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UCapture offers dorm competition to help environment

| Tuesday, December 4, 2018

For students who are looking for an easy way to help the environment, UCapture offers a way to do just that while shopping online. The free greentech platform has enlisted campus ambassador and junior Brielle Jaglowski to further its goals and has partnered with GreeND to offer a dorm competition for the month of December.

According to the organization’s website, UCapture is a startup that offsets carbon when users shop online. Jaglowski said users can sign up online and then get an email with a link to download a browser extension. Then, whenever the users shop online at one of UCapture’s over 5,000 retail partners such as Target, American Eagle and Groupon, part of the proceeds go to environmental projects ranging from reforestation projects to methane capture projects.

“Once you have it, you literally don’t have to do any work,” Jaglowski said. “It just automatically activates itself.”

Jaglowski said users get an email after they complete a transaction with the number of pounds of carbon they helped offset and the exact location of the project.

“There’s also coupon codes at checkout so you can save some money while saving the planet,” she said.

UCapture is partnering with GreeND to launch a competition in which the dorm with the most students to sign up by the end of the month will receive Rise and Roll donuts. Before the competition started last week, Jaglowski said there were 100 Notre Dame students signed up. Now, there are over 200.

Jaglowski first heard about UCapture from a friend who goes to University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA).

“I went on [UCapture] and saw that Notre Dame didn’t have a program and there’s a lot of other schools like University of Michigan and UCLA and Arizona State and all these other schools that had a program, so I just made a page for it,” she said. “The person that actually founded UCapture emailed me and got me in touch about it and asked if I wanted to spread it around campus. … I’m super passionate about it.”

Before the dorm competition started, Jaglowski said she spread the word by visiting classes, talking to people about the program and asking them to sign up.

Now that the dorm competition has started, Jaglowski has used other means of promotion.

“I emailed my own dorm and put out table tents and posters and emailed all the sustainability commissioners so that they can tell people in their dorm to sign up,” she said.

Jaglowski said the platform is continuing to expand.

“They keep coming out with new, cool developments,” she said. ”It’s still forming but it’s getting bigger and bigger.”

Jaglowski said she wants to get as many people signed up as possible. As an environmental science major and a sustainability minor who also enjoys the outdoors, Jaglowski said she is passionate about helping the environment.

“Anything I can do to help the planet and kind of mitigate the negative effects of climate change and human development, I just like to make a better difference in the world rather than polluting it and harming it more,” she said.

For others who may not be as passionate about the environment, Jaglowski said they are still able to participate in the program because it is easy.

“This is a cool way and people are really excited about it because it’s free and doesn’t require any work on their part, which is always good for environmental programs,” she said.

So far, Jaglowski said she has seen a broad range of people signing up for the platform, across all majors.

“It’s cool how it reaches and is applicable to everyone,” she said.

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About Alexandra Muck

Alexandra Muck is a Notre Dame senior majoring in business and economics. Originally from Dallas, she currently lives in Howard Hall.

Contact Alexandra