Keeping It Green at Oakton

Your source for the most current sustainability news from Oakton Community College

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Celebrating Earth Day from Home

April 22, 2020 marks the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day! The theme of this year’s celebration is Climate Action. Oakton is supporting this theme with a Zoom presentation by Jeff Green from Citizens’ Climate Lobby. Join us on Wednesday, April 22 at 9:30am cst to learn more about the organization and their mission. Their message is twofold: They will begin with a review of the causes and effects of climate change and then move on to a discussion of a piece of legislation they believe is critical to addressing global warming. This is an excellent way for us to all become engaged, even in this period of isolation. Please email for the invitation link if you are interested in participating!

Even though this year’s celebration may look a little different, there are still many ways to celebrate Earth Day! If you are looking for other ways to engage, check out some of these options available to you:

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Grounds for Growing: Reducing Waste and Helping Others

People drink a LOT of coffee. We see our students and employees walking the halls daily with a cup…or three. But have you ever thought about what happens to all of those coffee grounds? It may not seem like a lot as you brew your coffee in small batches or buy it from your favorite coffee shop, but each cup adds up. It is estimated that six million tons of coffee grounds end up in the landfill each year. Coffee grounds are actually pretty nutrient rich and loaded with things like nitrogen, potassium, and phosphate, so it is incredibly wasteful to toss them in the trash.

Wait, don’t those nutrients just end up in the earth anyway after they biodegrade in the landfill?


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UIC Summer Institute on Sustainability & Energy: Applications Due May 30

SISE 2020: Resiliency, July 9-22, 2020


Can we survive climate change catastrophe, and if so, how? Can we sustain our current quality of life? Is that even desirable? Can we do better? Should we focus on sustainability or resiliency? What can we do to find balance and stabilize our world by 2050? Find out more about our 2020 program.

This program is open to students who are interested in studying about our climate crisis, interacting with others from around the world, and engaging in thought-provoking conversations, while brainstorming solutions. It is free for attendees and lodging is provided.

About Resiliency

  • Can we survive climate change catastrophe, and if so, how? 
  • Can we sustain our current quality of life? Is that even desirable? Can we do better? 
  • Should we focus on sustainability or resiliency?
  • What can we do to find balance and stabilize our world by 2050?

In 2020, the Summer Institute on Sustainability and Energy (SISE) considers what it takes to be resilient in the face of climate change. It explores this generation’s greatest questions, the nature of resiliency and sustainability, and future opportunities through the research of local experts. SISE Fellows will engage with a new energy mapping initiative being develop by the American Energy Society and identify best-practices for activists and advocates committed to achieving climate justice by offsetting climate catastrophe.

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2019 Campus Sustainability Month Schedule

We are excited to offer a full slate of programming for Campus Sustainability Month. All of these events are free and open to the public, no rsvp necessary. Please note this calendar is subject to change. These events are brought to you by the Sustainability Center at Oakton, the Environmental Studies Concentration, and special support from the Center for Campus Inclusion and Diversity for Indigenous People’s Day.

Indigenous People’s Day

Join us for a gathering and land acknowledgement, followed by a native plant walk with Oakton alumnus, Gina Roxas. This event is put on in coordination with the CCID.

Monday, October 14

  • 12:00pm gathering, land acknowledgement, and blessing
  • 1:00 pm native plant walk

Des Plaines Campus, meet at the Lee Center outdoor classroom (rain or shine)

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Students!! Attend Citizens’ Climate Lobby Regional Conference (September 20-22 ) for only $20!

Are you interested in learning more about how YOU can make a difference when it comes to policy that fights climate change? Come to the 2019 Citizens’ Climate Lobby Great Lakes Regional Conference to LEARN and NETWORK with like-minded folks. The student fee for registration is only $20! The conference will be held Friday, September 20 to Sunday, September 22 in Notre Dame, Indiana.

Interested? Sign up by September 12.

From their site: CCL builds the political will for our elected representatives to take action on climate change. And with an effective, bipartisan climate bill introduced in Congress right now, that political will is more important than ever!

The Regional Conference is an opportunity for newcomers and longtime CCL members to gather to learn, practice skills, inspire each other, and strategize in moving our country toward climate solutions. The Great Lakes Region – Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin – is large and diverse, but we share common concerns due to the climate impacts already manifesting in our wildlands, cities and farms.

For more information, contact Elizabeth Dell and John Sabin (

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Sustainability Leadership Training, ON-LINE: Gain the Skills to Change the Future, Saturday March 2, 9 AM-5:30 PM

The C2C Fellows Network at the Bard Center for Environmental Policy is a national program for undergraduates and recent graduates aspiring to leadership work in sustainable politics, NGO’s and business. C2C’s intensive, highly interactive, skills-based workshops include young people from across the country. 

Led by Dr. Eban Goodstein, Director of Bard’s Center for Environmental Policy, C2C trainings focus on key leadership skills: vision, courage, developing your network, telling your story, and raising funds.

Graduates of the workshops join a national network with access to continuing educational and professional opportunities, including dedicated scholarships to attend Bard’s Graduate Programs in Sustainability: Masters of Science degrees in Environmental Policy and Climate Science and Policy and the Bard MBA in Sustainability. 

C2C Fellows are leaders whose vision is to make a difference soon. Our mission is to accelerate their life’s work.


  • Registration fee of $30 payable after acceptance to the workshop
  • ON-LINE, Saturday March 2,  9 AM – 5:30 PM EST. 
  • Questions? Please contact Agim Mezreku,

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Citizens’ Climate Lobby: Higher Education Outreach Intern

Are you interested in assisting higher education outreach while getting professional experience? We’re accepting applications for a higher education outreach intern starting in the Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters. 


CCE/CCL’s mission is to create the political will for climate solutions and to empower individuals to have breakthroughs in exercising their personal and political power. CCL is a national non-partisan non-profit with educational programs and lobbying activities (designations of 501 (c-3) for CCE and 501 (c-4) for CCL). The purpose of this position is facilitate the participation of young people in CCL and build support for carbon pricing in higher education.


  • Increase the participation of young people in CCL.
  • Increase support for carbon pricing from higher education.


  • Conduct outreach to higher education on carbon pricing and CCL’s events and opportunities.
  • Help recruit students to the Campus Leaders Program.
  • Assist CCL higher ed allies and volunteers with higher ed outreach.
  • Assist with and attend Campus Leader and Higher Ed Ally monthly calls.
  • Assist with advocacy such as the Higher Education Carbon Pricing Endorsement Initiative.
  • Edit and improve existing training and outreach materials.
  • Help with website, newsletter, and social media outreach.
  • Web research and data entry.
  • Other tasks as needed.
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