A few years ago, as we were all in the prime of our high school careers, our world was plunged into a mania that swept all area of life. It was on TV, it was online, it was in the stores, it had even crept into our very classrooms and homes. Society was “going green.”
Here at WOU, on of our biggest contributors towards making Western green is the aptly names Green Team. Their site (https://www.facebook.com/westerngreenteam) asserts that “The purpose of the Green Team is to implement, and coordinate the residence hall recycling program; which includes collection, and maintenance of centralized recycling locations throughout the residence halls.” Anyone who’s ever lived on campus should be abundantly familiar with these locations—blue plastic bins? The ones where when you look at them you get the feeling they would go smashingly with something colored Pepto Bismol pink?
When asked, the Green Team stated “Sustainability is our only concern. The Green Team would not have been created if sustainability was not a main focus for the campus.”
This is very true, and not just because of the usual stereotypes associated with living in Oregon. Look at Ackerman, the newest residence hall that opened in Fall, 2010. This building gained the esteemed rating of LEED Platinum. Says the Green Team of this “Ackerman holds a platinum standard for sustainability because that is what the student body wanted.”
In addition to maintaining the recycling system, the Green Team is responsible for educating the campus by putting on programs that focus on different aspects of sustainability. These include programs and presentations built around “being environmentally aware, reducing your carbon footprint, and being a conscious consumer–buying local products and products with sustainable packaging.” A few of these from the past are Myth Busters: Reycling Edition, or the more recent Eco-Friendly Valentine making event.
Currently, the Green Team is in the middle of RecycleMania, a national competition between colleges. Last year, WOU beat both Oregon State University and University of Oregon in most compost collected.
By Bonnie Wells