Restore the Earth: Earth Day – April 22, 2021

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With Earth Day approaching, environmental health concerns are coming to the forefront of many public health conversations.

We’re all familiar with key terms like energy consumption, sustainability, carbon emissions, and pollution. But, what do these mean for college campuses and the health of the students who call them home?

The University of Indianapolis has made great strides over the last five plus years in environmental impact, but still has a way to go.

For example, the university has eliminated plastic straws and it was student advocacy efforts that led to increased recycling opportunities in many campus buildings, but students have commented that recycling is still not available in campus dormitories.

Recycling is just one component of practicing good environmental stewardship though.

With almost 2,500 students living on campus, the environmental practices of students in on-campus housing can make a significant impact on their community. Students can get involved in making campus living more environmentally friendly.

University of Indianapolis Public Health undergraduate curriculum, public health program director, Dr. Heidi Hancher-Rauch, and MPH student, Samantha Mundt, are hosting an Earth Day program to highlight the importance of recognizing environmental health concerns on college campuses.

In the program, students will learn to make changes to their own behaviors – reducing food and trash waste, participating in green transportation alternatives, limiting the use of non-reusable water bottles, engaging with community gardens, remembering to turn lights out and unplug devices, and being conscious of water usage in dorms.

Program attendees will be trained in ways they can advocate for environmental changes on campus to improve policies impacting environmental health. Along with recycling in dorms, other examples include advocating for increased curricula on environmental health & sustainability and adopting cleaner energy sources.

Dr. Rauch also will share information about her experience as a Climate Ambassador through ecoAmerica and the ways students can get more involved in both ecoAmerica and SOPHE.

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Heidi Hancher-Rauch, PhD, CHES®, Professor and Director, University of Indianapolis  

Samantha Mundt, SOPHE Collegiate Champion, 4+1 Public Health student, University of Indianapolis