The University of New Orleans is a member of the Keep Louisiana Beautiful inaugural class of university affiliates that recently completed the organization’s certification program for student environmental stewardship.
Keep Louisiana Beautiful (KLB) is a nonprofit focused on community improvement through litter prevention, environmental education and beautification.
“Partnering with Keep Louisiana Beautiful in the inaugural university affiliate program has provided UNO with a network of sister institutions who can share resources. We can work together to engage our students in environmental stewardship and sustainability practices,” said Carol Lunn, assistant vice president for research and economic development.
“The certification process introduced us to the impressive library of tools and programs offered by Keep Louisiana Beautiful. In one year, they walked us through a litter audit, waste audit and hosting a Love the Boot Challenge.”
UNO has environmentally-focused research centers and professors who teach students about green infrastructure and other environmentally sustainable practices, Lunn said.
“Those best practices should be showcased in our operating and maintenance practices,” Lunn said. “UNO’s campus can serve as a living lab for teaching and research opportunities that provide experiential learning opportunities for our students. Making our campus more environmentally sustainable makes good business sense when projects focus on operations and maintenance to reduce cost, beautify the campus and improve health.”
The KLB university affiliate program, engaging college students in environmental stewardship and sustainability practices, is now the largest and most successful program of its kind in the U.S., according to KLB officials.
California has the only other collegiate program, with two universities participating.
“We couldn’t be more impressed with our first class of university affiliates,” said Cabell Mouton, affiliate and grant director for KLB. “Our goal was to onboard three universities our first year, and the fact that we have seven speaks to the energy and dedication universities are directing toward sustainability, waste reduction, and litter prevention.”
Other members of the first graduating class include Grambling State University, LSU, Nicholls State University, Tulane University, University of Louisiana at Lafayette and Xavier University.
“Working with the team at Keep Louisiana Beautiful and learning about all the progress for environmental stewardship across Louisiana has been an uplifting experience,” Lunn said. “I look forward to an exciting second year!”