The Post Action Landfill Network (PLAN) helps college students across the country by providing resources, educational courses and leadership training. USD students have access to all of these trainings at the website postlandfill.org by using a USD e-mail.
“PLAN empowers our generation to be changemakers. We really put our belief in students for this zero-waste movement; that’s the biggest part of what we exist to do,” Yu-Shien, Co-Director of Atlas Zero Waste Strategy at PLAN, said.
PLAN was created by New Hampshire college students in 2013 who noticed there was a need for someone to coordinate a donation program for things students threw out at the end of each semester, such as lamps, desks and TVs, Yu-Shien said. Other campuses expressed a need for such a program. Eventually, upon graduation, the founding students turned the program into a national non-profit organization.
Now PLAN is affiliated with over a hundred universities, including USD, Yu-Shien said.
Anna Moore, USD Campus Recycling Coordinator, helped get USD connected with PLAN and the resources PLAN has to offer.
“Part of the mission of PLAN is to help campuses move beyond waste along with supporting student leadership,” Moore said. “They’re all about helping teach students leadership and organizational skills that are necessary to create change on campus.”
Currently, there is a Plastic Free Action Camp PLAN is hosting, which will educate students about plastic and its harmful effects on the environment. This month-long course will advise students on how to create a successful campaign to reduce plastic on campus.
“One course that I’m encouraging students to attend along with the Action camp is the Break Free From Plastic Summit on March 6,” Moore said. “This will be an event for students all across the country who have interest in the topic to brainstorm and design a campaign for their campus with the help of PLAN staff who will be there to coach.”
Moore is planning to host a roundtable discussion with other sustainability leaders, including the president of the Environmental Law Society Berkley Fierro, president of the Environmental Club Holly Black and president of the United Nations Association Breana Spinler, after the March 6 summit.
“Student interest can help us decide what to focus on. If we see what students are most motivated to work on and change, that’s where we should put our attention,” Moore said. “What I have noticed is a lot of students are concerned about single-use plastics. I think that reducing our reliance on single-use plastic is one of the most feasible changes that we could make.”
Along with the action camp and the summit, USD will also be participating in the Race to Zero Waste, a competition between universities, including SDSU, to see who can recycle the most by weight.
“I am looking forward to the momentum around waste reduction and single-use plastic reduction building this semester,” Moore said.
There are all different kinds of upcoming events PLAN is hosting available to all USD students. For more information go to Postlandfill.org