Thanks to all the amazing student and community leaders who came out to represent their districts at the Illinois Environmental Council’s Lobby Day 2013, Thursday May 2nd in Springfield.
We travelled the halls of the State’s Capitol Building from 8am until 3:30pm, chasing down our state senator’s and representatives; finding their offices, pulling them out of committee meetings, and even talking while walking with them to meetings. Students had the first-hand chance to witness the way environmental laws are made and to influence them in order to protect the environment in Illinois.
Students also got the chance to network with other environmental professionals from groups such as Respiratory Health Association, Usagain, Center for Neighborhood Technology, Faith in Place, Sierra Club Illinois, Environmental Law and Policy Center and more.
Overall an exciting and successful lobby day!
Students (on right) from Students for a Sustainable Future represented Joliet Junior College at Environmental Lobby Day in Springfield May 2nd. They spent the day speaking to their state senators and representatives and lobbying for environmental bills. Thanks for coming out and fighting for the environment in Illinois!
We’ll focus on building the skills, networks and campaigns we need to ensure that the true costs of coal are borne by the industry as we work to create a just and sustainable energy future in America’s Heartland. There will be three different tracks (general, organizing and technical), offering something for all, no matter what your level of knowledge or expertise.
Registration ends at 5pm this Friday (4/26).
Students-don’t miss out on your chance to learn how to change environmental policies in Illinois. Join ISEC for Lobby Day on Thursday May 2nd. We have a limited amount of scholarships available to reimburse students for train travel to Springfield BUT YOU MUST SIGN UP BEFORE 5PM FRIDAY.
Register individually here:
Students, in order to be reimbursed for travel expenses please fill out this form:
Expense Reimbursement Form
Tour the capitol, watch a session in progress, and meet one-on-one with your Representatives and Senators.
Utilize your power to put pressure on our senators and representatives to do the right thing.
Strengthen your speaking skills with those in leadership positions and network with other environmentally active students as well as professionals from the field.
Earth Day 2013 activities have been posted. Check them out in the Events section on the webpage, or click HERE.
Which school is showing Dr. Seuss’ ‘The Lorax’?
Which student organization has a ‘Thrift Shop Fashion Show’ planned?
Which school is hosting ‘EcoJamapalooza’?
Find out about the awesome Earth Day activities organized by college students throughout Illinois.
12 pm – 1:30 pm
At: your computer!
Campus campaigns aren’t only about direct action, in order to successfully pull off a campaign, you must know how to effectively speak to those in leadership positions.
This webinar will teach you skills you can use not only for Lobby Day, but also skills to create change on your campus and in your community.
We will be utilizing Google Hangouts on Air. Video and materials from the webinar will be posted for students not able to attend.
Join ISEC for our annual trip to Springfield to speak with State Legislators about critical environmental issues in Illinois.
We’ll tour the capitol, watch a session in progress, and meet one-on-one with your Representatives and Senators. What better reason is there to take a day away from school than to learn first-hand how environmental laws are made in our state?
Thursday, May 2
*Students arriving May 1 can attend a reception and training that evening. There are blocks of hotel rooms available for you to reserve.
Register individually here:
Students, in order for you to be reimbursed for expenses please fill out this form:
Expense Reimbursement Form
Saturday, March 23, 2013
11:00am until 4:00pm
Respiratory Health Association of Metropolitan Chicago
1440 W. Washington Blvd., Chicago, IL
Students, prepare yourselves to meet and speak with your state representatives at Lobby Day 2013 (Thursday, May 2nd)
- Review the in’s and out’s of lobbying
- Get the scoop on Lobby Day 2013 issues
- Hear from professionals & seasoned lobbyers
- Participate in an interactive lobbying skit
This will be great information for first time lobbyers, as well as an awesome review for those of you who have been to lobby days past. Our last meeting was a smashing success due to the over 40 amazing student activists who attended! The workshop is FREE but you must register in order to receive lunch. Register here.
Power Up! Divest Fossil Fuels: Student Convergence
500 College Avenue, Swarthmore College, Swarthmore PA19081
Feb 22- 24
The 2013 student convergence at Swarthmore College will be an opportunity for students from across the country working for fossil fuel divestment to meet, share skills, and develop strategy for a powerful national movement.
If you want to be involved in convergence organizing/suggest a speaker, please email email@example.com
Title: Stop Funding Climate Change Campaign Kick-off
Location: Harper 140
Link out: Click here
Description: Stop Funding Climate Change, UChicago will be having its campaign kick-off this Thursday, January 17th at 6pm, in Harper 140.
We’ll talk about the philosophy and the strategy behind the campaign and map out a strategy and timeline – we’ve been gathering hundreds of student signatures and want to continue building student support for an endowment that looks out for our future.
Whether you’re ready to contribute your talents, or you’re hearing about us for the first time, come learn how you can contribute to making UChicago a national leader in the fight against climate change.”
Title: Presidents Day Keystone XL action in DC
Location: Washington, D.C.
Link out: Click here
Description: It’s never been clearer that we need bold and immediate climate leadership – that’s why this Presidents Day weekend thousands of activists will head to the White House and tell President Obama to shut down the climate-killing Keystone XL pipeline once and for all.
