Student Office of Sustainability informs on upcoming projects

The Blubox Program will be launching in the next few weeks

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Photo by Lisa Snyder

One of the Blubox return machines located in Davies Student Center

The Student Office of Sustainability, also known as SOS, has been working on multiple projects and collaborations this fall semester. Some of these include the new “Blubox Program” launching this fall, as well as a tentative off-campus composting initiative. 

The SOS is one of the nine commissions of the student senate, meeting weekly to discuss the allocation of the Green Fund. The Green Fund is around $185,000 in student segregated fees that comes from a very small portion of each student’s tuition dollars. These funds are then allocated towards sustainability in the campus community. 

Molly Larson, an education intern for SOS, said people can submit proposals to the SOS and they will then, as a commission, decide whether or not to allocate the money. Past work of the SOS includes the solar panels on Mcintyre Library, composting in Davies Student Center, and LED retrofits in residence halls. 

Larson said an exciting project is coming in early November called the Blubox Program, where Davies Center will give out reusable containers made from recycled plastic. 

The way this program will work is individuals will use a token to obtain a reusable food container when dining on campus. After use, the containers are to be returned to a Blubox where a token will be given back. This program will eliminate thousands of plastic containers each year. 

“The tokens are small enough they can fit in your pocket,” Larson said. “They are also going to be giving out token holders that have a keychain, as well as phone pockets.” 

Larson said the department is doing a good job with providing measures for students to keep track of their tokens since if it is lost, a new token must be paid for. 

“While the Green Fund isn’t directly providing support for the Blubox Program, the SOS is providing input, preparation and planning,” Maddie Loeffler, director of SOS, said. 

Loeffler said the Blubox Program has been in the planning stage since this summer and the SOS has been involved since the beginning, providing student perspective. Students, faculty and staff will be able to pick up a token within the next few weeks. 

Aside from the Blubox Program, Loeffler has been working on a collaboration with Earthbound over the past few months. Loeffler said if it is to pass, off-campus students will be able to get composting for their household.

Loeffler said this project is currently tentative as the SOS is waiting to hear back if it is in compliance with the 820 policy. According to Loeffler, the 820 policy has been an issue with SOS as far as allocating where the Green Fund goes because of the requirements for spending student segregated fees. 

“Often I think off-campus students are left out of initiatives like this,” Loeffler said. “We have been trying to get campus-wide composting for years now, but we also want to make sure off-campus students are able to do some of these things as well.”

You can learn more about submitting proposals to the SOS, attending meetings and joining the email list here

Snyder can be reached at [email protected]