‘Green’ Options Available Around ASC Campus

Jose Orozco
The Paw Print

There has been a huge national movement within the last decade to “Think Green.”  Green has been designated the color of sustainability.  With implementation of renewable energy sources like windmill farms and solar power plants, cleaner water systems and recycling plants, and renewable resources of energy such as ethanol gas and biodiesel, it is no wonder that Adams State College has jumped on the bandwagon to join this national movement.  Good thing too, with such a beautiful surrounding here in the San Luis Valley, it would be devastating to know that we would destroy such a beautiful gem like our current residence.
ASC has formed a sustainability group called the EARTH group.  EARTH stands for Environmental Action for Resources, Transportation, and Health. The goal of this club is to enhance the sustainability efforts on our campus by offering resources like recycling, use of alternative energy, and providing education and awareness of sustainability.
Marty Jones, the Organic Chemistry professor here at ASC is the current chair of this club and has offered several insights into what EARTH group has accomplished and what they are currently working on. One of the major projects is the campus’s recycling project.  This is a non stop project that everyone can be a part of. Another is the “Green Bike” program that works in collaboration with the ASC Adventure program. Lastly, the week long event called EARTH week, which is in the spring semester.
Recycling is probably the easiest way to become involved in ASC’s sustainability efforts. ASC’s recycling program is currently able to recycle #1 and #2 plastics, white paper, news prints, cardboard, both steel and aluminum cans, and text books. Unfortunately at this time, there is no place to recycle glass, as the only plant that accepts it is located in Boulder, Colo. If you have ever tried to save glass you know how bulky it can get. The most common items to be recycled are plastics, paper, and aluminum cans.
All around campus there are several sites that can be taken advantage of for recycling. Most of the paper products can be recycled in most campus buildings. Probably the most widely used site for paper would be to take it to the Print Shop which is located on the first floor of Richardson Hall. If you want to recycle steel cans, they can be taken to the recycling trailers located by the ropes course, just north of the dorms and east of the parking lot. This is also the site where all recyclables that Alamosa City accepts can be dropped off. Currently held within campus buildings are the cardboard bins that have been donated by Habitat for Humanity, which allows the plastics and aluminum cans to be disposed of. Habitat for Humanity works in collaboration with ASC’s EARTH group to recycle all of our aluminum cans, which they use to help fund sustainable housing for the local community.  Right outside the ASC bookstore there is a bin that recycles used text books. This is a collaboration with Better World Books. This organization will take all the donated text books and ship them off to countries that are in need of educational materials. The programs allows contributors to help the environment while recycling their old, unused text books and provide tools to help provide a quality education for those less fortunate.  Outdoor recycling bins are located near most of the campus buildings. These bins were bought by funds provided by Associated Students and Faculty (AS&F) and the EARTH group.
The City of Alamosa has been in working with ASC to be more sustainable by providing trailers for recycling, that are picked up full of materials, hauled off to the recycling plant, and brought back empty.  Another relationship that has been helpful to the sustainability efforts is the relationship with Habitat for Humanity. They have been designated to recycle our aluminum cans. The money they receive from the cans help to fund building homes that are sustainable.  The Senior Vice President for Enrollment Management and Program Development Dr. Michael Mumper and the Office of Enrollment Management have been very supportive in EARTH groups efforts.  The last collaboration that has been highly supportive to the sustainability efforts is that of AS&F.  Not only have they provided funding for the outdoor bins, but they have also provided some funding, along with the Adventure Club and the Live Well Colorado program to purchase the yellow rental bikes that can be seen all around campus. The bike rentals has been termed the Green Bike program and you can rent one by dropping by the their office located in the Student Union Building building.
The sites for outdoor recycling are the bins found outside by the Art building, Richardson Hall, Porter, McDaniel Hall, the SUB, the Library, and in front of the east entrance to Plachy Hall. The indoor recycling bins are marked with the Habitat for Humanity logo are found in every major building. Suggestions for sites that would benefit from a recycling container can be made to Marty Jones in the Chemistry Department of Porter Hall by either stopping by his office or emailing him at mbjones@adams.edu.
Those interested in becoming more involved in ASC’s sustainability efforts beyond recycling are welcome to participate in the EARTH group. They meet on the first Tuesday of every month in the Student Life Center in the SUB. Earth group members ask that everyone does their part to encourage those around them to become more aware of ASC recycling efforts and be conscious of what actually can be recycled.
If they are going to recycle, it would be greatly appreciated by those who pick up the recycling, if the materials are emptied and not fuzzy. If everyone does their part by becoming more aware on what they can do to keep our environment clean and healthy, by recycling and limiting energy usage, we can make a difference in the world. After all, the United States has been raked as using one third of the worlds natural resources. For more information come to the EARTH meetings or go visit with Dr. Jones, who is always happy to strike a conversation about Green Living.

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