The beginning of the year is a time for trying new things. Lots of interest meetings are available, obligations from the previous year melt away, and the time is perfect for exploring your options. If you want to make environmental sustainability a part of your year, why not try going to a student organization that focuses mainly on sustainable issues? There are tons of student orgs that deal with the environment, but here are some of the few we work with most often.
SPEAK (Students Promoting Environmental Action in Knoxville)
SPEAK works to increase awareness of and seek creative solutions to local, regional, and national environmental issues. In the spirit of thinking globally and acting locally, they aim to build a community of leaders who act on stewardship and sustainability. They are heavily involved in advocacy and awareness initiatives. SPEAK meets every Monday in Dunford Hall room 2326 at 8:00 PM. For more information, visit their VolLink page.
EcoVols is a peer-to-peer environmental education program within the residence halls aimed at reducing energy and water usage, reducing waste and increasing recycling, and promoting other sustainable living habits. They also aim to be a reliable source of information about important environmental issues. Their activities include residence hall assessments, the annual POWER Challenge, UT Recycling events, RecycleMania, Earth Month events, and other miscellaneous programs the EcoVols create throughout the year. The EcoVols meet every Wednesday at 8:00 PM in HSS 203. For more information, visit their VolLink page or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Food Recovery Network
The Food Recovery Network is a national organization that unites students at colleges and universities to fight food waste and hunger by recovering surplus perishable food from their campuses and surrounding communities that would otherwise go to waste and donating it to people in need. At the University of Tennessee, FRN’s aim is to eliminate as much food waste as possible from sporting events, dining halls, campus convenience stores, and other dining locations. Currently, UT composts nearly all of its food waste, which releases large amounts of methane gas, which is far more harmful than carbon dioxide–Not to mention this food could potentially feed one of the nearly 250,000 people in East Tennessee that access emergency food supplies. All recovered food goes directly to Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee, which helps feed 18 surrounding counties. The Food Recovery Network is also an advocate for the students of UT in areas of sustainability, campus dining, and local food insecurity issues. For more information, visit their VolLink page or email them at email@example.com.
Project V.E.G.G.I.E. (Vols Educating about Growing Gardens and Inspiring Environmentalism)
Project V.E.G.G.I.E. is one of the newest and most ambitious student organizations on the University of Tennessee Knoxville campus. Project V.E.G.G.I.E., which stands for Vols Educating about Growing Gardens and Inspiring Environmentalism, is a mission to give UT students the opportunity to cultivate their gardening skills, save money by growing their own food, and educate students about the advantages of working with nature and its devices. Members of Project V.E.G.G.I.E. learn how to manage a garden (if they don’t already know how), gain experience in growing fruits, vegetables, flowers, and more, have access to free fresh and natural fruits, vegetables, and flowers, build long-lasting friendships with people who have similar interests, and are a part of UT’s first ever main campus community garden! Project V.E.G.G.I.E also works in conjunction with many other UT organizations that have similar initiatives and the Student Government Association in order to provide members with affiliated opportunities and information. Additionally, Project V.E.G.G.I.E. works with a UT professor to supply garden workday service hours for students who are required to complete specified hours for class credit. Not only can students learn to view soil, food, and gardening from a different perspective, but they can also be involved in a sustainable methodology for living. For more information, visit their VolLink page or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.