MADISON, Wis. — Thanks to a new fund made possible by the Office of Sustainability, students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison will see a greener campus in the near future.

With UW front-of-house initiatives targeting dining halls, sustainability is already incorporated into many students’ daily routines by way of recycled to-go boxes and eco-friendly trash. The campus’ new Green Fund will target back-of-house dining hall projects, posting signs and placards that designate which foods are eligible for compost.

The effort is driven students within the sustainability community who wanted to see more.

“We met with the Chancellor, we met with the Office of Sustainability and other administration and faculty to pitch the idea of $50,000 worth of a green fund through the university,” Associated Students of Madison’s sustainability chair Jonny Vannucci said. “This fund really opens up the possibility to change infrastructure and change facilities on campus.”

When ASM managed the funds, efforts were centered on events and outreach. Now, the funds will help implement student-led projects.

“This fund helps students directs some of those dollars and helps them identify some of those things that students may see as people living in residence halls, as people that are doing research on energy that can really bring new fresh ideas to this sort of movement on campus,” Ian Aley, a graduate student studying Urban and Regional Planning, said.

Student interns in the Office of Sustainability have also turned to other UW system schools to brainstorm long-term project ideas.

“The biggest project that I would like to see get done is very much like UW-Oshkosh, I would like UW-Madison to have a biodigester,” A.J. Minucci said.

Vannucci’s vision for the fund is to have it be self-sustaining. The money saved by projects will go directly towards funding future ideas.

 

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