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Education

Illinois offers dozens of majors, minors, and certificate programs with sustainability components. View relevant courses offered on campus.

Greener Campus Initiatives

Certified Green Registered Student Orgs

The University of Illinois has a rich and vibrant culture, with hundreds of Registered Student Organizations offering students a perfect fit for ways to get involved around campus, regardless of their background. Once launched, RSOs will be able to directly contribute to the sustainability of campus by joining the Certified Green RSO Program.

A full website, featuring all the credits and tips on how to achieve them, will be available soon. In the meantime, you can sign up for the Green RSO Program for emails and updates about the program as it launches.

Certified Green Chapters (Social Fraternities and Sororities)

The Certified Green Chapter Program was officially relaunched on October 1, 2020! This program is run by iSEE and aims to encourage fraternity/sorority chapters to commit to sustainability actions across categories such as transportation, waste and recycling, and utilities.

Different certification rankings (bronze, silver, and gold) are based on the number of elective actions chosen by the chapter members. We recommend using this program as an opportunity to not only reduce your chapter’s carbon footprint, but to also increase member involvement.

Get more information about the Certified Green Chapter Program.

Certified Green Events

The Certified Green Events Program was launched as of November 2020! This program is run by iSEE and aims to encourage all entities at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign to commit to more environmentally conscious choices when planning events.

Event organizers can certify their events by completing any five elective actions among the following categories: transportation, energy use reduction, waste reduction, food and dining, or innovative options.

Get more information about the Certified Green Events Program.

Certified Green Labs

Research is an integral part of the mission of the University of Illinois, and as you’d expect, labs make up a significant portion of the University’s environmental footprint. Launched in 2018, the Certified Green Lab Program provides an opportunity for lab groups to earn recognition for their efforts to reduce their environmental impact.

The credits for the program are flexible enough to fit any research field, and even small steps can lead to large impacts. For labs groups that might not know where to start, iSEE also has hands-on support staff to help you identify immediate opportunities and connect you to resources to tackle more ambitious projects. As part of the inaugural cohort of the Certified Green Lab Program, you’ll be blazing a trail in a new frontier of campus sustainability. Our goal is to have a Student Sustainability Ambassador for every lab on campus.

Get more information about the Certified Green Lab Program.

University & Local Community Programs

Dump and Run

As students move-out at the end of every spring semester, hundreds of volunteers help collect the reusable materials for resale after summer break. Then the weekend before school starts, the University YMCA's staff and volunteers sell the materials at a massive "garage sale" in the Stock Pavillion. The University YMCA is a local non-profit that works with the International Student and Scholar Services department on campus, as well as University Housing.

Dump and Run keeps over 30 tons of used, quality goods out of Champaign-Urbana’s dumpsters and landfills each year. This project reduces litter and consumer waste, saves space in landfills, lowers dumping costs for certified housing and apartments, and provides inexpensive items for purchase in the fall.

Get more information about the Dump and Run.

Eco-Olympics

Eco-Olympics is an energy competition between residence halls on campus. Our goal is to engage, educate, and motivate while having a good time.

Eco Olympics participated in the Campus Conservation Nationals in 2014 and 2015. Currently, Eco Olympics participates in the Big 10 Unplugged competition.

Illini Lights Out

iSEE’s Illini Lights Out (ILO) program demonstrates the immense energy-saving impact of simply turning off the lights when you leave a classroom, lab, or study space. On a few Friday nights each month, volunteers gather to form mini lights-out brigades and tour campus buildings recording how many lights are left on (and shutting off as many as they can, of course). Volunteering takes about an hour and a half, and there are always snacks afterward! Thanks to a grant from the Student Sustainability Committee (SSC), ILO has multiple events you can take part in each semester!

Get more information about Illini Lights Out.

The Bike Project of Urbana-Champaign

The Bike Project is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and a group of volunteers who aim to help each other learn about bikes and expand the biking community in central Illinois, namely Champaign-Urbana. We accept donations of bicycles and bike parts that assist others in repairing, building, and purchasing their bikes.

Get more information about The Bike Project of Urbana-Champaign.

The Student Sustainable Farm

The Student Sustainable Farm (SSF) was founded in 2009 to serve the University of Illinois and local community. The farm is a hands-on learning environment for low-input, environmental and economically sustainable food production. In addition to horticultural skills, student workers develop applied skills in design, engineering, and marketing.

The farm offers tours and workshops on topics relating to organic and sustainable agriculture to all members of the campus and local community. SSF is always looking for student volunteers!

Get more information about The Student Sustainable Farm.

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