UR Welcomes PLAN to Campus

As part of its ongoing commitment to sustainability, the University of Rochester is a new Post-Landfill Action Network (PLAN) member school! This connects anybody with a University of Rochester email address, both students and faculty, with resources to support efforts to reduce waste on campus. Watch a brief video outlining what it means to be a PLAN member school.

What is PLAN?

PLAN is a nonprofit organization that aims to support college students bringing and sustaining the zero waste movement at their school. They work with more than 200 campuses all over the US and Canada.

Students for Zero Waste Conference

A big event that PLAN hosts every year is the Students for Zero Waste Conference. This year, it is in Philadelphia, November 2–3. The conference includes a keynote speech by environmental justice activist Melissa Miles, student-led workshops (one of which is co-hosted by yours truly), trainings, hands-on sessions, panels, and affinity group meetings. Register before October 1 for an early bird discount! As a student of a member school, you also get a $15 discount.

Points of Intervention Tour

Last year, PLAN and its associates visited thirteen schools across the US, including RIT. One of the goals of the tour is to feature the organizations and people who are challenging our current linear consumption economy, showing how they are proposing changes all along the wasteful infrastructure in the hopes of developing a better one.

 

How does PLAN membership benefit Rochester?

PLAN member schools have free access to live leadership trainings, best practice manuals and workshops, advising, nationwide collaboration, discounts with partner companies, and more!

The best practice guides are related to waste audits, free/thrift stores, becoming a plastic-free campus, food recovery and compost, expanded recycling programs, move-in/out programs, zero-waste events, and to-go container programs.

Those who complete seven 90-minute leadership trainings can earn a PLAN leadership certification to add to their resume. These trainings can benefit any student leader on campus, even if they are not involved with a group that’s related to sustainability. There are three core trainings that address team building, working with campus bureaucracy, and helpful tools. There are also specialized trainings, which include topics ranging from meeting facilitation to social media presence. Since trainings take place over video chat with a PLAN representative on a set date, it’s a good idea to sign up for trainings early so you can save the date.

Every PLAN member school is assigned a campus coordinator and ours is Adina Spertus-Melhus. Adina graduated from Swarthmore in 2017, where she helped orchestrate a move-out program and free store. She can be contacted at adina@postlandfill.org.

PLAN has partnered with organizations that do good for the earth and/or its inhabitants, including several B-corps and 1% for the Planet members, to give member campuses discounts to support their zero waste movement. Anybody can use these discounts: individuals, clubs, departments, project groups, etc.

How do students and faculty access these benefits?

Students and faculty can access the “Member Hub” on postlandfill.org by logging in with their UR email address. The first time, an email will be sent to the address provided so you can change your password, but then you’re all set! If you encounter any issues in setting up your account, email adina@postlandfill.org.

How can I get involved with PLAN?

Right now, a major help would be to just spread the word about PLAN and membership benefits. We only joined as a member school at the end of last semester, so the focus is currently getting the word out. You’re also encouraged to utilize the resources that are now available to you through PLAN either for yourself or clubs you’re a part of.

By becoming a PLAN ambassador, you can act as the point of contact between an organization you’re in and Adina, our campus coordinator. Fill out the interest form and we will follow up with you shortly!

You can also attend the Students for Zero Waste Conference or visit the nearest Points of Intervention tour stop in the spring.

If you have any questions, please contact us at urzerowaste@gmail.com.

About the author

Kayla Zilke

I'm a member of the Class of 2021 from Seattle, WA majoring in psychology with a minor in business. I'm involved with quidditch, GreenSpace, EcoReps, intramural sports, and the Students Association of Vegan and Vegetarian Youth. I also have a job as a student administrative assistant in the Clinical and Social Sciences in Psychology department.

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