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FAMU at Power Shift 2011: Making Events Green and Worthwhile

By D. A. Robin
On April 17, 2011

I've wanted Florida A&M to green up its act since I arrived in January. From wasted energy to wasted water to wasted paper, we are too lax on environmental policy at FAMU. So, of course, the Power Shift session on throwing green events caught my attention.

I had just gotten back to the Washington Convention Center after about three hours of trying to navigate the "Land of the Lost" (i.e. the D.C. subway system) and hopping buses to get to the black history branch of the Smithsonian Museum. Good thing I had great company. So, I'm walking to my room when I see this guy with a Mohawk in a neon green costume. Obviously, there was a crowd around him.

 

It turns out this guy, Chance as he later identified himself, is part of a sort guerilla team of environment-conscious young people who promote green events and teach students how to retrofit their events to be less wasteful. He was one of our workshop facilitators too.

Chance led with a funny story about how his group from central Florida drove for 26 hours straight, not including rest stops, refueling and breakdowns, in a school bus designed to run on used cooking oil. He said more than 30 people was crammed together for that long ride. Chance said willpower is necessary to have a truly green event.

 

Throwing green events is easier than most people might think. Something as simple as swapping traditional garbage bins for separate plastic and paper bins helps. Reducing waste before the event is possible too. Instead of using the single-use paper flyers that get thrown away after one glance (some people don't even glance), an innovative billboard or electronic post could be enough to deliver the message and save the waste. It's always the little things that bother me most about events that result in too much trash before left behind for someone else to clean up.

Here's hoping FAMU Green Coalition can get some greener events on campus. But as I say where there's a will and several energized college students, screaming with one voice, things usually happen. That's my time, folks.

 

Later Days,

Robin


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