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New Eco-Rep program brings on student ambassadors to help with campus sustainability

Photo courtesy Kira Schwarz

Boise State’s new sustainability program, Eco-Reps, has students coming together to make an impact on the campus’s sustainability efforts. 

Kat Davis, the sustainability coordinator at Boise State, sees this as an opportunity for students passionate about the environment to gain leadership experience.

“[This program is] an opportunity for highly motivated and driven, passionate students to gain leadership skills and tools to make a change around sustainability in the community,” Davis said.

The Eco-Rep program, according to Campus Sustainability, is a way for students to develop projects focused on improving the environmental footprint of Boise State’s student body. Working in small groups, Eco-Reps creates new programs and campaigns to improve sustainability efforts on campus, as well as engaging students in better sustainability practices. 

So far this semester, the program has been focused on inspiring the Eco-Reps to find creative solutions for sustainability issues on and around campus. By bringing in speakers and meeting in small groups, the Eco-Reps have begun formulating ideas to employ in the future. 

By visualizing change that is taking place in the Boise community, the Eco-Reps can translate these ideas into campus.

“With anything in sustainability or making a change, in general, you have to leverage the connections, the network and the support of the people who are like-minded and equally motivated and passionate. So, even if people have different ideas they are going to be working together to make this change,” Davis said. 

[Photo of a recycling symbol on a phone being held over a reusable produce bag]
Photo courtesy Kira Schwarz

The program is focused on bringing students together to make a change. 

Emily Her is one of the students who has helped bring the Eco-Reps program to life. Her,  a senior global studies major with an emphasis in sustainability,serves as the Eco-Reps program coordinator.

According to Davis, this program is something Her is very passionate about. Her helped  develop how the program would work at Boise State and put together a team of motivated peers to get the process started. 

The hope for the Eco-Reps is getting students involved in bettering their campus and community, according to Her. 

“We’ve always wanted to branch out and give students the opportunity to get involved with our department,” Her said. 

With sustainability, there are three ‘pillars’ or areas that can be focused on, including the economic, social, and environment. Eco-Reps will work in all three areas, but currently are focused on providing solutions towards social sustainability. 

Her looks forward to working with other student organizations on campus. 

“I know there is some interest in doing projects on reducing food insecurity on campus and working with campus partners like ASBSU, and the food pantry,” Her said. 

There are several other projects the Eco-Reps are interested in promoting that include renewable energy,alternative transportation and promoting plant-based food. 

Any student that is interested can become an Eco-Rep. 

Grace Kohler, a junior anthropology major, is one of Boise State’s first Eco-Reps.  Kohler appreciates the ability this program has given her to create change. 

“The Eco-Rep program is an amazing opportunity to be able to take my passion for environmentalism and for creating positive change in the world,” Kohler said.

Kohler spoke highly about the opportunity the program has given her to meet like-minded people who are seeking change with the same passion she is. As Davis suggested, one of the most important goals of the project is to take advantage of every connection made.    

Any student interested in becoming an Eco-Rep can apply on the Boise State Campus Sustainability page.

To get involved with sustainability programs on campus, Davis encourages joining sustainability efforts on campus.  

“We are always looking for student leaders who are excited to help make these types of programs happen. They require student leaders,” Davis said.

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