Going Green

By Emily Murphy, Hope Doyen & Ashley Harrison


There have been various signs of global warming occurring throughout the world. From ice caps melting to temperature fluctuations, we have seen various changes throughout the environment that are altering what the future will look like. However, what does the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay (UWGB) do, and how do they see global warming changes around them?

UWGB prides itself on education but also recognizes the importance of maintaining sustainable practices. UWGB promotes sustainability and has special events to help engage the student population in going green. UWGB celebrates Earth Month and will provide opportunities for the students to engage with the environment. Events include Tree Planting Prep (allowing students to volunteer and can plant trees), Heirloom Plant Potting (selling plants and garden foods to bring more awareness around protecting biodiversity, and Arboretum Trail Cleanup (cleaning up the trails).

UWGB has also attempted to improve the campus by making it more environmentally friendly. One has been the updates to Mary Ann Cofrin Hall by adding solar innovations that convert their lighting to light-emitting diodes (LED), which use less energy while lasting longer, and by adjusting the campus building temperatures.

The University also does well to assist students by helping them make the right decisions to be more sustainable. All over campus, students can find labeled trash cans to tell students which trash they can throw away, either their paper, recyclable items, or waste.

Kpoti Gunn, an assistant professor in the Environmental Science and Policy at UWGB, said, “Several gases considered as pollutants from human and wildlife perspectives also have the potential to behave as greenhouse gases, and therefore may contribute to Global Warming.” Gunn believes that there should be more efforts done to improve the UWGB going green initiative and said, “Exploring the possibility of geothermal heating could be an option for UWGB to reduce the use of energy generated from fossil fuels, from a transportation point of view, UWGB supporting an extensive and reliable public transportation system across Green Bay and its surroundings, and encouraging students, staff, and faculty members could be a way to reduce the number of cars driven by commuters between the campus and their residences.” While Gunn doesn’t force his students to practice the going green initiative, he does say, “I cover the subject of sustainability in two of my courses, ET 101, which introduces students to engineering in general, and ET 201, which introduces students to the applications of Environmental Engineering.” Gunn has been working at UWGB for three years now and is encouraging students to take part in the going green initiative.

Trash cans at the University Union

Jacqui Rude, a junior at UWGB, has always been aware of the different ways she can “go green,” such as not using single-use plastic cups and recycling. When asked whether UWGB does a good job at promoting going green, Rude commented on how they do well in labeling the trashcans so students can know where to correctly throw their trash away and mentioned the schools provide recycling services. Rude commented that she often uses plastic cups at the local UWGB coffee shop since that is the only cup available, but otherwise tries to stay away from using plastic water bottles. Rude mentioned that the campus could do better to remind students about the ways they can be “green” in their on-campus housing. These reminders would be especially helpful since Rude tends to forget to turn her lights off frequently and often leaves the water running.

Kelsey Thurn, a junior at UWGB, commented on how she recently has become more interested in finding ways to go “green.” Thurin tries to stay away from using single-use plastics and believes UWGB should have a better way to help eliminate the use of them, especially in the coffee shop on campus. Coming to Green Bay, Thurin was surprised the campus did not have more signs and information about how students can go “green” and make the right choices. After working in a National Park this summer, Thurin believes UWGB can do more to help improve the students’ knowledge of what they can do individually regarding their attempts to go green. Both Rude and Thurin were asked if they felt the school does too well to promote Earth Day and other attempts to go green, and both were not aware of the attempts UWGB has made.

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