Loras Environmental Action Forum

Loras Wins Award for Campus Sustainability Efforts

By Chloe Dunigan ('26)

In October 2023, Loras College and a coalition in Dubuque were honored at the annual Iowa Recycling and Solid Waste Conference for winning the Innovation and Contribution Award.

The annual Iowa Recycling Excellence Awards recognize individuals, businesses, agencies, and organizations for creating or continuing programs, facilities, or research that advance recycling and promote waste diversion in Iowa. Loras College won this award through the Dubuque College Sustainability Coalition. Loras with the University of Dubuque, Northeast Iowa Community College, Clarke College, Divine Word College, Emmaus Bible College, and Wartburg Theological Seminary have a coalition with the purpose of sharing the best practices, collaborate on sustainability events and programs, and advocate for sustainable campus initiatives.

This past year, one of the coalition’s big initiatives was their Don’t Dump, Donate project. This project asked students on every campus to donate unwanted items they would normally trash. These items include nonperishable foods, clothes, accessories, school supplies, and more. This project could be seen at Loras in full effect last year during move-out season. When looking into Binz Hall last year during the last week of school, a person would have seen overflowing boxes of nonperishable food items, cleaning supplies, mirrors, a generous amount of clothes, a couch, and so much more, all from that one residence hall alone.

This initiative is not the only thing the Loras campus does to contribute to a sustainable environment. Loras also provides many opportunities for students to recycle things throughout the year. These opportunities include things like donating food throughout the year and providing locations for students to recycle old rechargeable batteries on campus. Another opportunity that Loras provides is through the student organization LEAF. LEAF, Loras Environmental Action Forum, works alongside the Loras Sustainability and Solid Waste Education office to educate and boost sustainability resources and efforts on campus.

“LEAF makes sustainability and engaging in nature accessible to everyone on campus. As college students, we’re pretty limited in how we can incorporate eco-friendly activities and practices into our everyday lives, but being in LEAF gives me opportunities.” Shares Kate Cain, a current member of LEAF at Loras

Loras College’s tagline is to learn, serve, and lead. This tagline was made for students not just to make an influence in their jobs but also in their environment. One of the best ways to do that is through sustainability. DUHAWKS are responsible contributors.

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