Something this big has to start early, and it has to start with the people who care the most. Commit to join us in Washington D.C. on February 17th and make Presidents Day the biggest climate demonstration yet: act.350.org/signup/presidentsday/
Title: Climate Crisis Summit in Chicago
Location: Chicago-Kent College of Law 565 West Adams Street, Chicago, Illinois
Link out: Click here
Description: The February 16, 2013, Climate Crisis Summit in Chicago will be a full-day working conference that will provide each participant with insightful briefings about scientific as well as social roots of the problem, PLUS specific take-aways about action approaches and ways to play an active role in enlarging the movement. (See full conference description.)
Start Time: 09:00 am
Wild Things: A Chicago Wilderness Conference for People & Nature
University of Illinois at Chicago
Feb. 2, 2013
Wild Things will feature more than 90 large and small-group sessions drawn from real-life experiences with everything from the nitty gritty of habitat management, botany, and zoology to advocacy, culture, history and backyard and neighborhood ecology. It’s a great opportunity to listen, ask questions, and contribute to the effort to conserve our natural ecosystems and habitats.
Keynote speakers: Doug Tallamy and Joel S. Brown.
Students from Green Cycle Group of Northeastern Illinois University organized a multi-campus panel event on Thursday, November 29th.
The event was sponsored by NEIU’s Green Fee; a mandatory student fee that goes toward renewable energy technologies and improvement of campus energy efficiency at Northeastern Illinois University.
The first session featured NEIU initiatives, including recent energy efficiency measures made on campus by NORESCO, and details on the green building features planned for their new green building at El Centro.
At Northeastern University, retrofits around campus lead to not only energy efficiency, but also help to bring tuition costs down, according to Steven Kowalski of NORESCO. A representative from NEIU facilities used a model to demonstrate the university’s planned El Centro building. The proposed building, which will begin construction as early as next spring, will be an LEED Gold certified building with a photovoltaic array on the roof and a ‘curtain wall’ system to control the amount of sunlight absorbed. It will also serve as an educational tool, with monitors displaying information on water and energy consumption.
During session two, professionals representing four Chicago-area universities spoke on behalf of sustainable initiatives taking place at their respective campuses.
This program, started by students as a class project, continues to be run by students from a range of departments and majors. Their varying backgrounds helps students to creatively collaborate on the array of issues involved in alternative fuels. At the Biodeisel Lab, waste cooking oil from local restaurants and their cafeterias is processed and turned into biodiesel, which Loyola sells to bus companies and uses on on-campus buses. The waste product is also used to make glycerin soap. They are currently working on obtaining a green product seal and replacing all cleaning products on campus.
This self-sustaining, urban environmental project at Loyola project places emphasis on a “Green Economy Cycle”; a closed loop system that utilizes all waste products. Loyola’s Biodiesel Lab relies on student involvement, and is a huge source of research, internships, class projects and volunteering.
The University of Illinois-Chicago is working on building renovations and expanding their geothermal system, which currently supplies three on-campus buildings. In addition, they have a LEED Gold certified building, solar panels, natural lighting, retrofits, insulation, storm water capture landscaping, and automated window shading at on-campus buildings that changes with the temperature level of the room.
The Director of Sustinability at Northwestern Illinois University spoke about the school’s 1 year old sustainability office and its use of Renewable Energy Credits to combat the school’s carbon footprint. Read more about the issue with Renewable Energy Credits here.
Northwestern University’s Sustainability Office, which now has full-time staff supported by student interns, was founded due to student push. Although Northwestern has done its part with energy conservation, they highlighted the fact that energy efficiency is also a behavioral change and spoke about the competition in residential housing known as the Green Cup.
At Bill Mckibben’s Do The Math Tour, which rolled through Chicago November 28th, Bill and the 350.org crew called on Illinois college students to join a campaign that is rapidly gaining momentum across the country; divesting their school from the fossil fuel industry. Bill asked us, “Will you join in the fight to defend our climate future?” Illinois college students say, “YES!”
This campaign will shadow a movement in the 1980s, when divestment campaigns at colleges across the nation played a huge role in liberating South Africa from apartheid. Not only do the campaigns hope to apply direct economic pressure, but they also aim to reveal the immortality of the situation; fossil fuel companies are one of the largest emitters of pollution that has resulted in devastating climate impacts, yet they do not have to pay to dump their waste. Read more about divestment here.
For college students, it doesn’t make sense to have our education subsidized by investments that will ensure that we will not have much of a planet to utilize our degree.
That is why colleges across Illinois have began to launch divestment campaigns at their schools, targeting their school’s endowment profile and asking them to 1.Freeze new fossil fuel investments immediately and 2.Divest fully from the fossil fuel industry within five years.
As McKibben put it, these students are now doing the most important thing they could possibly be doing with their life; fighting for our climate future.
Support Illinois schools working toward divestment here:
School of the Art Institute of Chicago
University of Chicago, UCAN
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Southern Illinois University Carbondale
For more information on how to get started with divestment at your campus, email Kimberly@ilenviro.org and check out gofossilfree.org