BGSU students backed up Wooster Street in Bowling Green this past week, some leaving for the summer and some graduating off to start their new careers.  As students prepared to leave, environmentalism was still in the air.

A BGSU program originally hosted by resident advisors known as WYMO (When You Move Out don’t throw it out!) takes place at the end of Spring semester when on-campus students get ready to depart for the summer. Students who have items that they can’t transport and have no need for any longer can be donated right on campus. This end of the year program complements a year full of BGSU environmental projects and volunteerism. 

Net Impact, a new organization at BGSU, hosted World Water Week to educate students and faculty about unsafe water in developing countries. This organization performed a “water walk” around campus carrying a banner and buckets of water. Students also spread the word by setting up a table in the student union where students could donate money and/or buy t-shirts. With a monetary donation, students could also opt to receive a water bottle filled with dirty water displaying a label with one of the many diseases that can contracted through consumption of unsafe drinking water.

Environmental Service Club (ESC) performed its annual highway clean-up. Members strapped on lime green vests and grabbed trash bags as they worked their adopted part of OH-25. ESC hosts three highway clean-ups in an academic year.

Bryant Sheppard, vice president of ESC, said he is an active volunteer because he feels that “there is a real problem with the way society has been treating our environment and clubs like ESC are great ways to help change these ways for the better.”

ESC also teamed up with Circle K International, a Kiwanis sponsored club, for a campus project. Members from both organizations crafted bird feeders to hand on trees around campus. The bird feeders were constructed out of simple materials that can be found in any home: a cardboard tube, string, wooden skewer, peanut butter, and bird seed.

Environmental projects were not just a product of university organizations. Many other volunteer opportunities were orchestrated through BGSU’s sustainability coordinator, Nick Hennessy.

One popular activity was Green Tailgating. At home football games, students distributed recycling bags to tailgaters and picked up the full bags when the game started. Students also distributed recycling bins throughout the stadium. Hennessy said that “an average of 1.6 tons was collected at each game.”

“My favorite service project was probably Green Tailgating,” Sheppard said, “because we got to have fun riding around on golf carts while still making a difference on campus.”

 Another student-centered project was Orange Bikes. This is a continuing community bikeshare program that helps students who are unable to afford or transport a bike and at the same time reuses old unwanted bikes. Volunteers repaired and painted donated bikes to be used as shared bikes on campus that are identified by their orange color. Students can sign up and pay a small fee to receive a key that will unlock any orange bike on campus.

Hennessy also mentioned Campus Conservation Nationals, a three week contest for residential students. The goal for this contest was for students to reduce their energy use.

“BGSU came in first place in Ohio and fourth place nationally,” Hennessy said.

Final Exams may be finished but BGSU environmentalism lasts 365 days a year. Environmental leaders on campus like Hennessy and Sheppard are gearing up for next year’s activities. Sheppard said that BGSU has a lot of environmental volunteer opportunities but he feels like more students should get involved.

“There could be so much more done if more people took the time to help,” Sheppard said. “Some of them may not even know of these opportunities so we need to work to get this information out there.”

Accessible information about environmental projects is exactly what Hennessy has planned for next year. In the works for awhile now, Hennessy said the biggest plan for next year is to have the new sustainability Web site up and running. Hennessy said this site will “be awesome and alert more people to what we are doing in the area of sustainability on campus.”

Please watch this slideshow of photos that highlight some of this year’s environmental activities at BGSU.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to toolbar