Each year the process of moving in and unpacking results in thousands of pounds in plastic bags, packing foam and cardboard being thrown in the trash instead of recycled. To help the environment and reduce the amount of trash that goes unrecycled, Georgia State’s Office of Sustainability hosted a “Green Move-In” initiative to aid incoming dorm residents in cutting down on their waste.
“Green Move-In” was held throughout move-in week, starting on Aug.16th and ending on Aug. 19. The initiative aimed to help more than 5,000 new residents move into the resident halls on campus and reduce their plastic waste.
Volunteers for the initiative included students, members of Greek Life, various athletic teams and student organizations. According to the project’s sign-up website, volunteers were tasked with helping residents and their families sort through their move-in waste, and dispose of it into the proper recycling bins. Volunteers also directed residents to recycling stations set up for move-in and educated them on how to recycle in the long term using the Residential Recycling Centers located on-site at certain resident halls
The Office of Sustainability also helps support the various rooftop gardens at Center Parc Stadium. According to the office’s website, these gardens are partially funded by student fees, consist of over 30 garden beds and contain over 100 species of plants and produce. These gardens are capable of growing foods like strawberries, watermelons, figs, peaches and cucumbers. The crops that are grown in these gardens are donated to GSU’s Panther’s Pantry.
Panther Dining has also made efforts to be more sustainable. There have been multiple minor changes to optimize the dining halls to be less wasteful. According to the Panther Dining website, the dining halls currently offer compostable take-out containers as opposed to styrofoam. They have also implemented bulk condiment dispensers instead of sealed packets and optimized their kitchens to reduce the amount of water and food waste.
In addition to the changes made in the dining halls, Panther Dining has also started growing a portion of its own produce. This produce is grown yards from Piedmont North, in Panther Dining’s “Freight Farms”. This hydroponic farm is built inside a shipping container and is capable of growing produce like lettuce, kale and spinach. According to the PantherDining website, the farm uses zero pesticides, has a growing season of 365 days a year and uses 90% less water than traditional agriculture.
More information on the various sustainability initiatives held across campus and how to become involved in volunteering can be found at https://sustainability.gsu.edu/.