College campuses as living laboratories for change | NAAEE
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College campuses as living laboratories for change

“College campuses are essentially ‘living laboratories,’ where students have the unique opportunity to create sustainability projects at a small scale, that can then be translated to implement change in the real world, on a larger scale," shares student CJ O'Brien, co-founder of Plastic Free Emory.

Emory University and Oxford College signed the "Break Free from Plastic Pledge," which seeks to outline "a five-year plan for reducing unnecessary single-use plastics." Read the full story here: https://news.emory.edu/stories/2021/06/er_plastics_emory/campus.html

I love this idea of college campuses as 'living laboratories.' I'm curious to learn what other colleges have pledged to reduce single-use plastics? How did it happen? What role and impact does student-led activism have in your institution?

Hello Jimena,

Shaver's Creek is Penn State's nature center and we have a "zero waste" program. We try to educate our visitors and program participants on "zero waste" before they arrive, while they're here, and provide resources for home.

We were able to influence the university's approach to sustainability. Composting and recycling bins are widespread on campus. Unfortunately, recent issues with recycling and local infrastructure has impacted the overall effectiveness.

Despite this, "zero waste" is part of the Shaver's Creek experience, from PK through adults.

Best,
Jason