Knox is located in a small city surrounded by prairie and farmland, at the center of the country's freight rail system. We're rooted here and deeply sensitive to the ways in which the human and natural worlds interact.
Here are some ways we nurture our culture of sustainability:
- Knox students established the Student Sustainability Fund in 2008 as a student-run and student-driven funding source for campus sustainability projects. Administered by the Student Senate's Sustainability Committee and drawn from student activity fees, any student can request funds for a project that will directly increase the sustainability of the Knox College campus.
- Knox College's Green Oaks Biological Field Station encompasses 700 acres (283 hectares) of forest, grassland, and aquatic habitat. Formerly scarred by strip mines, this is the second oldest tall grass prairie in the nation. This site also hosts the Green Oaks term - an immersive, residential program living and learning at Green Oaks.
- Sustainability is also integrated into academics at Knox. These courses span a diverse array of departments and programs exploring sustainability issues, while many Knox professors and students are involved in research relating to sustainability.
- Students find hands-on involvement in sustainability initiatives by living in EcoHouse, joining a student organization such as KARES, Garden Club, or Bee Club, and working for the Office of Sustainability on these ongoing programs.
- The President's Council on Sustainability is tasked with nurturing this culture of sustainability at Knox. The group addresses campus sustainability on a large scale by reviewing, recommending, and promoting sustainable initiatives. Comprised of a core group of faculty, staff, and student liaisons, the weekly meetings are open to anyone in the Knox Community to attend and participate in the conversation.
Here are the results of some of Knox's sustainability programming:
- A sharing economy is embraced by Knox College, through the short and long-term Bike Share programs that support a fleet of almost 100 bikes, the Knox College Share Shop with weekly hours for donations and "shopping", a car share program with two on-campus parking spots, and a campus ride-share board.
- For the past three years, 100 percent of the campus electricity consumption can be attributed to renewable energy sources. The college shows its support of renewable energy by participating in a Renewable Energy Credit (REC) program.
- All levels of the food system are addressed at Knox from growing over 2 tons of food a year for the Hard Knox Cafe in the student-run Knox Farm, purchasing local and healthy foods by dining services, compost collection in the Gizmo, the Hard Knox Cafe, and across campus, and an active chapter of the Food Recovery Network.
- The "There is No Away" campaign during campus move out collects items that would otherwise end up in the landfill. In 2015, over 7 tons of donations, including clothing, household items, food, and personal care products, were distributed to local charities, shelters, and used to stock the Knox College Share Shop.
- The annual EquiKnox series hosts renowned speakers who present on a wide range of topics. Recent visitors include Dr. Tyrone Hayes, Dr. Beverly Wright, and Winona LaDuke.