EAC focusing on sustainability


by Kevin Rice

As members of the Environmental Awareness Club (EAC) I think we see ourselves as Simpson’s environmentalist student advocates and activists, and we have great motivated members who have accomplished a lot over the five years of our group’s existence.

In EAC we understand environmentalism not only as an individual value system, but also as a communal movement that requires community action, since the impacts of waste and unsustainable practices affect us all.

Although technology and modern conveniences may have disconnected many of us from the impacts of consumerism, we are still very much a part of the Earth’s ecology and its fragile balance.

As a group we are not here to guilt trip, but to educate, advocate and empower efficiency in human progress that is sustainable. This responsibility requires initiative, and we in EAC hope to be the medium for the implementation of that initiative into tangible sustainable benefits for our community at Simpson.

Some of the institutional reforms we have been involved in were the implementation of the school’s recycling program, the move to dining without trays and composting in Pfeiffer to cut down on water/food waste, organizing research and student action to get rid of Styrofoam cups and starting a student-run community garden.

These are a few highlights of the reforms we have been apart of, but we also try to engage the student body with educational programs such as environmentalist forum speakers, group outings like canoe trips, visits to organic farms, or recycling centers and sustainable awareness signage and displays.

For example, during Green Week last year in the spring we performed a trash audit of the school’s trash over two days. We found that about half of what ends up in our trash at Simpson is recyclable material. We then displayed this ratio on the Hillman lawn.

EAC also works with other groups such as the Campus Activities Board and the Religious Life Community to put on events like the Locavore supper where we prepare locally grown food for a free educational dinner for students and host Green Bingo where the prizes all have sustainable themes.

Some of our main goals this year are to work on getting outdoor recycling receptacles (such as in the quad outside the library and the football field), host educational workshops, like how to properly compost and how to build your own compact compost bin, and to get more of the campus involved in sustainable awareness and practices.

We are always looking for new ideas from students, and have already had some pretty sweet new proposals introduced to the group that we are really excited about.

If you’re interested in checking out EAC, join our group on Simplicity, look for our emails about our events, stop by our meetings (we meet every other Monday at 8 p.m. in the Carver Science building) or talk to someone wearing an EAC shirt.