Sustainability Efforts on Eureka’s Campus


The United States makes up about 5% of the world’s population, yet we create 40% of the world’s waste. The average American produces up to 1,600 pounds of waste each year. The average college student creates about 640 pounds of waste, this includes about 500 disposable cups and an estimated 320 pounds of paper! You may think nothing can be done to stop this wave, but many at Eureka College beg to differ.

Eureka College started its effort to create sustainability back in 2017. Dr. Katy Everett of the Division of Science of Mathematics here at Eureka College is also in charge of the sustainability efforts here on campus. Everett, the only head of sustainability in Eureka history, has helped expand courses and create new courses on campus to help spread awareness. EVS260 Intro Sustainability and EVS170 Horticulture for Health and Wellbeing are offered to help students create an understanding of how important sustainability is for our future. 

So far Dr. Everett and others have implemented the change from regular normal light bulbs to LED bulbs, these bulbs can be up to 67 times more efficient than regular ones and contain no mercury. They have also installed low-flow appliances like touchless faucets, toilets, and urinals. By replacing one regular toilet with a low-flow toilet it can save up to 13,000 gallons of water every year. The roof of the Cerf Center, in the past few years, has installed some solar panels. These panels can decrease the chances of us humans contracting pollution-related illnesses like asthma and lung cancer. 

In recent weeks the Burgoo started to offer a new option when grabbing a beverage. They now are going to only offer paper cups that are made out of 100% recycled goods. A sight for sore eyes as many were using the unpleasant plastic cup that had been offered before. A domino effect as many students were starting to advocate for change on campus! 

Eureka College student David Hill is an advocate of sustainability and a former student of Dr. Everett’s class. David owns Elgin Vintage, a small business focused on reducing waste by purchasing used clothes and reselling them to the public. “I have always been one to reduce, reuse, recycle anything that I could”. Said Hill. “My goal is to actively keep creating change in the hope others will join the cause” This is just one of many students on campus that are engaging in efforts to create change. Do your research, you never know how far a little can go.