By Katelyn Melder
The Department of Geography, in a move to promote sustainability on campus, will be hosting Geography Awareness Week from Nov. 12 to 16.
The Geography Club decided to address sustainability on campus for Geography Awareness Week by coordinating events related to plastic pollution, reusable products and sustainable practices.
“Sustainability is a topic not much spoken about,” said Nicholas Coughlin, President of the Geography Club. “It’s something we really need to push in these upcoming generations if we want to be more efficient with our resources.”
At the discussion panel, “Sustainability – Your Choices, Your Future,” local professionals will be discussing the concern of this region’s sustainability. Geography department secretary, Dorothy Siravo, said each panel member will bring a different take to the discussions.
Keynote speaker Scot Case from Springboard International will be discussing the business aspects of sustainability, and Rick Carr from Rodale institute will be speaking about agricultural sustainability within the region.
Professors visiting from West Chester University, Muhlenbuerg College, Alvernia University and Millersville University have implemented sustainability programs on their own campuses. They will be discussing the process of creating such a program and how they got their student body involved.
Shana Rose, sustainability coordinator at the Sustainable Energy Fund and KU geography alumna, will be speaking about sustainability as a whole, and Larry Lloyd from Berks Nature will be providing his own set of knowledge on conservation.
Coughlin said these professionals have a lot to teach KU about sustainability on college campuses. With their experience, KU can start their own program to lessen their impact on the environment.
“Since sustainability is relatively new and we’re still learning about it, we need these people to come help us and show us what we can do,” said Coughlin. “From that, we can build a plan that we think is viable at this school.”
When asked how KU could be more sustainable, Coughlin said the trash bin to recycling bin ratio is disproportionate. Having more recycling on campus would incline more students to recycle plastics and glass. Starting small and building up to something bigger is the best way to begin approaching sustainability.
On Nov. 15, the Geography Club will also be holding a panel discussion promoting student use of reusable products in place of single-use plastic materials. They will be accepting single-use plastic bags and water bottles and replacing them with eco-friendly, reusable bags and water bottles.
Join the geography department and club in their move to promote sustainability on the KU campus by attending these events and showing your support.