council chairman and law student, will be available to answer any questions.

The Sustainability Council is accepting applications for Green Fund grants until Campus Sustainability Day, Oct. 23.  The awards announcement is expected Dec. 2.    Submit applications and any questions to greenfund@siu.edu.  For more information about applying for a Green Fund grant, visit sustainability.siu.edu

The organization’s website is improved and includes a “Frequently Asked Questions” section.  The site also features information about the campus sustainability efforts, Green Fund details, applications and much more. 

Campus Sustainability Day on Oct. 23 will feature a variety of special displays and activities.  The Green Fair, focused in the south end of the Student Center, will showcase various campus and community “green” initiatives from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.  There will also be guided walking tours of campus, showcasing the Agriculture Building’s green roof, the LOGIC garden and other green aspects of campus. 

“We are all pleased with our new location in the Student Center, offering the Sustainability Council and my team an unprecedented amount of visibility and making us much more accessible to the campus community,” said Kris Schachel, sustainability coordinator.

Schachel said people are welcome to stop by the Sustainability Office any time the door is open.  While there, they can sign the Sustainability Pledge, promising to make the effort to enhance sustainability however they can.  Those signing the pledge will receive a free reusable water bottle while supplies last. 

Water bottle fill stations installed in the Student Recreation Center has resulted in 215,000 less plastic bottles in use, Schachel said.

To learn more about SIU sustainability, visit the website at www.sustainability.siu.edu, call 618/453-2846 or email sustainability@siu.edu.