Recent expansion in the number and reach of environmental student groups has inspired the formation of the Princeton Environmental Network (PEN). Organized by the Office of Sustainability since 2006, PEN strives to coordinate across the broad span of environmental topics addressed by Princeton's student leaders and groups to effect lasting change on the Princeton campus.
Goals & Progress
- Goal: Encourage peer-to-peer collaboration to achieve campuswide student initiatives in sustainability.
- Since 2006 the Office of Sustainability has coordinated biweekly PEN meetings for all leaders of environmental- and sustainability-focused student clubs and organizations. Cross-club collaborations fostered by PEN include:
- Representing more than 1,000 Princeton students, groups currently active in PEN include:
- Garden Project
- Greening Princeton
- Greening Princeton Farmers Market
- Princeton Environmental Action
- Student Environmental Communications Network
- Students United for a Responsible Global Environment
- U-Bikes and CycLab bike co-op
- Undergraduate Student Government Sustainability Working Group
- Graduate Student Government sustainability representatives
- Princeton Sustainability Committee undergraduate and graduate student representatives
- Engineers Without Borders
- Energy Corps
- Goal: Foster student-run residential college initiatives in sustainability.
Progress: The recruitment and engagement of undergraduate student ambassadors for recycling and resource conservation in the residential colleges has thrived under the direction of the Office of Sustainability, with continued partnership with Building Services and the student-based Princeton Environmental Network. There are now 25 Eco-Reps, compared to 14 in 2009 and six in 2008.
- Goal: Encourage diverse student-generated sustainability services, outreach and events, and maintain a dedicated calendar for those activities.
- In collaboration with the Alumni Association and Building Services, the Eco-Reps focused recycling efforts at the fifth and 25th Reunion headquarters in 2010, and enhanced recycling efforts at the P-rade with twice as many recycling receptacles as in previous years (see photo in sidebar of Waste Reduction section).
- During spring 2010, the Eco-Reps launched a pilot residential education program (REP) on sustainability in Rockefeller College with the support of college administrators to educate freshmen. The sustainability REP is now offered on the list of optional programs for all residential colleges in both fall and spring semesters, and should help improve the recruitment of Eco-Reps.
- Students collaborating through the PEN group launched the third annual Earth Week Extravaganza in 2010, complete with a Green Fashion Competition (see sidebar photo and video), and organized campus events around 350 Day (International Day of Climate Action) and 10/10/10 (Global Work Party for Climate Solutions).
- Since 2009 the U-Bikes and CycLab co-op programs have organized and/or participated in numerous events, including the Greening Princeton Farmers Market, Sunday CycLab Workshops, the annual campus bicycle safety event and more.
- Greening Princeton hosted a 5k fundraising run for the local Stonybrook-Millstone Watershed Association.
- WaterWatch hosted a number of community cleanups in local streams.
- EnergyCorps, in partnership with NJPIRG, conducted a number of in-home energy audits for local community members.
- The Princeton Garden Project created and is maintaining a new garden near the Frist Campus Center's South Patio to provide fresh herbs for the center's daily food offerings. This effort is a collaboration between Frist, Dining Services, Grounds and Building Maintenance, and the Office of Sustainability.
- Formalize PEN representation on the Princeton Sustainability Committee, in partnership with the Undergraduate Student Government.
- Update the Guide to Living Green at Princeton.
- Offer student-led Campus Green Tours.
- Investigate the feasibility of transitioning from a CFL bulb exchange program to an LED bulb exchange program.
- Improve the visibility of PEN initiatives on campus.
- Encourage the reduction of food waste on campus through student-led pledges and events.
- Increase student involvement in global/national climate change and sustainability campaigns.
- Engage students as Sustainability Ambassador trainers in collaboration with the Office of Sustainability.
- Expand the "Drink Local" educational campaign across campus.
- Expand community outreach activities, such as student involvement in the biennial campuswide Sustainability Open House.