UWGB Focuses on Sustainability

By Kelsey Keller, Brock Mackinnis, Jordon Lawrenz


Sustainable Energy and You!


Looking to save some money on a utility bill? The Sustainability Office at the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay (UWGB) is campaigning for students living off campus to order a free energy-saving kit through Focus on Energy. Focus on Energy is dedicated to increasing energy savings, leading Wisconsin to be a better environment to live in for years to come. They are partnering with Wisconsin Public Utilities to offer Wisconsin residents free energy-saving kits. This year, they are aiming the kits toward college students in the UW system. Sustainability teams throughout the UW schools are participating in the Higher Education Kit Challenge to see whose students can live most sustainably.

Each UW school is given a specific code to use at the time of purchase to track participation among students and staff. Doing so, the school gains a “point” in the competition. At the end of the competition, the school in the lead will be recognized with an award. As of August, UW-Oshkosh was in the lead. The competition started on June 1st and is ending on October 31st.

The Higher Education Focus on Energy kit challenge is a way for college students to live more sustainably without needing to spend money. Daniela Beall, the UWGB Sustainability Coordinator, says the Sustainability team “wants to let folks know about this free resource. It is available to anyone in Wisconsin with a utility bill. This competition is an effort to let more college students know about it and take advantage of it.”

Natalie Hannemann, an education and engagement specialist at the Sustainability Office, was one of the interns that spearheaded the campaign. In terms of the most rewarding about the campaign, Hannemann says, “I really enjoy talking to other commuter students on campus about something that I am very passionate about. I also enjoy working with multiple individuals in order to secure a common goal.” Beall also agrees that sustainable action requires time, effort, and collaboration. They say, “We can’t change our whole lives and society overnight, and nobody is perfect. There is no “perfect” sustainable lifestyle, so I encourage folks to keep learning, questioning, and trying to do better.”

The “Focus on Lighting” kit received by a student. It includes six LED bulbs, a faucet aerator, pipe insulation, and a water temperature test card.
Photo taken by Kelsey Keller

There are six different kits to choose from, and each includes a variety of energy-saving resources, such as:

  • LED Bulbs
  • Advanced Power Strips
  • Handheld Shower Heads
  • Faucet Aerators

The six different energy-saving kits to choose from.
Photo from Focus on Energy Marketplace

Any UWGB student, faculty, or staff member with a utility bill can order a kit through https://focusonenergymarketplace.com/free by using the code HE-UWGB at checkout.

To receive your free kit:

  1. Visit https://focusonenergymarketplace.com/free
  2. Select your FREE energy-saving pack
  3. Enter code HE-UWGB at checkout
  4. Fill out your personal information and place an order

Beall says, “Folks may notice a reduction in energy bills/water bills. LED light bulbs use significantly less energy, have better quality light, and last longer. Low-flow water fixtures have the dual benefit of reducing water consumption and reducing energy used to heat water. Insulating water pipes can help conserve energy by reducing heat loss to the ambient air. These kits are a small move in the direction of reducing energy use, but it’s an easy and free option for moving forward.”

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