Plastics Free Initiative Website GCI Contribution
- What is the Green Campus Initiative?
- Green Campus Initiative (GCI) is an Honors College organization dedicated to making Florida International University (FIU), and the greater state of Florida, more sustainable. Currently, GCI has been focused on the regulation of single-use plastics as they believe the time is now. At the university level, GCI works closely with faculty to implement sustainable initiatives related to reducing plastic waste. To accomplish their local and state-level goals, GCI works to expand their off-campus collaborations.
- More and more countries, states, and cities have been implementing legislation regulating single-use plastics and Florida is falling behind. That is why GCI wants FIU to be a leader in this issue and convince the State of Florida to take action.
- The Green Campus is divided into five committees to help achieve their ambitious goals. These committees include Science & Research, Legislation, Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Social Media, and Outreach.
- Plastics If You Ask
- The Plastics If You Ask Initiative is the first step along a strategic pathway towards a plastic-free campus. Since Fall 2022, most FIU food vendors are trained to only provide plastic straws, cup lids, and bags upon request. With your support, FIU can become the first major university in South Florida to eliminate unnecessary plastics.
- The “Gen: Climate Aware” podcast, run by the Entrepreneurship & Innovation committee is the Green Campus’ latest education initiative. It not only engages with the student body, but the community at large. Generation: Climate Aware aims to deliver an easy-going and informative podcast to listeners once a month. Listen to various topics, such as what constitutes activism, the intersectionality between computer science and environmentalism, and much more. Find this podcast on Spotify and Anchor as Generation Climate Aware.
- GCI and the FIU Panther Community
- The Green Campus Initiative holds student engagement at a high priority. Through events, GCI is currently providing students with the opportunity to learn about single-use plastics.
- In Spring 2022, GCI hosted FIU’s Sustainability Fair, bringing together twelve student organizations to creatively engage the FIU community on the concept of “Zero Waste.” Each student club brought their own unique interests to the event, providing students with memorable and educational activities they could apply to their personal lives. Whether it was by participating in a clothing swap, Furoshiki (traditional Japanese wrapping, alternatives to plastic bags), recycle bin toss games, or demonstrations of engineering ways to reduce water waste, students were able to simultaneously learn and enjoy ways to be more sustainable
- Through collaborations like these, GCI continues to embrace the opportunity to work with other students and organizations outside of FIU to bring awareness to reducing the consumption of single-use plastics on and off campus.
- Research that is Making a Difference
- The Green Campus Initiative completed an eight-month research project on the economic, ecological, and health consequences of single-use plastics in Florida. This report was presented to the Miami-Dade Delegation, inspiring the drafting of plastic regulation bills by two of its members. This research has also been cited in the November 2021 “Update of the FDEP 2010 Retail Bags Report” conducted by researchers at the University of Florida. During the 2022 Legislative Session, GCI members travelled to Tallahassee, Florida to meet with senators and representatives one-on-one and emphasize the importance in supporting legislation focused on plastic reduction. In the days leading up to this trip, GCI members Amanda Di Perna and Taina Adam also had the opportunity to be featured in an interview with Channel 10’s Louis Aguirre
- Here you can find a 5-minute video presentation of the Green Campus Initiative’s research, along with the full report.