In activities, practice what you preach

Kelly Copeland

Most people who know me are aware I strongly support the green movement that has recently hit our country. I am very conscientious about turning off lights when I don’t need them, using canvas bags to go shopping, buying food with little packaging and recycling what I can.

There are groups around the nation trying to get everyone to think green, and our campus is no different with the presence of the student club Greenfield. I wholeheartedly support the group and its efforts to encourage students, faculty, staff and the larger community to be aware. I receive all of the
e-mails pertaining to the club and its activities, and I am impressed by the amount of work the students involved do on campus. I even joined in for a short while on April 18 in the Conservation Walk to kick off the week-long Campus Climate Challenge.

My only problem is this: Several of the club’s methods of promoting conservation and recycling are hypocritical.

I am sure most students on campus heard about the free light bulbs the club gave away to students a few weeks ago. The light bulbs are supposed to last longer and be more energy-efficient, which is great. However, there were two small problems with the execution of the giveaway.

The fliers were printed on non-recyclable brightly colored paper. As far as I know, every student in the Hewlett-Packard Park Apartments was given fliers, and I am sure many others on campus were as well, to notify them of the free light bulbs. Why is a club so devoted to the environment printing mass copies of fliers on paper that is non-recyclable? Doesn’t that seem a little counterproductive?

Instead of using bright and flashy paper that can’t be recycled, the club could have gone to the Copy Center and asked to print them on recyclable paper instead.

During the club’s same promotion, there wasn’t one mention that students should wait until their current light bulb goes out to install the new one. Doesn’t it make sense to use what you have until it is broken before replacing it? Your new one might last longer, but the old, perfectly functional one will still be in the landfill somewhere. 

Another recent activity sponsored by the club caused me to question its thought process. Last week, Greenfield’s members hosted a slip-n-slide on campus as part of their climate challenge activities. As fun as slip-n-slides are, part of being environmentally aware is to conserve, and water should be included in that.

I don’t think everyone should stop playing in the water because it is wasteful, but it is hypocritical for a club to encourage the rest of campus to conserve when they are being wasteful, too.

Overall, Greenfield’s ideas are useful and educate the campus about helping to save the environment. They just need to think about how the rest of campus will perceive their actions.

Not everyone who is environmentally conscious can live without waste, but when a club is promoting recycling and conservation, they should apply those principles to their events.

 

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