The Thunderbird Student Government has a new seat this year focused on overseeing Green initiatives on campus. Already, new posters and educational materials have been popping up around campus to remind students, staff and faculty of which items are recyclable in Glendale and which are not. But that’s just the beginning.
The campaign stems from the efforts of the newly formed Council on Sustainability, a group of students from the Fall 2014 intake who have brought new energy to the Thunderbird green movement. Once the education campaign was underway, other students began voicing concerns about sustainable practices and the scope of the project quickly grew. It was at the behest of this group that the Thunderbird Student Government chose to reinstate the Sustainability Chair, for a “greener, cleaner campus.”
The Sustainability Chair, who, in full disclosure, is myself, is responsible for overseeing efforts to reduce Thunderbird’s environmental footprint and work with ASU’s Zero Waste Manager to help the Thunderbird campus conform to ASU’s high environmental standards.
Zero Waste is a philosophy that takes “reduce, reuse & recycle” to a new level attempting to give all trash a second life. The goal of the idea is to eliminate, or at least significantly reduce, the amount of waste sent to landfills. ASU began pursuing this goal in January of 2012 and plans to be completely waste free by 2015.
Another duty of the Sustainability Chair is to liaise with students and help them find the resources to pursue individual sustainability projects in line with the mission such as water conservation, native plants and solar energy. If you have an idea on how Thunderbird could become a leader in sustainability, please contact me at Mburkett@global.t-bird.edu.