UIndy Sustainability Club works to promote sustainable choices

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Graphic by Jazlyn Gomez

After finishing their soda, a student drops their bottle on the ground, cap and all. This cap won’t rot on the ground of campus, however. The Sustainability Club at the University of Indianapolis has plans to transform this waste into something new. According to junior environmental science and environmental sustainability major and President of the Sustainability Club Hannah Clere, the Sustainability Club aims to get the student body involved with making sustainable choices.

“We hope and we strive to make community outreach part of our mission, which has been difficult in this past year and honestly the year before that,” Clere said. “Our membership’s been very low, so that’s been an issue with people getting involved but that is what we strive to do.”

Clere said that the club is always looking for more people to join. One way the Sustainability Club has been spreading word about their group is by working with other Registered Student Organizations (RSO), such as UIndy Circle K International, Clere said. She said one of her favorite events the club has had in the past year was when they hosted a volunteer day at the Carson Heights Community Garden, where UIndy Circle K International was also in attendance.

“… We got a lot of people to come out and it was a lot of fun,” Clere said. “People got their hands dirty in the gardens, it was great. I think that helped to get the word out there a little bit more about Sustainability Club.”

Second year graduate student in business management and Sustainability Club Treasurer Pooja Thakkar says the club wants to foster and inspire others. She said that one of her daughters is her role model, as she is a youth activist.

“… Because if she can do it at the age of 6-year[s]-old, then at the age of 40-year[s]-old I can definitely follow her footsteps,” Thakkar said. “… Everybody has somebody in their life they’re always looking for or they’re always getting motivated indirectly or directly…”

Thakkar said that one of her favorite projects she’s worked on was planting trees. She said she helped plant nine trees around campus. She said she is also a tree tender for the organization Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, and has planted more than 100 trees in the Indianapolis area. 

Another project the Sustainability Club has been working on is collecting caps and lids, Clere said. According to Clere, there are collection bins in the Schwitzer Student Center and each residence hall. Once these caps are collected, the caps and lids will be recycled and turned into a bench, Clere said. 

“We haven’t gone through the process of trying to get permission through the university to put it anywhere yet so we don’t know if it’s going be on campus actually, but probably, if we don’t do that, we will put it in one of the gardens that are right off campus…,” Clere said. 

According to Clere, the Sustainability Club will be at the Earth Day Palooza event on April 22, along with other RSOs, such as UIndy Circle K International, Glamour Gals and Food Recovery Network. At this event, Clere said that the club will be speaking on waste in the fashion industry due to the event being themed around clothing. 

“The point is that there are a lot of things that are gonna be taught … at this event and that’s kind of the whole idea of what we want to do for the university is give students an opportunity and an outlet to practice sustainable living and that’s just the core of it,” Clere said. 

According to Thakkar, the club meets every other Wednesday at 9 p.m.. Clere said they meet online in a post on the UIndy App. 

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