Growing with the UWRF Green Team
March 23, 2022
The Green Team, a student organization at UW-River Falls, is organizing several events over the next few months to promote sustainability on and off campus. The Green Team conducts events, individual statements, and educational activities to advance sustainability. These include campus cleanups, crafting events, and sustainability film screenings.
Julia Miller, a sustainability intern and director of the Green Team, said, “Since sustainability is such a big word for this year, we are trying to focus more on what students can do to make their daily lives a little bit more sustainable.”
One way to accomplish this is through education, which is where the film screenings come in. The Green Team hosts one screening each month; the last featured a documentary called The True Cost, which focuses on the impact of fashion on people and the planet. The Green Team partners with the Office of Sustainability to make these screenings possible.
Another way the Green Team supports sustainability is through their crafting events. “We've upcycled t-shirts into reusable bags,” Miller said. “And we really like partnering with other student organizations, particularly the Bee Clubs, to make beeswax wrap and things like that.”
Most recently, the Green Team’s film screening on March 23 featured the film Right to Farm, which explores the harm caused by factory farms in the United States. More information can be found on the Green Team’s student organization page.
As for upcoming events, The Green Team hopes to hold another crafting event in the near future: a “trash ‘n show,” which is a fashion show that showcases recycled clothing. “People would be encouraged to make their own clothing out of trash or recycled materials, old clothing, stuff like that to show the impact that different ways of thinking about clothing can help the planet,” Miller said. “I really hope we get to do it this semester.”
The organization will also be partnering with Earth Fest 2022, which will take place on April 24 at Glen Park in River Falls. Earth Fest will feature live music, a sustainability fair, a poetry reading, and more. The Green Team will be running a clothes swap, where visitors will be able to exchange one article of clothing for another. The team wants to promote reusing clothing, “so all these clothes don't end up in the landfill,” Miller said.
Every Friday up until Earth Day on April 5, the Green Team will be collaborating with other student organizations, including the Art Therapy Club, to host Earth Day events, which will include community art projects among other things. “That will be a really big collaborative collage,” Millers said of these Friday events.
Finally, the team will be holding a “don’t throw it, donate it” event at the end of the semester, where they will set up collection bins at the residence halls so people can donate any items they would otherwise throw away.
As for the state of sustainability on campus, Miller said, “I think what would be really helpful is having more permanent staff members and more positions for the Office of Sustainability. There are a bunch of student representatives, including myself. But a couple of students working scattered hours throughout the week can't make as big an impact as a full-time employee.” Miller also mentioned the recent sustainability survey, and said, “With the recent sustainability survey, that will help us manage our sustainability goals.”