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Earth Day: UNT continues to put the ‘green’ in ‘Mean Green’

Earth Day: UNT continues to put the ‘green’ in ‘Mean Green’

Earth Day: UNT continues to put the ‘green’ in ‘Mean Green’
April 22
13:02 2018

It’s Earth Day!

Today, you’ll open your web browsers to see a cartoon of Jane Goodall — the famous ethologist and conservationist who spoke on campus only two weeks ago — standing proudly over the Google search bar. Scott Pruitt’s name will likely make an appearance during your Sunday routine, and every time that you attempt to throw your plastic bottles in a standard trash can, you’ll be perpetually plagued by guilt.

Since 1970, spurred by a Californian oil spill and given greater life by intense anti-war sentiment, people worldwide have delegated one day each year to environmental awareness and sustainability, an undeniably important and legitimate cause.

Anyone who has read other articles of mine knows well that I tend to align myself — generally speaking — with the political right. I mentioned to some friends and other peers that I was writing a short piece about Earth Day, and I was surprised by how many of them assumed I had a negative outlook on the matter.

I, however, find Earth Day to be a fantastic way to raise awareness and promote more eco-friendly procedures in all facets of daily life. Heck, I like the environment (don’t role your eyes too hard). Sure, I could write a piece about government policies that I dislike, but not everything has to be political. There are endless steps and routines that we as individuals, groups or institutions can put into practice to protect the environment, and that is exactly what I want to focus on for the majority of this piece.

I am beyond proud of my university for the role it has played in the protection of the environment. By its own volition, free from legislative influence, UNT has taken incredible steps and implemented attractive, reasonable programs to ensure that it is a strong role model for other institutions.

Recyclemania

Recyclemania is a country-wide competition between various colleges that encourages students to not only recycle more but also in creative ways. Over the course of eight weeks, representatives create challenges for schools, and each contributor is given a rating based on the outcomes. UNT has been an active participant in this competition. Between the first and second week, we had a 21 percent increase in the weight of our recyclable materials.

UNT is run by 100 percent renewable energy

By means of the We Mean Green Fund, UNT can now claim it is run by 100 percent renewable energy. Not only does the university create a small amount of its own — I’m sure you have all seen the windmills by Apogee — but UNT has purchased enough Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) through Denton’s GreenSense Program to cover all of the energy used on the main campus and Discovery Park. I encourage you all to watch this short video about how RECs work to encourage renewable energy production.

Chloe Trent

The other day I was walking to class and was confused to see someone painting a storm drain by the Language building. It was a beautiful painting that reads, “when our litter gets drained, our water gets stained.” As it turns out, UNT student Chloe Trent was partaking in a competition created by the We Mean Green Fund to raise awareness about the environmental impacts of littering. The winner of the competition receives a $250 rewards.

These are only three of many actions UNT has taken toward a more environmentally friendly campus. Whether it be the Solar Trailer, the Earth Day festival, the UNT Community Garden or the Pollinative Prairie, UNT has voluntarily taken reasonable measures to ensure that it is a “green” campus. We should be incredibly proud of that.

So today, set aside your political affiliations and focus on what you can reasonably do as an autonomous individual or as an institution to raise awareness and protect the environment.

Oh, and of course, Go Mean Green!

Featured image: Illustration by Gabby Evans

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Peyton

Peyton

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