In the past few years, Knox has made visible efforts to become more sustainable and instill a sustainable mindset in its students for life on campus and for life after college. Many of these efforts are put forth by Knox Advocates for Recycling and Environmental Support, commonly known on campus as KARES.
- Promoting education and support of environmentally friendly practices at Knox, in Galesburg, and around the world
- Working closely with the Student Senate Sustainability Committee
- Greatly increasing action regarding issues important to the planet. Some of these issues include recycling, pollution reduction, water conservation, power conservation and alternative energy resources
In addition to constantly promoting ways to maintain a sustainable lifestyle, KARES sponsors many events on campus, some of which are the largest campus events each year, such as Earth Week. The club also collaborates with other club events to make other events more environmentally sound.
- Earth Week. Past Earth Week events have included Earth Day, the Green Solutions Expo at which dozens of businesses from the Galesburg area came to educate people on how to be more environmentally-minded, bringing Jack Chernos, a punk-folk banjo player and environmental/political activist, to campus, hosting a green-themed open mic, and all-campus lights out for a few hours of the day
- Movie screenings. KARES has sponsored many movie nights for environmental films, one of the most notable being The Eleventh Hour, which was screened in Kresge Recital Hall
- Workshop. For the last two years, KARES has led an interactive workshop in the annual Knox College Prairie Fire Bioneers event, a weekend conference focused on a broad range of environmental and human rights issues. The KARES workshop themes have included a roundtable discussion about community activism as well as a workshop about bats and how to promote conservation efforts through building bat houses.
Recycling at Knox
One of the most notable influences of KARES on campus is the recycling program at Knox. Working with Facilities Services, KARES has broadened the kinds of materials that can be recycled weekly at Knox, and recycling bins are available in every residence hall room and campus building.
What can be recycled at Knox?
All recyclables should be emptied, rinsed, and free of food debris. All materials are collected together in a single bin.
- Plastics -- Any plastic with recycling codes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7 plastics such as drink bottles, milk jugs, detergent bottles, peant butter jars, yogurt containers, butter tubs, and take-out trays
- Film plastics -- Plastic grocery bags, package wrapping, plastic wrap, Ziploc bags, inflatable shipping material
- Any metal -- Aluminum cans, tin cans, steel cans such as aerosol and shaving cream, scrap metal, kitchen ware, lawn chairs, and bicycle frames
- Cardboard -- Corrugated boxes, paperboard packaging such as cereal boxes, soap, tissues, egg crates, food packaging, and shipping boxes
- Paper -- Mixed office paper, newspapers, magazines, junk mail, envelopes with windows, paper grocery bags, and books
- Glass -- Brown and clear bottles and jars only
Through recycling and overall environmental awareness and action at Knox, KARES hopes to inspire students, faculty, staff, and residents of Galesburg to live more sustainably in order to change the state of the planet. KARES meets weekly in the Human Rights Center and welcomes everyone.