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A man gets a cup of water from the tap on June 13, 2019.

Illinois State University is a campus that I was completely unaware was a tad eco-friendly. I had no idea all the places and organizations I could join that make an effort to help save our planet.

Many of these organizations are overshadowed by other larger groups and I feel that many students are just unaware of all the opportunities that are actually present on this campus.

On campus, there is the Office of Sustainability that is basically dedicated to the environment. This office is found all the way over on School Street, seen with a giant mural on it.

Before this semester, I did not know about this office, yet it has been a part of campus since 2014. Recently, I interviewed Kendall Harris, a senior political science major. Harris is part of an internship program through the office and I was able to find out a little bit more on what she has done and what the office has provided to her.

Through College Democrats on campus, Harris was opened up to this opportunity and found out more on the internship program they have.

Through this program, Harris is able to obtain credit for some of her political science classes while also learning more about the environment every time she goes, which is twice a week. This program is one that allows her to get the chance to learn more about recycling with hands on experience and see things like landfills close by us and how much they affect our planet.

When asked what her favorite part of this internship was, Harris states, “A lot of the learning experiences! I have learned a lot more about what can be recycled and now people can look up to me on where everything actually goes and how to produce less waste.”

Besides just the Office of Sustainability, there are many programs and registered student organizations that have a focus on helping the planet. SEAC, Green Energy Team, Renewable Energy Society, and the Student Sustainability Committee are just a few.

For more information, click here.

Why is it important to get involved with the environment anyways? Well, Harris gives a wonderful answer to just that question. “A lot of times the easiest way to make change is on the inside," Harris says. "Learning the root of everything is the first step”

So next time you are walking around Festival ISU or on your way to your classes, think more about picking up pamphlets for eco-friendly orgs on campus or just contributing anyway you can to helping the earth.

Harris says the tap water is delicious. So go on and use your renewable water bottles and make a difference.

AUGUST MUNOZ is a Blogger for The Vidette. She can be contacted at amuno14@ilstu.edu. Follow her on Twitter at @munoz_august

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