Past projects


Portable Event Lighting

REC High Bay LED

Laux Hall LED

"Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story" Film Screening

Reusable Smoothie Cups

Plastic Straw Alternatives

Pre-Consumer Composting 

Sustainability Brochure




Solar Powered Charging Tables

These tables rest just outside of the Student Union during warm seasons. Using energy from the sun, students can pick from a USB port or outlet to charge their devices while studying or eating at the tables. The tables provide a unique outdoor space for students while encouraging them to think critically about sustainable energy sources.

Oktoberfest Cleanup

Every year, Oktoberfest festivities leave the streets of La Crosse filled with many clean up opportunities. This Fall, members of Students for Sustainability along with other clubs and community members were able to use biodegradable garbage bags to help make the campus and surrounding area clean again. 


Bike Lights at Bike Event

Green Fund Water Bottles

Lock it Up: U-Lock Giveaway

In order to increase bike theft awareness on campus, a Geography student (pictured above) held an event where he first, demonstrated how to properly lock a bike, and secondly, handed out free U-locks to students who pledged to ride their bikes more instead of driving. By working with a local bike shop, Bikes Limited, 70 students were able to receive a bike lock. 

Farmers Market Bags

Every Fall, the Farmer's Market takes place right here on campus for students to obtain fresh produce without having to travel anywhere. This Fall, Students for Sustainability paired up with  Wellness and Health Advocacy to decrease the amount of plastic bags being used by giving away a free Farmer's Market tote bag to anyone who spent $10.00 or over. This event increased Farmer's Market awareness and reduced plastic waste. 

Oktoberfest Clean Up

Every year, Oktoberfest festivities leave the streets of La Crosse filled with many clean up opportunities. This Fall, members of Students for Sustainability were able to use biodegradable garbage bags to help make the campus and surrounding area clean again. Over 50 pounds of aluminum cans were recycled, and over 100 pounds of trash were collected! 

Fashion Week Speaker Dr. Anupama Pasricha

Fashion Week was held during the week of October 23-27 and was very successful in raising awareness of sustainability in the fashion industry through many of the events that took place. Through this discussion lead by Dr. Anupama (Chair of the Department of Apparel Merchandising and Design at St. Catherine), students were provided with information regarding how to be responsible shoppers with sustainability in mind. 

"Be it fashion industry or another, fast fashion or sow fashion, sustainability is imperative in today's business model. We need to engage in purposeful business decisions based on shared values."  - Dr. Anupama Pasricha 


Enterprise Carshare Program

REC Addition Solar Panels

This proposal funded the design and installation of a solar photovoltaic (PV) renewable energy system.  The system was integrated into the project to construct a student-approved 38,501 square foot, two-story addition on the southwest corner of the Recreational Eagle Center (REC). The proposed 1,875 square foot system is capable of generating approximately 30,000 watts. This project will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 40,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per year.  Putting this into familiar terms, this is equivalent to annually saving 2,035 gallons of gasoline or recycling 13,000 pounds of trash.

Variable Frequency Drives at The REC

Variable frequency drives (VFD’s) reduce electrical energy consumption by adjusting a motor’s speed to match the required
 load. Many electric motors do not need to run at 100-percent capacity all of the time. VFD’s control motors that power fans and pumps used in heating, ventilation, air conditioning and other systems were motor speeds can vary. Prior to VFD’s, motor speed had only two options: on or off. Variable frequency drives allow us to adjust motor speed to save considerable amounts of energy.

The amount of energy saved with VFD’s depends upon the application of the motor. Consider a 25 horsepower fan motor operating for 24 hours a day. It is unlikely that the fan needs to run at full capacity for the full 24 hours. For example, if the unit runs at full capacity for two hours, 75-percent capacity for eight hours, 67 percent for eight hours and 50 percent for six hours, a VFD would reduce energy use by 32 percent.

During the academic year, the REC is open 18 hours Monday-Friday, 14 hours Saturday and 11 hours on Sunday. During semester breaks, spring break, and summer sessions our hours of operation are much less. In fact, we are closed on every Sunday during the summer and university breaks. The installation of the VFD’s allows us to match the speed of the motors to the needs of the building, which has now saved us significant electrical costs. 

Tower Gardens

The tower gardens are a vertical, aeroponic growing system that enables us to grow fruits, vegetables, and herbs that are not only used in the kitchens of the Student Union but throughout the dining locations on campus. These systems use only 2% of the water of a traditional garden while yielding 30% more produce. Because of the vertical, compact design, they are perfect for small, sunny spaces such as the ones found in The U.  


Earth Week Speaker

Earth Week Film Festival

Solar for Students

Reusable Detergent Bottles

Green Bike Program

Implemented by UWL Outdoor Connection, the Green Bike program recycles and refurbishes old bicycles and rents them out to students for a very low cost. This program promotes better health, reduces CO2 emissions, and keeps bikes out of our landfills! This program was started in 2004 by the Environmental Council (now known as Students for Sustainability). Today, the program has fixed and rented out over 200 bikes and recycled more than 40,000 pounds of metal. To rent a bike or find more information, check out the Green Bike Program website.


Solar for Students

Uhaul Car Share Program

Earth Week Programs

UW-L Campus Community Garden Interns

Resident Life LED Lighting and Water Fountains

Bike Repair Stations

These stations promote alternative transportation by providing both students and community members with a means to properly care for their personal bikes. Amenities include a bike pump, Allen wrench set, and other tools that might be useful when your bike is in need of a quick tune up. 

Shower Timers/Low Flow Shower Heads at the REC

This project saves energy by reducing the flow of water in showers. The low flow shower heads installed in the REC matched the style installed by Residence Life in all campus residence halls. Residence Life sought input from students to assure the chosen shower heads provided a good shower. These shower heads impact our campus' footprint by reducing the amount of salt used for softening hot water, the amount of steam used to heat the water, the consumption of fossil fuels and water consumption from 2.5 gallons per minute to 1.5 gallons per minute. We have seen a reduction of water usage from showers by 40%.



Dumpster Diversion Project

Light Bulb Exchange

Water Bottle Giveaway

Green Cleaning Supplies

REC Automatic Motion Sensor Faucets

REC Drinking Fountains

REC Air Handling Equipment Sensors 

Freshman Water Bottle Giveaway

REC Automatic Hand Dryers

Student Center (The U) LED LIghting


Drinking Fountains

Along with the benefit of convenience, these water bottle filling stations prevent thousands of one-use plastic water bottles from entering landfills every year. Not only are there less plastic bottles in the environment, but this also eliminates the energy expenditure put into making the bottles leading to a positive environmental impact.

LED Lighting

Low Flow Shower Heads


LED Lighting in Whitney Center

ESS Lighting

Hydration Stations

Steam Traps

Recycle Bins in the Sports Complex


Steam Meters

Bike Powered Electricity


Bicycle Powered Concert

Electric Truck

Recycle Bins

LED Lighting


REC Lighting

Low Flow Shower Heads