The course is organized into three units: each unit has a focus topic. Throughout the semester, Eco-Reps explore topics related to sustainability including: energy, consumption, waste and recycling, industrial agriculture and food systems, greenwashing, current events in sustainability, and much more! Eco-Reps learn about these topics through dialogue with one another that is informed by weekly course readings.
One unit is four weeks long. Three weeks are devoted to reading and dialogue while the fourth week is an interaction week when Eco-Reps get involved with a campus event or project and interact with their peers. Past projects include a Trash Sort, Campus Sustainability Day, an alternate recyclables contest, an E-Waste collection, etc.
Eco-Reps also create educational material, brainstorm and talk about behavioral changes, and go on different field trips throughout the semester. It's an all-exclusive way to start getting involved with sustainability at UMass!
What sets the Eco-Rep program apart from a traditional academic course is that it is facilitated entirely by students and places a strong emphasis on peer to peer learning. This is built on the strong belief that “Human beings create, refine, and share knowledge through conversation”.