Eco Reps

Leaders By Example

March 7, 2014
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Eco-Reps provide opportunities for the WPI community to actualize a sustainable campus

Liz Tomaszewski first brought the Eco-Rep concept to WPI in 2010 after witnessing similar work being done at Clark University, and seeing how the initiative could bring more student activity to achieving a sustainable campus here. Soon it expanded beyond the student body.

“I thought that we might get more students at WPI interested in sustainability if we developed a student Eco-Rep program where students could teach their peers.” Tomaszewski says. “We launched the student program and almost instantly the staff said they wanted to be Eco-Reps, too. So we expanded it to staff.

Tomaszewski is the sustainability coordinator and facilities systems manager at WPI. She has been involved in widespread efforts toward achieving a more sustainable campus—as well as the Worcester community as a whole—through efforts such as Recyclemania. She is a member of the Worcester City Manager’s Advisory Committee on the Status of Women, and a 2007 recipient of the Denise Nicoletti Trustees’ Award for Service to Community.

Without the resources to help the campaign flourish, the program nearly fizzled out, but in 2012 a partnership with GreenerU helped resurrect the campus-wide movement.

GreenerU is an organization that “partners with colleges and their students to solve the campus sustainability and energy management challenges of today and tomorrow.” GreenerU’s Rob Durning is running a project involving WPI’s Bill Grudzinski and Elizabeth Stepien to improve the Gateway Park facilities, making them more energy saving, sustainable, and cost efficient.

With Eco-Reps, Tomaszewski hopes to usher in change by making resources available by which each individual might contribute on a daily basis to a more sustainable lifestyle.

I thought that we might get more students at WPI interested in sustainability if we developed a student Eco-Rep program

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