Summit educates students on living green

The Green Summit, held on September 11 and 12 in the School of Journalism & Graphic Communication’s Lecture Hall, shined a bright light on living green for some Florida A&M University students.

The FAMU Green Coalition hosted the event and about 60 student organizations had representatives share their personal opinions at the conference themed, “black is the new green.”

President Ammons opened the event via video with, “I dare you to be great. Reduce, reuse, and recycle.”

Speakers presented information on topics such as environmental problems associated with agriculture, recycling, alternative fuel sources and water and air pollution.

On Friday morning, students recognized global climate change and began discussing possible solutions to the problem.

According to brochures distributed by LaRae Donnellan, the coalition has been leading environmental efforts at FAMU since 2006. The goals of the summit are to prepare FAMU students for a green homecoming and a green future for colleges and surrounding urban communities.

“Getting the word out about the impact of pollution to students at FAMU and educating about how to apply it to everyday lives is a goal of the summit,” said Daniel Saint Felix, a senior nursing corresponding secretary for the Green Coalition.

The spotlight speaker on Friday night was Nia Robinson, director of the environmental justice and climate change initiative.
Robinson has been working toward change in the environment since 2003 and was previously the program organizer for the Earth Tomorrow program of the National Wildlife Federation.

Robinson specializes in educating and researching the effects of climate change on urban communities. In her speech over dinner, she highlighted the effects of trash and pollution on urban areas.

“In New York when I was there, I saw four dumpster sites in a five mile radius and community members have to take a stand,” Robinson said.

On Saturday, the speaker was Kwasi Densu, professor of political science. Densu educated the group about the pollution that large-scale farms produce and the effects of big business agriculture on the environment.

“Food should not remain a commodity,” Densu said.

Densu also pointed out the need for growing your own organic food, and mentioned the FAMU community garden located on campus that allows students to purchase a 40×40 inch plot where they can grow their own crops.

“Urbanization is often seen as a model of human development, but the green movement questions this,” said Densu on Saturday.

Trina Mitchell from Think About Personal Pollution, a campaign organization to promote healthy ground water in Tallahassee, spoke about her organization.

“Picking up pet waste, preventing erosion in your yard and using minimal fertilizers are three things everyone can do to prevent ground water pollution,” Mitchell said.

“There are 17,000 cleaning products on the market right now for home use and only 30 percent have been tested for exposure to human health and the environment,” said Lawrence Stombock, program coordinator of the Florida Environmental Protection agency.
According to Stombock, choosing green cleaning products is important because it does not use harsh chemicals that pollute our air and ground water, and could possibly harm our children.

The summit promoted free thinkers to share ideas and also encouraged everyone to continue thinking beyond their youth.

“Going green can only make the world more beautiful,” Saint Felix said.