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Earth Day: Get Involved

Get Started

Want to help but don't know where to get started?  Visit these websites that give lots of volunteering ideas and groups that are already working to save the environment!

  • 7 Volunteering Ideas to Help the Environment -- Planting trees, hosting a clean-up, and growing a community garden are a few of the ideas you can find in this article.
  • 12 Ways You Can Protect the Environment -- From consuming less to upcycling, this article is full of practical ideas.  It expands on the 3 "R's" of recycling, by adding "rot" (composting) and "refuse" (items you don't really need).   
  • 35 Environmental Organizations & Nonprofits For a Sustainable Future -- One way to help realize a more sustainable future is to support environmental nonprofits, such as Sierra Club, Greenpeace, and Fashion Revolution. [Note: It is always a good idea to research companies before making any kind of donation.]
  • 50 Earth Day Activities & Ideas -- Lists ideas of things you can in your home, at school, at work, and in your community.
  • Bright Action App -- This website is being utilized to support the new Campus Climate Action Plan. It provides hundreds of action plans which support sustainability, and lets you track completed activities that help reduce your carbon footprint.
  • Campus Ecochallenge -- Join Viterbo's team in earning points as they turn intention into action.  The website gives you lots of suggestions for supporting sustainability, allowing participants to set their own goals of actions they will take, and then tracking and sharing progress toward those goals.   
  • Practice Sustainability During a Pandemic -- While the pandemic has complicated sustainability efforts, there are still ways to practice good stewardship.  For example, if your grocery store has banned reusable bags, have the items placed directly in the cart at checkout and bag them yourself (in a reusable bag) after your exit the store. 

Lifecycle of Plastics

On Campus

Walk, Bike, or Bus

Walk or bike to class.  Viterbo even has a bike rental program -- and students can rent for free!  To get around town, walk, bike, take an Uber, or better yet, ride the bus -- the La Crosse bus system is free for students!

Invest in a Good Water Bottle

Bring a reusable water bottle or mug to refill rather than purchasing plastic bottles.  The majority of plastic bottles are not recycled, which means they end up in landfills, taking at least 450 years to decompose!

Cooling Your Room

Instead of running the air conditioner, utilize fresh air and fans whenever possible.  Did you know you shouldn't leave fans running in closed rooms when you’re not there? Fans themselves don’t actually cool a room -- they just cool the bodies inside the room by moving the air.  [I love my USB desk fan! -- Jodi]

Brushing Your Teeth

Turning off the water while brushing your teeth can save up to 4 gallons of water.  If that doesn't seem like much, try carrying 4 gallons of water around!  

Laundry Time

About 90 percent of the energy used for washing clothes is spent on heating the water. So unless you're washing towels, undergarments, or heavily stained clothes, washing in cold or warm water is best.  Make sure you're doing full loads, but not overfilling, clean out the lint trap each time you use the dryer, and use environmentally-friendly detergents and softeners.  Bonus:  Here are 45 things to do with dryer sheets!

Computers & Electronics

Should you turn your computer off at night or leave it on?  Because recommendations are based on things such as time spent using it and the age of the computer, there is not a "one-size-fits-all" answer.  However, there are other ways you can conserve electricity when it comes to your electronics.  For example, unplug chargers when not in use, adjust the sleep mode settings on your computers, and unplug electronics and power strips when leaving over the weekend or breaks.

Bring the Outside In

Not only can indoor plants can make your room look and feel more homey, they can help purify the air, boost productivity and mood, and help you sleep better. Some recommendations for dorm room plants include succulents, aloe vera, lucky bamboo, and money plant.  Learn more about these and other low-maintenance plants, along with tips on taking care of them at 10 Best Plants for Your Dorm Room

Get Involved

Did you know Viterbo has a Student Sustainability Club?  It is composed of students who are passionate about the environment, and who help plan activities that promote sustainability on campus. Examples of activities are farmers markets, plant sales, tree planting, planting rain gardens, and building bee houses.  

Volunteer Opportunities

Are you interested in volunteer work related to conservation?  There are many opportunities to get involved in the La Crosse area.  Here are just a few: