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Incentives given for eco-friendly campuses
Posted Nov. 14, 2008

These days, it seems global warming is the main focus of a lot of young college students. Colleges are rapidly changing their campuses to make their schools more sustainable.

Now students can keep improving their campus’ sustainability while getting paid.

The National Wildlife Federation, or NWF, is hosting their 3rd Annual Chill Out: Campus Solutions to Global Warming competition which awards several colleges and universities that are improving their eco-friendly campuses.

“Colleges and universities are key places for demonstrating to society how to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, the major culprit of global warming,” director of the program, Julian Keniry said.

Finalists from the contest will receive a grant funding. In addition to the grant, schools will be featured in Chill Out, a nationwide multimedia broadcast. Sponsored by Stonyfield Farm and Climate Counts, the broadcast will be shown in April 2009.

Schools can enter the competition in two different ways. In 500 words or less, students can describe what their institution is doing to move into sustainable solutions. Also, students can create a three minute video showcasing their efforts.

The videos can be uploaded to GoGreenTube.com. Visitors to the site can vote on their favorites after the competition is closed.

Here at the University of La Verne, many people are excited about the possibility of receiving a grant for the efforts the campus does.

“The contest helps by bringing different ideas in solving the programs,” freshman business major Uyen Bui said.

“I think just familiarizing everyone about being energy-efficient; it’s education for all,” senior music major Taylor Duling said.

Duling tries to be more energy-efficient in her daily life. She stated that she only buys products that are more organic or energy efficient.

“All my cleaning products at home are organic,” Duling said. “They contain natural chemicals rather than harmful chemicals.”

Bui is also passionate about the cause. Bui believes the contest is a great way to educate people not familiar with global warming.

“Once students get to know about global warming and climate control, they get more interested and they can tell others about it,” Bui said.

Senior English major and biology minor Emily Romo also likes the idea of the contest.

“It's a positive way to encourage people to think of green solutions at each school," Romo said.
 
Romo is the co-president of the Green Institution for Village Empowerment at ULV. Romo stated that GIVE’s purpose is to make the campus more conscious about the effects of global warming.

GIVE has been involved in a lot of activities on campus, Romo stated, including organizing an upcoming recycling fair on Nov. 19.

Romo believes positive incentives, like the NWF contest, can help motivate more people.

"It's better to have more positive reinforcement than negative,” Romo said.

Both Duling and Bui feel ULV is doing a lot of things that help towards answering the contest questions. Both Duling and Bui cite the recycling program at the school.

Bui also mentioned other efforts like Trayless Tuesdays that Davenport implemented this semester.

“Hopefully, if we get more money for funding, we can get more energy efficient supplies, which will ultimately help the environment,” Duling said.

Bui believes ULV will be a perfect candidate for the award because of the schools small size.

“ULV is a small community. If we can get together, we have a pretty good chance to enter,” Bui said. “We have really good programs that can work together.”

NWF is a nonprofit conservation organization that focuses on educating and inspiring the public to move towards preserving the environment.

According to its Web site, the organization has over 4 million members and partners. The Campus Ecology program, which is for college students and faculty, promotes sustainability among colleges and universities.

The deadline for entries is Nov. 30. For more information, visit www.nwf.org or www.campuschillout.org.

Jonathan Smith can be reached at: jonathan.smith@laverne.edu.