Hannah Lundquist-

UW–Stout so far has a good reputation as being a ‘green’ campus. We have water bottle fill stations to eliminate plastic waste, bike shelters and repair stations to promote alternative travel, public transit, rideshare and many other projects to improve our carbon footprint.

In recent years, we’ve seen the whole town of Menomonie make considerable efforts to reduce waste and clean up. Last year there was a project announced to begin cleaning the Red Cedar River, which will in turn help the lake by reducing the level of phosphorus. This project is more of a long-term goal to be done over the next ten years. On campus, and with fairly immediate results, there are a few big projects coming up.


A newly announced project that Stout is taking part in will affect the Merle M. Price Commons. The plan will take $66,000 of money from the Green Fee, which comes from segregated fees, in order to install solar panels on the rooftops of the commons. The project will take about two months to complete after the architects make a plan for the project. This project will hopefully be completed sometime early next year.

In addition to the new solar project, last year Stout also participated in the National Day of Action. This was done with Seize the Grid, which is another project that aims to make campuses across the country eco-friendly. In this case, the campaign focused on the use of renewable resources instead of using so many nonrenewable resources. Last year, Seize the Grid’s goal was to limit the use of coal burning for processes on campus and switch to solar power. The installation of the solar panels for the Price Commons is a huge step for Stout’s steps in becoming eco-friendly.

Seize the Grid uses Facebook as a platform to communicate with Stout students, and it is important to bring ideas forward so that huge changes like these can be made. Stout is getting closer and closer to being completely ‘green,’ but there is still much work to do.

For more information or to get involved, students can visit Seize the Grid’s Facebook page.

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