The Herd goes green

Environmental Sustainability Club promotes Earth Day with a week of activities

The Environmental Sustainability Club started in 2012.

North Dakota State’s Environmental Sustainability Club celebrated Earth Day by hosting events throughout the week, which gave people the opportunity to partake in environmentally friendly activities. 

On Wednesday, April 24, students dug through the trash for recycled products as part of the “waste audit.” This is an event when one day’s worth of trash is gathered from Stockbridge Hall and the Music Education Building. Students then put on hazmat suits, masks and gloves to sift through the trash and separate the recyclables from the actual garbage.

Jen Kacere, the advisor of the club, clarified that they take the trash from Stockbridge because it is an all-male dorm so there is no concern for hazardous items.

The main purpose of the waste audit is to show how much recyclable goods students actually throw away instead of recycling. “It shows people that this is how much trash we get,” Eric Christopherson, the future club president, said. 

The Environmental Sustainability Club has been hosting the waste audit for four years now. Each year they record the weight of the recycled products compared to the weight of the trash and then release the numbers to the student body. 

Kacere mentioned that the Environmental Sustainability Club will continue to collect trash from Stockbridge and the Music Education Building and keep recording the statistics on these two buildings. 

The amounts of cardboard, plastic, aluminum and glass from this year’s waste audit are going to be released on a later date because it takes a couple of days to calculate the weights. 

Students could also celebrate the environment on April 25 at “Party at the Park.” This was an event where students could hang out at Roosevelt Park to enjoy nature and the warm weather of spring while appreciating Earth Week together.

The campus cleanup took place from noon to 2 p.m. Friday, April 26. Students brought their friends and walked around campus picking up trash that was littered throughout the winter months. Gloves and garbage bags were provided; all students had to do was collect the trash that surrounded campus. 

The Environmental Sustainability Club started in 2012, and they have always celebrated Earth Week with the waste audit and campus cleanup. The club’s goal is for people to realize how much we effect the environment and how we can help it out. 

In the past, the club has completed some projects that have left an impact on campus. The organization received the Bison Service Award last year when they worked with the city of Fargo to place recycling bins in the Fargodome parking lot. 

Mariah Eriksen, the current president of the club, mentioned some of the simple things students can do on a daily basis to protect the environment. “Fill a water bottle rather than buying plastic bottles, try recycling as much as possible, purchasing sustainable products and even thrift shopping,” Eriksen said. “Also, if you see any trash on the ground, picking it up is a simple way to help.”

Regarding society’s viewpoint on changing environmental factors, Eriksen said, “Our generation has become more aware of the environmental effects I’d like to think. We are more progressive, and many wish to advocate for a change.”

Eriksen also indicated that there is still a lot of work that needs to be done to help our environment. “However, we are still far behind. Scientists come out with statistics, and still people like to deny the facts of the harm done to our earth.” 

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