Faculty and students are aware that one of Florida Gulf Coast University’s missions is to create a more sustainable environment, but how is it happening? There are multiple environmental clubs and departments on campus, but each has different goals. Students are not aware of any impact being made.
Senior Alex Erlenbach was interested in becoming a part of environmental initiatives since his freshman year. He had no idea where to start until his friend Tyler Offerman walked into one of his classes and spoke about environmental sustainability. Since then, Erlenbach has founded ECOFGCU. It is an environmental coalition where environmentally-oriented organization leaders coordinate events and ideas. It does not only increase the visibility of these organizations on campus but unifies their presence.
This January marks the one-year anniversary since the coalition started, and now it is accessible on Canvas. Links to the Canvas page can be found through FGCU. edu or Facebook browser by simply typing ECOFGCU. All students are welcome to join the collaboration of ideas and follow the current initiatives.
“If any student is interested in anything with environmentalism and FGCU then they can benefit by joining the coalition, coming to events, and making a difference to make this school a better place,” Erlenbach said. Even students who are not a part of the environmental organizations on campus find benefit from ECOFGCU.
Sophomore Laura Jones is an environmentalist. She recycles and conserves water and electricity whenever possible. But between juggling work and school, she cannot find time to make it to club meetings. She was ecstatic when she heard about ECOFGCU on Canvas.
“It is so convenient! Now I can follow the goals and initiatives of the coalition and try to apply them to my everyday life,” Jones said. On ECOFGCU’s Canvas page, one can discover the current initiatives being worked on.
Discussion boards have been created for students to input their ideas. Some goals are simple: to compost food and water, replace lightbulbs with fluorescents and use reusable water bottles.
Other initiates are going to require more time and money. Some of goals ECOFGCU hopes to eventually accomplish are the abolishment of receipts and plastic bags, installation of solar panels on golf carts and the creation of a living wall (covered in vegetation) on the parking garage.