Educating our students about sustainability through coursework alone is not enough. That’s why we have focused on making sure the whole student population is able to interact with sustainability principles through actions such as outreach materials and education programs.
Student Educator Programs
One of the greatest ways to encourage lifelong engagement is to give students the tools to pass on their knowledge about sustainability to other students. At Truman State University, one way we do this is through “The Sustainability Learning Living Community through Res Life.” Started in 2010, this program involves giving a motivated Res Life employee additional training in sustainability measures as well as the tools to be able to share that information with their community, designating them a Sustainability Educator. This adds to the growing web of resources available to our students interested in pursuing more information.
During the first two weeks of the fall semester new students are educated about recycling policies within their dorms and are offered free recycling bins by the Student Government. 95% of incoming students are engaged in this process.
Truman State University provides a collection of potential material for students to gain more insight to sustainability initiatives, practices, and education. This website, student led research conferences, bike paths/trails maps, green living guides, and even green dining information all help to create a more enriched learning environment for students by supplementing their everyday activities with sustainable learning initiatives.
- Truman Environmental Campus Organization (ECO): ECO has been a leader in Truman Sustainability efforts, engaging in practices that promote outreach and education, while also focusing on engaging in sustainability projects themselves and continuing to develop their community.
- Student Government Environment Affairs Committee: This committee supports and helps guides sustainability initiatives, practices and education on campus. Additionally, they work to pass sustainability focused bills, like the recently voted upon sustainability fee, which creates a revolving fund for future projects.
- The Communiversity Garden: An organic garden open for student use and a place to host educational events on proper gardening techniques and the importance of sustainability gardening as a whole.
- The University Farm: A 400-acre farm located about a mile away from campus with two greenhouses, an orchard, vineyards, and several garden plots. Students have a variety of opportunities to volunteer at the farm, from summer internship programs to coursework that utilizes the resource for lectures and lab work.
Student Run Sustainable Enterprises
- Kirksville Bike Co-Op: An organization that focuses on educating and providing free bike repairs and services to students and the community at large, to help encourage less commuting via cars. In addition to teaching and helping bikers with technical problems, the Co-Op also sells donated materials and products through a wholesale supplier. Under the guidance of the Department of Health and Exercise Science, the Co-Op generates a small amount of revenue through slight markups on the sale of materials and through donations.
- Bulldog Bio-diesel: Started as an organization of Chemistry students, Bulldog Bio-diesel focuses on producing bio-diesel fuel from the vegetable oil waste created by Truman dining halls and local businesses. They then use this bio-diesel to help power the University farm vehicles.
Sustainability-focused Student Employment
- Truman Recycling: Students needing a scholarship job help to sort through and prepare recycled items for either resale or shipment to recycle centers in Iowa.
- Kirksville Bike Co-Op: Students also needing a scholarship job help to run the Bike Co-Op mentioned above and assist in sales, repairs, and education.
- The Compost Project: Offering institutional, scholarship, and work-study compensation, the compost project enables students to work in dining halls to collect leftovers to take to the University Farm.
Conferences and Speakers
Truman State University has sponsored The Sustainability Lecture Series since 2011, with the goal of bringing in a speaker actively involved with some aspect of the Sustainability movement, either local, national or global, to educate the students about that involvement.
Wilderness and Outdoors Program
Truman hosts TruAdventure, a summer excursion program that enforces Leave No Trace principles, through an online training module and practice during trips that range from Grand Canyon hikes to Boundary Waters canoeing adventures.
Sustainability Life Skills Program
Truman ECO and the Environmental Affairs Committee have teamed up with two off-campus organizations, The Possibility Alliance and The Kirksville Permaculture Education Center, to help further educate students on solid sustainable life choices. These organizations offer tours, volunteer work, and classes for students interested in learning new skills.