UNMC will join campuses across Omaha and nationwide in celebrating Campus Sustainability Month this October. Hosting Campus Sustainability Month is a nice juxtaposition to Earth Month events in April, and the month often serves as a catalyst for student involvement on campus.
Academic campuses are essential drivers to the environmental movement. In large part, colleges and universities’ interests in sustainability stem from student interests; UNESCO reports that 91% of students agree that their higher education institution should actively pursue and promote sustainable development. Academic institutions pursuing environmental sustainability and climate change resiliency often partner with their local communities, which has positive effects on not just the campus, but the residents, municipalities and land surrounding the institution as well.
Campus Sustainability Month will look different this year as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Last week, we celebrated by planting a tree as part of the Free Trees for Fall Planting grant. You can get involved by participating in the other activities we have planned for this month:
- People’s EcoChallenge: You can join the med center’s team that will compete in the People’s EcoChallenge, a month-long virtual challenge (Oct. 6-Oct 27) where participants pledge and then record a variety of sustainable activities. Friends and family are welcome.
- Virtual Roundtable Event: On Oct. 25 from 6-7 p.m., join us for a roundtable with guest speakers from Keep Omaha Beautiful, Metro Transit, Exist Green and UNMC’s Water, Climate and Health Program. Our guests will cover recycling, public transportation, zero waste living, and climate change and health. Each speaker will present for less than 10 minutes, and there will be an opportunity for Q&A at the end. There might even be an opportunity to win giveaways. Click here to register for the Zoom event. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
This morning while driving to campus, I noticed the demolition of the bank across Saddle Creek and Farnam was creating an incredible amount of air pollution. Is there a plan to mitigate such pollution in the future given the amount of construction (and the former use of some of the sites) we are venturing into?