Organization urges eco awareness

Katie Wade, [email protected], is a sophomore mass media major.

 

 America Recycles Day is a day of awareness regarding our environment. Created by the organization Keep America Beautiful, the program aims to educate persons on the impact they have on their environment and suggests activities that chal­lenge those persons to make changes that will benefit the world around them.

Businesses, campuses, or­ganizations, or individuals can pledge to recycle online or choose to host an event in their community on or around Nov. 15.

While Washburn does not plan to host an America Re­cycles Day event at this time, campus officials does encourage its students to live a lifestyle of environmental awareness.

Washburn’s sustainability program includes policies on re­cycling and waste. The purpose of such policies, according to the Washburn website, is, “The key for a successful recycling program at Washburn is the par­ticipation and support from the administration, faculty, staff and students. With our dwindling natural resources, landfills and global warming, recycling will benefit everyone in our commu­nity with a cleaner environment, a more attractive campus, an economic advantage for the uni­versity, and move the campus towards sustainability.”

In partnership with the Shaw­nee County Recycling Depart­ment, Washburn currently has three large recycling contain­ers located on the south side of Henderson Learning Center. There are also smaller recycling bins located throughout campus.

Washburn has also worked to improve energy efficiency in various buildings around cam­pus.

Many of these changes come as a result of student voices wanting to make Washburn more environmentally respon­sive.

Kellis Bayless is a professor in the Washburn biology de­partment and the faculty advisor for the Ecobods, a student orga­nization dedicated to creating environmental awareness and responsibility on campus.

“The Ecobods is a student or­ganization that focuses on…any sort of environmentally friend­ly stuff. Recycling, energy ef­ficiency, the pollution issues,“ said Bayless.

While the group’s active focus varies from year to year, it does make use of Earth Week and other environmentally focused days of the year to educate stu­dents on how they can make changes in their daily lives to improve their environment.

The easiest way, according to Bayless, is to be aware, take re­sponsibility, and make use of the resources that are easily avail­able. Bayless is also convinced that students have strong voices and more power than they think they do. If the administrators heard from students that envi­ronmental issues are important, they would be more likely to increase involvement and im­provement.

“America is much less pol­luted than it was…in the early ‘70s and that comes directly as a result from people being more conscious about what they are doing get involved, get active and don’t be afraid to share your ideas,” said Bayless.

For more information on America Recycles Day go to www.americarecyclesday.org.