The Earth Group
Special to the Paw Print
The Environmental Action for Resources, Transportation & Health (EARTH) group was initiated by Dr. Marty Jones, who has recently retired from the classroom, in the fall of 2007. Through the EARTH group, Jones has left a positive mark on the Adams State University community and has helped to cultivate a campus environment that recognizes the importance of recycling, efficient energy use and the reduction of unnecessary waste. He is quick to recognize others he worked with in starting the group; however, it is safe to say the EARTH group would not be around without Jones’s devotion and enthusiasm.
Jones’s incentive for starting the EARTH group came from his attendance at a Green Chemistry in Education Workshop at the University of Oregon in the summer of 2007. This served as a reminder of the critical state of our current global climate and how a college campus can be proactive in making a difference.
So why should students care about the environment? Jones points to a statement by the Arizona State University School of Sustainability. They follow the mantra of “treating the earth as if we intend to stay” and Jones validates that approach. “In our lifetime,” he states, “significant changes have occurred in the world that have changed climate, destroyed landscapes and life, and wreaked economic disaster. Small steps at Adams State University can be incorporated with small steps elsewhere to become significant forces of change for the better.”
When Jones retired, he left the EARTH Group in the hands of Kansas University alum, Dr. Jared Beeton of the Earth Sciences Department. Beeton, who has a PhD in Geography, looks to build on the success of the relatively young group. Dr. Jones does not hesitate to offer his endorsement of the new leadership: “The future of the EARTH group is in good hands with the current leaders/active members, including Jared Beeton, Christy Miller, Cameron Miller, Chris Adams, Pete McDill, Kayla Reamey, and others.”
The EARTH Group currently consists of five main subcommittees including Recycling, Education and Communication, Energy, Transportation, and Food and Water. These committees are led by a collective group of ASU students, faculty and staff all with the intent to help Adams State continue ‘going green.’
Previous accomplishments credited to EARTH Group include tray-less dining in the Student Union Building cafeteria, in collaboration with SODEXO. The beneficial effects of the tray-less dining will be felt for years as students are less likely to take more food than they can eat, thus decreasing food waste. Another positive result is the reduction of water use.
The EARTH group also was involved in the ASU Cares Day Rio Grande River cleanup. But there is always more to be done when it comes to making planet Earth a cleaner place. “We are a more sustainable campus now than we were five years ago, but there is always room for improvement,” says Jones.
As the EARTH Group moves forward with sustainability efforts, so do its partnerships. There has been a substantial increase in campus-wide recycling in recent years and teamwork is a major force behind the movement. Habitat for Humanity, the City of Alamosa and AS&F all are to bringing more locations on campus for students to recycle.
The EARTH group frequently sponsors events on campus such as guest speakers, educational workshops and other activities to maintain the ‘green’ movement. In April, EARTH group will lead all Earth Week events and will continue progress on the community gardens in the East Campus area, where all students are invited to pitch in. For students interested in more domestic sustainability, a Green Home Design course taught by Chuck Reel is open to students for credit Spring semester. Meeting times are 10am – 4pm on Saturdays.
At this point, it is up to the students to take a proactive role in contributing to the health of our planet. The EARTH Group has grown significantly since its inception in 2007, and more growth is always welcome. For students interested in taking a leadership role with the EARTH group, or who are simply looking to get involved, the EARTH group meets the first Friday of every month, with the Spring semester’s initial meeting to be held Friday, February 1 at 12pm in the Student Life Center of the SUB. For more information, contact Dr. Beeton in Porter Hall 104 (firstname.lastname@example.org, 719-587-7357) or RD Pete McDill in the High Rise Commons (email@example.com, 719-587-7849).