Students work to create more sustainable campus

As issues of global conservation become more and more prevalent, some students on campus began to work towards addressing those issues head on.

Project Earth is an organization aimed at making sustainability on campus a reality.

“It’s been an idea of my own for the past year,” said Jacob Dawson, founder of Project Earth. “I’ve been interested in starting an RSO devoted to making the UNA campus a more sustainable place. That’s the goal and idea I wanted from the beginning.”

There were attempts to start Project Earth last year, though it was hard to find the time to get the organization off the ground, said sophomore Amandalyn Dorner, member of Project Earth.

“Other things we are focusing on are collecting recyclables in dorms such as Lafayette, Lagrange, Rice, and Rivers, then using our vehicles to go to the recycling center,” Dawson said. “Our scope is going to expand for various methods of achieving sustainability.”

To help with conservation efforts students can start recycling bottles and paper around campus, he said.

“I expect students to learn about environmental issues such as the pressing need for addressing recycling ways,” Dawson said. “We really throw away a lot of waste. Two hundred fifty-one million tons of waste were thrown away in 2012 in the United States. One hundred sixty-four million tons of that were completely wasted. So more than half of it pushes into land fields.”

Aside from meeting new people, senior Jordan Givens said she hopes to see an increase in environmental appreciation from students.

“I definitely hope to raise more awareness about recycling and benefits of it,” she said. “Also, I feel like a lot of people don’t know exactly what is recyclable and what is not, helping educate people about that for sure. Then seeing how the organization grows and reaching out more.”

Junior Chuck Chiriaco said he is working to reduce his personal carbon footprint.

“I have noticed that I waste a lot of bottles in my room, and I try to fill up a canteen here and there,” he said. “I figured I could recycle and do something like this group to jump start it on campus.”

Dorner said she is interested in seeing a change in the way students take care of campus.

“I would like to see a lot of people truly caring about the planet and just doing little things like turning off lights and recycling,” Dorner said. “I think seeing more recycling around campus would be a good start.”