February 12, 2015

Sustainability fund requests due March 17

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The time is now to apply for the latest round of Green Fund grant awards at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. 

All applications must be submitted to the Sustainability Council by March 17 for the spring funding cycle. The council has allocated more than $1.6 million to support 123 sustainability projects since the inception of a $10 per-semester student Green Fee in 2009 as the result of a student-led initiative. 

Students, faculty and staff, individually or in groups, may apply for funding for projects that enhance the sustainability of the campus. Past projects have been diverse, ranging from a green wall to recycling and hydration stations, electric vehicles to sustainable vegetable farms, and composting commodes to energy-efficient lighting. 

An information session about grants and the application process is set for 4-5 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 18, in the Student Center’s Thebes Room. The application form, frequently asked questions, details about past projects and other information are available at sustainability.siu.edu/about/green-fund/index.html. Or, email greenfund@siu.edu with questions. 

The award winners for the spring 2015 funding round will be announced on Earth Day, April 22. 

The Green Fund and other sustainability efforts are among the reasons SIU has been named one of Princeton Review’s “Green Colleges” in three of the last five years. 

The university is again participating in the nationwide RecycleMania Tournament. SIU Carbondale is joining hundreds of schools from across the country in the eight-week recycling and waste-reduction competition that continues through March 28. Schools compete in several weight-based categories to measure recycling and the reduction of waste per capita. 

SIU has participated in the competition for several years, and has come close to recycling 30 percent of its overall waste. The goal is to hit the 30 percent mark, Kris Schachel, sustainability coordinator, said. 

For the first time this year, the competition will incorporate a “3R Actions Challenge.” The category allows students to score points for their school by posting digital messages and “selfies” documenting waste reduction and recycling activities through a “My Actions” platform that integrates social media, text and web-based applications. 

Schachel said SIU presently has 38 people signed up to post and is in third place on the leaderboard for medium-size schools. Find out more at www.campus.myactions.org/profile/SIUC

Learn about sustainability at SIU online at sustainability.siu.edu/, by emailing greenfund@siu.edu or by calling 618/453-2846.