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Environmental Summit to Include University Union’s Efforts in Sustainability

February 10, 2012


MACOMB, IL – With the University Union serving as the activity hub for Western Illinois University, it only makes sense that the facility should be in the middle of the University’s sustainability efforts.

As the ninth annual WIU Environmental Summit nears on April 4 in Macomb, presentations are being readied to showcase the Union’s efforts at being environmentally friendly. The WIU-QC summit will be held April 3.

Karen Peitzmeier of the WIU Peace Corps Fellows program is currently the administrative intern at the University Union, studying sustainability issues, including student awareness and participation.

Peitzmeier has been working with Union Director Ann Comerford to find ways to make the facility more sustainable, while including students in the process.

“This has been a nice collaboration,” Comerford said. “Now we’re looking for ways to be able to accept printer cartridges and batteries for recycling.”

Many of the efforts on the Union’s behalf will be highlighted during the summit, including some displays Peitzmeier has researched and implemented.

Programs include:

Pledge Tree: A tree, made of rebar and other recycled metals, will make the rounds of WIU’s residence halls. Students will be able to sign the University’s Sustainability Pledge to be placed on the tree and may add their own recyclable items. The tree's purpose is to introduce the Sustainable WIU Pledge which can be found at: www.wiu.edu/student_services/university_union/sustainability/ or “like” it on Facebook.

The creation of the tree, by WIU art instructor Robert Brownlow and art students, coincides with “Recyclemania,” a national recycling competition WIU the WIU campus community is currently participating in. The Union will be the tree’s final stop and could eventually become its permanent home.


• Booklet on Sustainability: Peitzmeier has created an informative booklet outlining all of the sustainability efforts on campus, particularly in the Union.

Bands on the Plaza: A variety of bands will perform outside the Union on the day of the summit.

Park(ing) Spaces: A unique idea being implemented in New York, students will take over two parking spaces around the union and create usable parks for the day.

• Public Service Announcement Videos:
Students and student organizations will be invited to create “green” videos, which will be shown during the summit and possibly on University Television Cable Channel 3.

The videos will also be created during workshops planned to teach the basics of the iMovie program. The workshops will be held Feb. 17 from 3:30 – 5 p.m. and March 2 from 6 - 7:30 p.m. Both events are in the Donald S. Spencer Student Recreation Center.

For more information on the 2012 Environmental Summit visit http://www.wiu.edu/vpas/sustainability/summit.php.

Posted By: Jodi Pospeschil, University Relations
Phone: (309) 298-1993 * Fax: (309) 298-1606