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Published on May 25th, 2013 | by Andrea Bertoli

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Net Impact lets Students Make Small Steps for Big Wins

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Net Impact’s Inaugural Small Steps, Big Wins Campus Challenge inspires students to take tore than 45,000 actions on 74 Campuses! Since the Challenge launched in October 2012, students collectively took more than 45,000 actions which translated into:

  • 39,258 pounds of CO2 saved by taking public transportation or walking instead of driving
  • 3,064 plastic bags saved from landfills
  • 3,124 volunteer hours logged
  • 1,271 acts of kindness taken

Net Impact is a leading nonprofit that inspires a new generation to work for a sustainable future. They recently announced the results of its first Small Steps, Big Wins Campus Challenge. The Challenge, designed to empower undergraduates to take small steps to create big social and environmental change, drove significant results – including saving more than 64,233 pounds of carbon dioxide.

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Small Steps, Big Wins enables students to complete actions designed to inspire everyday activism. Led by a group of dedicated campus directors, student participants witness the immediate impact they make on their own campuses and communities and can also track how they measure up against students at other universities. Each campus collects points for various actions and logs activity through the Small Steps, Big Wins website. Actions are worth different points depending on factors including difficulty, complexity and outreach components; for example, recycling a can is two points and donating blood is 25 points. Small Steps, Big Wins was made possible through the support of Alcoa Foundation. Additional major support was provided by Microsoft.  During the spring semester, California State University, Chico took first place, recording 110,476 points. Pennsylvania State University followed closely behind, with 74,764 points.

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examples like this help students realize their impact!

“The Small Steps, Big Wins Campus Challenge is a great way to get people thinking about how even the smallest lifestyle changes can make a big difference,” said Jessica Rudnick, campus director at Washington University in St. Louis, which came in seventh place. “Collectively, those small changes add up and create significant positive impact on the environment and in our communities.” Students at the Washington University Net Impact chapter implemented ideas such as “Meatless Mondays” to inspire conversations about the impact of the food we consume. “What’s been really exciting for us is how participants have become catalysts for change among their friends and fellow students,” said Liz Maw, CEO of Net Impact. “Students like Jessica have found incredibly creative ways to get their friends involved and discover that one small step at a time, they can make a big impact.” Check out the cool infographic below to see just how much of a big impact the student can have!

In addition to learning about their collective influence and competing against other schools, participants had the chance to win exciting prizes throughout the Challenge. This year’s prizes included participation in the 2013 Clinton Global Initiative University, Coachella 2013 concert passes and travel and enrollment in Corkscrew’s 28-day Entrepreneur Incubator program.

The next Small Steps, Big Wins Campus Challenge will launch in fall 2013 with a new feature – mobile accessibility, enabling students to check out new actions and report and document their impact with photos from their mobile devices. Interested students and schools should visit www.smallsteps.netimpact.org for more details on how to get involved, one small step at a time.

If you are interested in becoming active on your campus: 

About Net Impact

Net Impact is the leading nonprofit that inspires a new generation to work within and beyond business to tackle the world’s toughest social and environmental problems. We support student and professional leaders to act locally through our vibrant chapter network and connect globally online and through our flagship conference to create a more just and sustainable future. Through our careers, we make a positive net impact that transforms our lives, our organizations, and the world. Learn more on their site: http://www.netimpact.org.

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About the Author

Vegetarian chef, educator, blogger, and yogi based on the gathering isle of Oahu. Follow her foodie adventures at Vibrant Wellness Journal, Vibrant Wellness Education, Green Living Ideas and Green UPGRADER. Find more from Andrea on Facebook, , Instagram and Twitter.



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