Environmentally-conscious campus: SUU’s Sustainability Club

On Thursday, Feb. 17, the Southern Utah University Sustainability Club will be holding a clothing sale from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. This is one of many events being held this semester in an effort to create opportunities for students to educate themselves about how their actions affect the environment.

The club will sell thrifted and donated clothes for low costs to students. Buying gently used clothing rather than new, fast-fashion pieces is one way that club’s president, Rebecca Saunders, says students can reduce waste. 

The Sustainability Club was created in 2018 by SUU students who had a passion for creating a campus that cared about its environmental impact on the world. 

“[Our mission is] education, empowerment and activism,” said Saunders. “Our goal is to educate students on what is happening in [Utah and the world] and to empower them to make small changes.”

These small changes can be really simple, emphasized Saunders. Reducing single-use plastics is the most important thing students can do. 

“The dumpsters are always chock full at the end of the semester, usually with perfectly good stuff,” Saunders said. Students will be able to donate their gently used cleaning and hygiene supplies at an event later this year rather than throwing them away. 

In addition to being mindful when buying plastic products, students can participate in Walk or Wheel Wednesdays once a month. On these days, students pledge not to use their cars to go anywhere, instead opting to become a pedestrian or ride their bikes to campus. 

SUU has made many behind-the-scenes efforts to improve its environmental impact. Saunders says that the university head of facilities, Tiger Funk, has assisted the club with enacting these changes such as installing energy-efficient light bulbs and toilets. Saunders noted that, “There’s a lot going on in the background but there is still a lot to do.” 

Saunders would like the school to work on funneling their green waste from the kitchen to the community garden’s compost bins. The club is also making efforts to advance paper recycling on campus. 

The club has several other events coming up this semester including their annual Bargain Bash on April 19 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. This event allows students to reserve tables to sell and trade items that they may otherwise throw away upon moving out for the summer. This event has become one which students look forward to each spring.

If you want to get involved with the Sustainability Club or attend their events this semester, you can follow their Instagram and message them there for more information. They meet on Tuesdays at 5 p.m. and would love to have people join them in making a difference. 

“Small changes are amazing. It takes a lot of people making small changes to make big changes,” Saunders concluded. “Number one is recognizing that your efforts don’t have to be perfect to make a difference.”


Article by: Lily Brunson


Photos courtesy of the Sustainability Club