Category Archives: sustainability

UW-Whitewater Earth Initiative

Are you a student, faculty member or someone interested in sustainability who is curious about what actions Whitewater is taking to better our Earth? Or, perhaps you don’t know the first thing about sustainability.  In any case, what you may not know is that sustainable efforts are happening all around you.

The UW-Whitewater Earth Initiative is a student-led group, on campus, with two main objectives. First,  is to promote awareness of the sustainable efforts going on around you, and also to engage you to live more sustainably.

Earth Initiative plans events on campus that aim to inform as well as to entertain. An example from last year was the recyclable fashion show. Recyclables were collected from around campus and were brought to the Hyland Atrium. Attendees formed groups and used their creativity to design and create their own outfit purely out of recyclables. Judges decided the winners and awesome prizes were given out!

This year, Earth Initiative is planning to improve their outreach on campus. Planning events in each of the Colleges on campus and partnering with other organizations. If your organization is interested in partnering with UW-Whitewater’s Earth Initiative feel free to reach out to us via Facebook, at Sustainability at UW-Whitewater.

The Whitewater Earth Initiative also encourages you to be more sustainable!  One way you can go about doing this is to help us out by volunteering.  We offer an exciting volunteer opportunity restoring Whitewater’s prairies. If you would like to participate, meet at 10am Friday mornings by the Prairie Info Kiosk behind the Wells Towers. It’s a fun, and relaxing, opportunity to help maintain our prairies for future generations.


-Rachel Mader


Earth Initiative

Take Back The Tap

Take Back The Tap is  a national campaign designed to spread awareness of the harmful effects of bottled water on the environment, as well as to reduce the use of bottled water in general.  The program is ran through Food and Water Watch, a nonprofit that works to ensure that our consumables are healthy and safe. Take Back The Tap works to let people know that tap water is a more sustainable alternative to bottled water. Tap water is  proven to be safe, healthy, and of course cheap.  In fact, bottled water oftentimes simply comes from a tap!


Although it is a national campaign, Take Back The Tap has only recently come to UW-Whitewater.  SAGE Vice President, Cam Barker, is currently leading the campaign here on campus.  This Monday, September 16th, a group of motivated people with a passion for sustainability met and talked about goals for the program, and how the group will accomplish them.

Last year on campus, for example, over 18,000 disposable plastic water bottles were sold on campus.  That’s not even including vending machines, or special events!  The goal for UW-Whitewater Take Back The Tap is to reduce that number this year to only 10,000 water bottles, and eventually to ban the sale of bottled water on campus completely.   Currently, a vending contract prevents the ban of bottled water sales until at least 2016, but Take Back The Tap is actively working to make sure that when the contract expires the new contract allows for the ban.  They hope to accomplish this by building support from students and faculty alike.

Currently, they already have support from Deans of several of the different Colleges on campus, and they hope to gain support from all of them in the near future.  However, student support is likely what will really make the difference.

Another goal they are pushing for is the installation of water bottle filling stations on campus that encourage the use of reusable water bottles.  Currently, these filling stations are present in each of the residence halls, as well as several other buildings around campus.  Take Back The Tap is trying to encourage the University to install them in more buildings, including high traffic areas like the Center of the Arts.

If this is a cause you support, keep an eye out for Take Back The Tap on campus.  They believe that they can only accomplish the change that they hope for if they develop an obvious and visible following from the student body.  If you would like to know more, feel free to visit their Facebook page to take a look at their future events, and learn when you can come pledge to stop using bottled water.


UW-Whitewater Take Back The Tap on Facebook-


-David Zindler


UW-Whitewater Earth Initiative


Sustainability full color image





UW-W Earth Initiative Has Been Busy Planning Events!

While creating events and programming to actively engage students is an important aspect of the UW-W Earth Initiative, it is also important to educate individuals about the main purpose and components of our Sustainability Campaign. In order to accomplish this, we have created a sustainability video to increase awareness about this campus and community wide campaign.

Key ideas highlighted within this video include the explanation of the UW-W Earth Initiative brand name and the campaign slogan, “Social. Sensible. Sustainable.”

Please watch this video to learn more about this campaign and see how you can increase sustainable practices in your daily lives:


Thank you for joining the Conservation Conversation, until next time…



Sustainability Coordinator

Hello UW-Whitewater Community!

My name is Wesley Enterline and I am the first Sustainability Coordinator for our campus.  I have been a UW-W student for seven years total and for the last two years as the part-time Sustainability Coordinator.  I am pleased to announce that the Sustainability Coordinator position has been established as a full-time, permanent position!  I look forward to continuing my work with the campus to advance our sustainability goals!  Check back to this blog regularly to get articles pertinent to campus sustainability.

Please visit the UW-Whitewater Sustainability site for more information on sustainability in academics, operations and individual involvement and participation.    You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date with sustainability developments on campus.  We also want to hear from you!  Visit our Sustainability Wiki to add your information on sustainability efforts or research and sign up for our Sustainability Listserv by sending the subscription command for  Finally, you can contact me via email at or call my office at 472-6709 to discuss anything directly!