As a part of Temple’s efforts to advance local weather motion and environmental justice, the Workplace of Sustainability acknowledges college students’ function as changemakers. Enter EcoReps—undergraduate peer educators who promote and lead sustainability initiatives throughout campus. They assist the workplace obtain its objectives by way of programming, outreach, service, analysis and communication across the college and Philadelphia.
This system is open to these of all majors with a ardour for preserving and defending our planet. To hitch, college students first fill out an curiosity stock by way of Owl Join.
There are three ranges of involvement. The primary degree is EcoVolunteer, which incorporates any pupil that’s a part of the Sustainability Owl Join or within the sustainability-associated Dwelling Studying Neighborhood. The second degree is EcoAdvocate, which seeks additional management alternatives and elevated sustainability literacy. EcoLeads, the third tier, apply for and work in paid positions as peer leaders within the workplace, specializing in specific areas of curiosity.
EcoRep initiatives, occasions and experiential studying experiences handle varied sustainability matters together with zero waste, meals programs, company social duty, transportation, and environmental science and engineering, amongst different points. Particular work EcoReps have executed contains founding a student-led, bike-powered natural waste pickup service referred to as Diamond Compost; making a TikTok collection about how one can dwell inexperienced; facilitating a teach-in about native environmental justice points; and coordinating the sustainable move-out program Give + Go Inexperienced in addition to Temple Thrift, along with different actions.
Meet a number of of Temple’s extremely concerned EcoReps to study their particular initiatives and what sustainability means to them.
Commencement yr: 2023
Main/college: Environmental engineering, School of Engineering
Hometown: Souderton, Pa.
Sustainability focus: Innovation and inexperienced residing
Sparked by a ardour for environmentalism in highschool, Juliana Alderfer turned concerned with the Workplace of Sustainability as quickly as she heard about it at Temple. After attending occasions, attending to know these within the workplace and studying extra about its mission, she climbed up the ranks of the EcoRep program. She leads Inexperienced Dwelling, an eight-week interactive problem to dwell extra sustainably, targeted on matters comparable to acutely aware consumption, vitality, meals and water.
Moreover, as president of Temple’s chapter of Engineers With out Borders, Alderfer helped conduct a waste audit of trash and recycling from Temple college students to be taught their waste patterns and decide how one can mitigate single-use plastic overconsumption by way of a Scholar Inexperienced Grant. She’s making a dataset from this audit to current to people who design a lot of the outside infrastructure on campus. Her analysis in an environmental engineering lab has additional fueled her ardour for conservation and advocacy because it has allowed her to search out the science behind coverage.
“The work I’m doing makes me really feel like I’m making a distinction and affecting the bigger system. However what’s most rewarding is assembly individuals who deeply care about these points and are passionately combating for the longer term. It provides me plenty of hope.”
Commencement yr: 2024
Main/college: Provide chain, Fox Faculty of Enterprise
Hometown: Washington, D.C.
Sustainability focus: Company social duty and sustainable enterprise
Since attending an data session from the Workplace of Sustainability throughout her first yr, Dayja Burton has been dedicated to a sustainable way of life. She joined the EcoRep program quickly after that data session, taking an curiosity in sustainable buying. As an EcoLead, Burton has offered on ways in which campus companion Aramark can enhance its providers by providing extra vegan and regionally sourced choices and permitting college students to make use of their very own reusable mugs at Temple eateries.
She has additionally led pupil excursions to Good Purchase Provide, an area house items retailer that sells sustainably made merchandise, and is an advocate for getting and buying sustainably. Her ideas for buying embrace going thrifting, buying glass containers over plastic ones and reusing objects already in your possession as a substitute of shopping for new ones.
“It issues how we deal with the earth and the way we deal with one another. Earth is our solely house. Being sustainable is an efficient option to take heed to the selections we make and be kinder to others as a result of each buy impacts one other individual and the atmosphere.”
Commencement yr: 2023
Main/college: Environmental research, School of Liberal Arts
Hometown: Studying, Pa.
Sustainability focus: Environmental justice and concrete agriculture
For Mason Dofflemyer, an enormous a part of sustainability is folks—particularly, getting them conscious of and enthusiastic about combating for local weather motion. Serious about making others a part of this motion, he first participated within the Service Immersion Program held by Scholar Actions the place he met Senior Sustainability Supervisor Caroline Burkholder, who recruited him to be an EcoRep.
As a part of the Liberal Arts Undergraduate Analysis Awards, Dofflemyer has labored with Affiliate Professor of Geography and City Research Christina Rosan on a white paper and map outlining locations inside and out of doors of the town the place EcoReps have labored on sustainability initiatives. The objective of the analysis challenge is to encourage experiential studying outdoors of the classroom inside each the School of Liberal Arts and the college as an entire in order that college students can collaborate with others on environmental justice points.
One other ardour of Dofflemyer’s is the Temple Neighborhood Backyard. The backyard helps fight meals insecurity and waste by offering free produce to the neighborhood each Friday from 3 p.m. to five p.m.
“It’s actually cool to see change by way of a coalition of scholars enthusiastic about sustainability. We’ve an enormous stake in it. It’s empowering to see how many individuals care.”
Commencement yr: 2024
Main/college: Well being professions, School of Public Well being
Hometown: Bridgewater, NJ
Sustainability focus: Sustainable meals programs/meals waste
Riya Shah knew no matter faculty she selected needed to have a robust sustainability program with pupil involvement, which is what led her to Temple. Even in her first yr throughout COVID-19, she discovered alternatives to become involved within the Workplace of Sustainability by way of digital occasions. Shah then began volunteering at them as a sophomore when in-person courses and actions resumed. She now serves because the sustainable meals programs EcoLead.
On this function, she organizes and develops low-carbon consuming workshops during which she presents plant-based recipes to college students and informs them about how our meals selections have an effect on the local weather, emphasizing the affordability and accessibility of such meals. She has additionally organized journeys to co-ops such because the Kensington Neighborhood Meals Co-op and is an e-board member of the coed membership Sharing Extra, which collects meals from native organizations to donate to shelters and soup kitchens.
“Lots of people don’t take into consideration the meals selections they make or how and why they need to be making selections which can be extra in tune with the atmosphere. Even figuring out I’m altering one individual’s perspective is essentially the most rewarding half.”
Commencement yr: 2023
Main/college: Geography and concrete research, School of Liberal Arts
Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pa.
Sustainability focus: Sustainable transportation and environmental planning
Kelley Simon was launched to EcoReps by way of studying how one can repair a motorbike. From there, Simon participated within the Secondhand Cycle Sale, which collects deserted bikes round campus, opens pop-up bike restore clinics and finally sells the restored bikes at a reduced worth. Moreover, Simon labored on geographic data programs surveys of motorbike parking on campus to find out not solely availability but in addition accessibility, location and capability.
Alongside along with his work in sustainable transportation, Simon carried out a tree stock for Principal Campus to estimate Temple’s progress towards contributing to Philadelphia’s tree cover and the ecological advantages comparable to storm water seize, carbon seize and air pollution removing. He additionally helped develop a sustainable campus map.
“Change must occur from the within out, particularly at an enormous establishment like Temple. Individuals ought to be educated about what’s occurring to our planet. Sustainability is vital to creating a distinction on the earth and preserving it for future generations.”
Hear extra from our EcoReps on Instagram.