ECO, Addressing All Aspects of Sustainability
In addition to our recycling and grant programs, ECO conducts programming and promotes environmental sustainability year-round in many different ways.
Do you have an idea for a sustainability project we should do? Submit it at the bottom of the page! We'd love to have your help. :)
Mt. Trashmore on Earth Day
ECO is a member of Northwestern's Sustainability Working Group (SWaG), which every year organizes an Earth Day event known as Mt. Trashmore. ECO partners with the Engineers for a Sustainable World (ESW) and Students for Ecological and Environmental Development (SEED) to build and publicize a large pile of trash by Sheridan Road that represents the amount of trash generated in 6 hours on campus.
Green Cup Firesides
ECO pioneered the Green Cup fireside chats that are now a joint effort among all three student environmental groups. These firesides are given before and during the Green Cup dorm competition. Presenters learn with students in their own dorms about how students can win the Green Cup by engaging in more environmentally sustainable practices that use less electricity and water.
"Tu B'Shabbat" at Hillel
Each year, ECO holds a fun evening for Northwestern students in honor of Tu B'Shvat, the Jewish arbor day. This is one of the highest-attended events held in the Hillel building. The evening includes environmentally-themed divrei Torah during Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox services, a short talk at dinner, and a speaker after dinner. The meal itself is vegetarian, using fewer resources to produce, and is served with reusable plates, silverware, and cups.
ECO believes that promoting a sustainable world begins with changing one's own practices. That is why we are constantly adjusting the Hillel building at 629 Foster St. While the building is already fitted with fluorescent lightbulbs, we are currently implementing a building-wide timed lighting system to turn off all lights when the building is empty, including nights during Shabbat and holidays. Another important change was the implementation of reusable vinyl tablecloths, which replaced disposable plastic tablecloths which were thrown out after each use. The new tablecloths are beautiful and easy to clean. ECO has also purchased plants to beautify the dining room, as well as offsetting some carbon generated in the building.