Sustainability at UIC

At UIC there are many ways to act as an environmentally responsible individual. The means in which one gets to UIC, however, is out of many people’s control. Driving a car is much more impactful on the environment than taking public transportation. In fact, buses in particular produce less air pollution per passenger mile than cars do, and as buses continue to get “greener”, the environment improves. Whenever a commute is necessary, I always try to take advantage of my free CTA pass, as it is convenient, easy, and obviously free.

To be more sustainable on campus I could definitely recycle more. According to UIC’s report on sustainability, the campus is attempting to make recycling options more available and responsive to the needs of the environment (separating different recyclables). The 3$ per semester sustainability fee is a very smart idea from UIC’s end (to help fund greener practices), and I’d actually be willing to pay more. If we all paid 9$ it would triple the potential impact we could have.

At UIC I believe that awareness of environmental issues is still a problem. While almost every educated person knows that global warming is happening, it is hard to motivate people to change certain habits that potentially harm the environment (like not recycling). It’s not just at UIC, in a Forbes report taking data from the Pew research center Americans are very apathetic towards global warming. To combat this it will be difficult, but perhaps we could implement a rewards system for those who live sustainably at UIC. All in all, UIC is finally making steps towards having a greener campus, but it will take a lot of work to reach their goals of having a fully sustainable campus.

 

Works Cited

Klein, Cynthia, and Saul Weiner. “UIC Sustainability Report.” To Green and Beyond: Excellence Through Sustainability at UICTO GREEN AND BEYOND: EXCELLENCE THROUGH SUSTAINABILITY AT UIC | 4 (n.d.): n. pag. UIC Office of Sustainability. Web.

Bowman, Karlyn. “American Apathy And Global Warming.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 20 Apr. 2009. Web. 29 Jan. 2016.

Mickey, John. “6 Health Benefits Of Public Transportation.” TransLoc. N.p., 25 June 2013. Web. 28 Jan. 2016.

 

 

 

 

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4 thoughts on “Sustainability at UIC

  1. I completely agree with you on the buses. Many of the CTA buses are now mostly electric-powered. The L trains are also electric. It is nice to see the steps, however small they may be, to make transportation more sustainable and less resource-intensive. As I saw on our Professor’s Twitter account, Mayor Emmanuel actually just announced his idea to implement new all-electric buses in addition to the ones that are already majority electric: http://www.transitchicago.com/news/default.aspx?ArticleId=3515

    At UIC, that sustainability fee appears to go a long way. If we, like you said, raised our sustainability fee by a few dollars, we could make a much larger impact on the way that UIC can be sustainable for future generations of students. UIC should also make a larger effort to inform its students about our impact on the environment as well as our potential to help improve it.

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  2. I agree with your point on how awareness needs to be spread more on campus. Although as you said more recycling options are being made available, awareness is the key to getting students to not only recycle, but know what to recycle. One of the biggest things that I have noticed about recycling, not necessarily at UIC, is that people really aren’t sure what can be recycled. This leads to the wrong things being put in recycling bins, and recyclables being put in garbage cans.

    In some UIC buildings there are nice displays that show students what items to throw away or recycle. This is a great example of spreading awareness on campus, and I think if the sustainability fee was raised as suggested more things like this could be implemented. It doesn’t take big projects to make the school more green (although they couldn’t hurt), in most cases spreading the word can do just as much.

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  3. I agree with you and I think UIC did really good job on sustainable energy use. And UIC use concrete to built most buildings. I read one artical posted by UIUC. They found that concrete is a sustainable material for building.

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  4. We abuse the luxury of driving, even people with the free cta pass still chose to drive to school. So with that being said, I too think that their should be more awareness at UIC. Although many efforts have been made at UIC, like the re-filling water stations to prevent usage of water bottles, and the many recycling stations located everywhere, if people do not know how big of an issue this is then they will never be as conscious of these types of issues.

    I do feel like a rewarding system will help students participate in recycling more since there is more of an incentive to do so (if the environmental issues that are happening now aren’t enough).

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