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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. If you want to apply for any of the programs listed below, but you doubt your own abilities and think that you will not meet the conditions - don't worry! You can always ask for help from friends or acquaintances who have participated in similar activities, to special services where you can buy article online, or for advice from a teacher/scientific supervisor. The main thing is confidence and concentration.
» Bright Ideas Grant
» "This is Green" Campaign
» Mount Trashmore on Earth Day
» Green Cup Firesides
» "Tu B'Shabbat" at Hillel
» Greening Hillel

Bright Ideas Grant

The Bright Ideas Grant (BIG) encourages student groups to think green when planning their group events and projects. BIG seeks to expand the capacity of groups that creatively and effectively conserve resources, without sacrificing group innovation and event quality. Grants are rewarded based on demonstrated green impact, feasibility, and availability of funding.

BIG was started in the 2008-09 academic year as a means to help other student groups make their events more environmentally friendly. ECO wants to encourage groups to “green” their events, as well as help them through the process. We started BIG spring quarter 2009 with a focus on theatre groups. Three different productions were awarded our first BIGs. These productions received the grant because they demonstrated that they can, and will, make their shows "greener." ECO is looking for groups that are willing to make an effort and join us in making Northwestern more sustainable.

BIG is funded through our cartridge recycling program. Click here for more information on this initiative and keep on recycling your cartridges!

If you are interested in applying for a Bright Ideas Grant and finding out how to make your student group more environmentally friendly, please contact us at!

The application deadline for winter quarter 2010 (spring quarter productions) has been extended to Sunday February 28st, 2010.

Download the application below!

Download File

"This is Green" Campaign"

The "This is GREEN" initiative is a sticker campaign to promote awareness of environmentally smart consumer and lifestyle choices! The term "green" is used to describe actions and items which are environmentally conscious and safe—"greener" items are a step towards a healthier earth!

It's simple—you just take the "This is GREEN" sticker and place it on something you own that could be considered "green." Examples include a water bottle that you reuse, a lamp that uses low-wattage bulbs, the laptop that you keep on energy-save, or the bag that you carry with you when you go grocery shopping!

ECO is committed to spreading understanding and action about "greening" throughout Northwestern. Your participation in the "This is GREEN" initiative is a really exciting way to spread the word on "green" choices, acknowledge your own "green" actions, and explore new ways to be "green"!

Stickers are available at the student staff desk at the NU Fiedler Hillel center, at 629 Foster St., Evanston, IL.

Mount 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.

Greening Hillel

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.

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