Competitions for Sustainability

Competitions for sustainability initiatives are circulating around campus. The Recycling Department recently won a contest run by Busch Systems, a manufacturer of recycling bins, waste receptacles, and compost containers. Six other universities entered the “Like” the Link Contest, which EMU won with 378 clicks of a “like” button. The runner up, Washington D.C.’s Howard University, garnered only 259. Their promotional description focused on EMU’s use of bicycles for collection of recycling and compost. Now, ten multipurpose trash and recycling bins are dispersed across campus.

Sophomore Rachel Bowman was one of hundreds who supported the online campaign. Bowman said, “I think improving our system of recycling and making it as convenient as possible is a good step toward embodying our position of environmental sustainability and creation care. I think the new bins are a wonderful addition to campus; they make me feel like I’m in Ontario, which is great!”

The Earthkeepers Club is currently running a contest that offers a mini-grant for a winning proposal that improves sustainability at EMU. One can apply with a 400 word proposal on the Earthkeepers web page for up to one thousand dollars. Past winners of the mini-grant competition created

the cafeteria composting station, laundry lines in the dormitories, edible landscaping, and the Bicycle Co-op. “Looking over the history, I’ve been impressed with what has come from this,” commented Earthkeepers Co-President, Junior Erin Rheinheimer. “In general, I think it’s a great way to get people to think of sustainability in a practical way. We preach about it all the time at EMU, but this is one way of showing we’re actually serious about living it out.”

Funding for the grants comes from the Earthkeepers club, the Creation Care Council, and Peace with Creation (QEP). The Creation Care Council develops EMU’s official sustainability principles, and is made up of five task forces which address procurement; education, curriculum, and theology; community and recruitment; recycling, reducing, and transportation; and energy, infrastructure, grounds, and buildings. Peace with Creation is a five-year Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) meant to unite students, faculty, and staff with the idea of sustainability.

Proposals are due on Nov. 8, and winners will be contacted by email by Thanksgiving break. Projects are judged on impact, feasibility, and implementation. Earthkeepers Co-President Everett Brubaker, Junior, added, “the competition has produced incredible ideas into reality on campus. I look forward to seeing what is born out of this year’s grants.”

-Randi B. Hagi, Co-Editor In-Chief

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