West Virginia University students will learn how to help the University become a more sustainable campus during Sustainable Awareness Week, beginning Monday, Feb. 7.

Sustainable Awareness Week events will be held Monday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Mountainlair. Events will focus on living a sustainable lifestyle, and include giveaways such as t-shirts, water bottles, compact fluorescent light bulbs, shower timers and light switch covers.

Each day of the week will be geared towards a specific component of sustainable living, including recycling and energy and water conservation. There will be deposit boxes for students to recycle their used ink cartridges and old batteries.

“It takes our collective commitment and action to truly further sustainability on campus and beyond in harmony with our land grant mission,” said Clement Solomon, director of the WVU Office of Sustainability. “Our focus for this week is not to highlight a single issue or area, rather the many spokes of sustainability that calls for our attention as individuals and community.”

Sustainable Awareness Week is sponsored by the WVU Student Government Association, SustainU and WECAN.

Olivia Audia, senior accounting major and SGA governor, said she hopes the week’s efforts will help to make positive changes in students’ habits towards water and energy conservation.

“Our most important goal is to create awareness within the student body,” she said. “Awareness is the first step to change, and in order to see change in our everyday actions, our students will need to be convinced why it is important to make these changes. The ability to make individuals aware of the effects they have on water and energy alone will hopefully lead towards a change to their everyday actions.”

Audia says that the awareness of sustainability throughout the community as a whole is important to the environment.

“Sustainability at WVU is taking a step towards a better future for our student body and our university,” she said. “All of the actions we make today will affect the future, and it is important to bring people together to help make this change, and that is one of the main purposes of this awareness week. The University as a whole is taking more consideration towards becoming more sustainable, and it is helpful if the students understand why these changes are occurring.”

WVU currently has a grade of B- from the College Sustainability Report Card, an entire letter grade improvement since 2008. The WVU Office of Sustainability in partnership with various units and departments is currently working on a handful of projects to better WVU’s sustainable report card, including but not limited to, trayless dining, textile recycling, stormwater management, interdisciplinary research, etc. Fifty-three percent of the buildings on campus have undergone energy related retrofits or renovations within the past three years.

To learn more about sustainability at WVU, visit http://wecan.wvu.edu.



CONTACT: Olivia Audia, WVU Student Government Association
845-625-4632, Olivia.audia@mail.wvu.edu