Student groups devote the month to environmental awareness

Environmental month invades Eastern’s campus this February and Students in Free Enterprise, SGA and Earthkeepers will be hosting various events throughout the month.

It all began with SGA deciding that there was a need to dedicate a month to environmentally-conscious activities, and according to SIFE member Jessica High, “SIFE just took it and ran with it.”

High is one of two representatives from SIFE, along with representatives from SGA and Earthkeepers, who will be planning events for the month.

One of the first activities will be a dorm energy competition. According to High, they will be taking energy bills from last February and comparing them to the bills at the end of this month. The winner will be the dorm that saves the most energy in comparison to last year. The winner will be awarded a pizza party.

“We really wanted to see if we could save the school some money,” High said, adding that the main way that students could do that is to be involved with their dorm.

On Feb. 4, SIFE hosted a representative from Allied Waste to speak about Eastern’s new single-stream recycling system.

On Feb. 7, a local resident who just remodeled his house to be completely “green,” opened up his home to the public for tours. Eastern provided a shuttle service for students interested in exploring the house.

SIFE is holding an open discussion on Feb. 17, bringing in a representative from Green Fox Energy group to talk about “anything green. Green jobs, where to get jobs … Dialoguing on those types of issues,” High said.

Earthkeepers is planning a coal emphasis week. Senior biology major Emily Brown, co-president of Earthkeepers, said, “We’re bringing in someone from Restoring Eden to talk about coal and energy.” Restoring Eden is an organization that deals with environmental issues. The date for the event has not yet been set.

Earthkeepers will be sponsoring a “clean-up Eastern” workday and Brown hopes to see many Eastern students come out for that.

“The major project is cleaning up Eastern – picking up the trash – because we have a huge problem at Eastern with littering,” Brown said.

Earthkeepers will also be helping put together birdhouses and putting them in natural areas of the campus in order to raise the bluebird population on campus, Brown said.

According to High, the purpose is to make this a “campus-wide initiative” that will not just end in February but continue throughout the semester.

“Being green is a big undertaking,” High said. “It is little steps that will get you to become environmentally sustainable.” She said she hopes that this month “(helps) get people’s steps in place.”

Brown said her purpose is “to spark the fire at Eastern.”

“People have little fires burning in themselves,” she said. “I hope to set everyone on fire and have it spread, to have everyone on fire for Christ and for God’s creation … because we are called to be good stewards.”

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