As we look toward Earth Day this year, and the ASID Expo on our campus Saturday, I think a lot about what we do EVERY day that is important to protect and sustain our environment. I am truly proud to be part of a green that has a focus on sustainability built directly into it, even from the early design stage.
It is important that we honor the College’s commitment to sustainability with our actions. All of the green efficiencies built into the campus – from the daylight harvesting feature in classrooms, to the automatic lighting and the green roof – do not make enough of a difference. We can’t take them for granted. It is the job of the every person on campus to bring the commitment to life through every day actions. We do that by recycling our used paper, bottles and cans. We also do that by carrying our commitment into programming for events and lessons in the classroom. We can commit to reducing uses of paper on campus by using Blackboard and through the upcoming document imaging project that will digitize many student records.
Our campus Earth Day event is “Celebrating Sustainable Design” held in partnership with the American Society of Interior Designers. Everyone is welcome to attend the event on campus from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday (April 21). It will feature vendors, a lecture series and campus tours. I also encourage everyone to participate in the St. Louis 2012 Earth Day Festival on Sunday (April 22) from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. It will be held on the Muny grounds in Forest Park and features a Green Job Opportunities Fair, 200+ vendors, live music and hands-on activities. There is a special Recycling Extravaganza at STLCC-Forest Park on Sunday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. in conjunction with the Earth Day Festival. You can drop off junk items in this hard-to-recycle collection event, including medications, computers, appliances, musical instruments, tools, Styrofoam, blinds, etc. Plan for your spring cleaning this weekend and then drop by the Earth Day Festival in Forest Park.
The national recycling competition, Recyclemania, wrapped up last week. I am very pleased to announce that the final standings were just published and Wildwood has a lot to be proud of! STLCC-Wildwood is #20 in the Grand Champion category out of 605 colleges and universities participating in the Competition Division of Recyclemania this year. Even better, in the Paper Recycling category we are ranked at a stunning #8 out of all the competing schools. I am so happy that our efforts make such an amazing difference. Even small changes can make a huge difference in the impact we have on the world around us.
So, now that Recyclemania is over for the year and Earth Day 2012 will be quickly behind us, I want to issue a challenge. Don’t let your actions stop here. The environment is in dire need of all the help we can give. Our future generations are depending on us to preserve the Earth for them. Please join me in pledging to do more to make a difference this year. If you already recycle, help with efforts to get others to recycle more too. Join a Stream Team and help clean up our area. Turn your thermostat up a couple of degrees this summer to save energy. Volunteer to help at the Electronics Recycling event held on campus next month. There are so many ways you can make change…find at least one new thing to try and make sure that the impact of Earth Day extends throughout the year, both on our campus and in our homes.