April 2022

First Annual WSU Sustainability Awards EventA man holding a plaque and a woman standing next to him smiling.

The Energy & Sustainability Office and the Sustainability Practices and Research Center are hosting the first ever WSU Sustainability Awards on April 21, the day before Earth Day. This by-invitation-only event will highlight university-wide sustainability accomplishments that were completed throughout the 2021-2022 academic year and celebrate students, staff, and faculty who are making every day Earth Day.

The awards for this year include: Top 3 WSU Sustainable Clubs volunteers, Water Warrior of the year, Clear the Air Challenge champions, Faculty & Student Research Awards, Green Certified Green Teams, Top 3 Green Teams, and Green Badge earners.  Faculty contributing to sustainability education on campus will also be recognized.

Compost and Plant Propagation WorkshopsTwo students standing over a bucket of dirt on a table.

On March 31st, the Garden Club hosted its most loved workshop; the Composting Workshop.  Students, staff, and faculty signed up to learn how to compost at home and construct their own worm-tea home-composting kits. 

Over 60 buckets, 2000 worms, mounds of shredded paper and cardboard were some of the basic items prepared for the workshop.  Participants of the workshop learned what to put into their worm-tea composing bins, as well as the importance of cutting back on food waste at home. 

On April 7th, the Garden Club and Botany Club is teaming up to host a Plant Propagation Workshop to teach people how to propagate their own plants and help the botany department prepare for their Spring Plant Sale. As temperatures warm up, the Community Garden is also planting seeds to donate young plants, and preparing to grow fruits and vegetables that will be donated to local shelters. Contact gardenclub@weber.edu if you are interested in participating, or have questions of your own.

Zero Waste Coordinator Wins the Ivory PrizePresident Brad Mortenson standing next to winner Kaila Lemons. >

WSU student Kaila Lemons, Zero Waste Coordinator and Food Recovery Network President, in the Energy & Sustainability Office (ESO), was awarded the Ivory Prize by the Center for Community Engaged Learning for her work reducing campus waste and help alleviating hunger and food insecurity in our community.

While working in the ESO, Kaila served as the leader of WSU’s Zero Waste Committee and played a key role in helping WSU reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills. Kaila drafted WSU’s first Zero Waste Education and Outreach Plan and worked collaboratively with WSU’s custodians, landscapers, and various building managers to reduce contamination in WSU’s recycling stream. She hosted waste-reducing events like the Bicycle Fix-it Workshop and the Free Swap where 541 pounds of secondhand items found new homes. Additionally, Kaila, and Cayden Quayle, the ESO’s Community Garden Coordinator, launched the new Wildcats Go Zero Waste program which recycled over 152 pounds of plastic waste at the games this year.

As Food Recovery Network President, Kaila worked with the Ogden community to ensure that excess and unwanted food on campus was delivered to the Weber Cares Pantry or the Lantern House rather than dumped in the garbage. Kaila has also partnered with the Weber Cares Pantry to organize food and kitchenware drives. She also served with the people from Dining Services and Weber Cares Pantry on WSU’s Food Sustainability Committee to help draft and implement WSU’s first Food Sustainability and Security Plan. Thanks to Kaila’s work, nearly 2,000 pounds of food were provided to those in need this past academic year. We are so proud to have her as a member of our team. Congratulations Kaila!

Ogden to Ghana Spring Break Service TripA group of people in front of a building holding a Weber flag.

The Weber State University Global Community Engaged Learning “Global Agents of Change” program traveled to Ghana over Spring Break with 55 students, faculty and staff. The group has partnered with Ghana Make a Difference since 2019 to design a school for children who are being rescued from slave and sex trafficking.

The group started the school by using local materials to make over 3000 bricks, that will require no mortar, to construct the school and onsite foster care space for children who are unable to be reconnected with their families. Interior Design students implemented noise reduction design solutions to dampen noise pollution using local fabrics, that also beautified the existing classrooms in an abandoned chicken coup and inside the concrete dining hall. A fresh coat of paint on the gate, construction of shelving, and organization of all books in the library based on grade level added to the success of the trip. Rainwater collection on the main building using a gutter and downspout system will allow irrigation of the soccer field and on-site gardens.

Savings from making the estimated 30,000 bricks needed is allowing 8 locals to be retained for the next 12-18 months to complete the construction of the school and foster housing. (Group photo taken by Dr. Aaron Atkins.)

Green Teams ProgressA display of some Green Team merchandise and swag.

Each month, new departments join the Green Department Program and Green Teams work to advance their level and earn more points. Departments continue to prove their commitment to a green and sustainable university by adopting sustainable office habits. There are four certification levels (Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Green) and they are achieved based on the amount of points earned.

This month, congratulations go to the “Provost Office” for leveling up to a Gold certification, “Upward Bound” for leveling up to Silver, and “Development” and “Institutional Assessment” for leveling up to Bronze! We also want to welcome and congratulate “Care About Children” for joining the program and forming a new Green Team.

If you would like to learn more about joining a Green Team or advancing your certification, you can check out our  or contact Analeah Vaughn at AnaleahVaughn@weber.edu.

Upcoming Events

April 7
Plant Propagation Workshop
2:00 – 3:00 p.m. Tracy Hall 348

April 8
Water planning in Utah
Water Future of the Intermountain West Series
12:30 – 1:20 p.m. via Zoom

April 15
Local water planning policy panel discussion
Water Future of the Intermountain West Series
12:30 – 1:20 p.m. via Zoom

April 16
Faith & Hope as the Climate Changes
7:00 p.m. LDS Dome Chapel or virtually

April 19
WSU Earth Day Celebration
Tree Planting Event
12:00 – 3:30 p.m. outside Lind Lecture Hall

April 22 - Earth Day
Water-related policy summaries
Intermountain West Seminar Series
12:30 – 1:20 p.m. via Zoom

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