Loyola University Chicago Initiatives
At Loyola University Chicago, we're committed to making our habits and on campus lifestyle as sustainable as we can in our urban environment. As important as education and sustainable buildings and grounds are to us, we also know that sustainability must include behavior changes.
The following initiatives highlight some of the steps we've taken to make our behaviors and everyday living on campus, more sustainable:
CUERP is developing a marketable program for the biodiesel produced on campus to help support ongoing operations of the Loyola Biodiesel Program.
The byproduct of making biodiesel is glycerine, and after four semesters work by students, a recipe for BioSoap has been developed and are now sold in the campus bookstores.
Trayfree Dining and More
Loyola's dining service consultant, Aramark's commitment to campus sustainability provides students with fair trade organic coffee, milk from local dairies, and gives their used frier oil to CUERP's biodiesel lab to be converted into biofuel and hand soap for sale in campus bookstores.
In November 2008, Loyola's Simpson Dining Hall piloted a "trayfree" program. With an overwhelming support from students, the pilot gave way to a permanent trayfree program in Simpson. And more recently, the Lake Shore Dining Hall went trayfree in March 2009.
Tray removal reduces food waste by 25% - 30% per person and prevents the use of 1/3 to 1/2 gallon of heated water to clean use for each tray. This save Loyola almost 500 gallons of water annually and keeps polluting cleaning agents out of our water supply.
Think Green and Give
Think Green and Give is a charitable collection event in which gently used, clean clothing and household items, and nonperishable unopened food/toiletries are collected at the end of the academic year when students move out of the residence halls for the summer, keeping usable items out of landfills.
For ten weeks in January through March, Loyola competes with other schools across the country in an event called RecycleMania. The event encourages colleges and universities to reduce waste and increase recycling on campus.
Loyola students significantly contribute to educating others, and shaping sustainability programs and policy at the University.
Here are a few highlights:
- Organized a 350.org event at the Loyola Lake Shore Campus to raise awareness on climate change.
- Student Environmental Alliance, Hillel and Muslim Student Groups conduct the annual Light Bulb Exchange in which incandescent bulbs are exchanged for energy-efficient CFL bulbs.
- Student Bicycle Club oversees the University's Borrow-A-Bike Program
- Over twenty students attended the Power Shift '09 conference in Washington, D.C., a campaign by young people urging for action on climate and energy.
- Graduate students collaborated with Community Relations, CUERP, and Facilities Management and to plant a native garden in Rogers Park, a neighboring community.
- Collaborated with Dining Services to implement a policy to only serve Fair-Trade Organic coffee from a local company at all events and in the dining halls.
- Students meet weekly with Dining Services to expand vegan and vegetarian food options in the dining halls.