It may be easy being green

Co-authored by Kimberly Bisnott

Despite Georgia State being one of the less green schools in Georgia, the university still has programs and organizations that want to ensure Georgia State moves in a greener direction.

 Although everybody might not buy into being green, faculty, staff members and students feel there are multiple ways to get Georgia State more involved.

“Being green is a path to sustainability,” says Ramesh Vakamudi, Associates Vice President for Facilities Management, “It’s being environmental friendly and mindful of ecological systems”

Vakamudi is also a member of University Systems of Georgia.

“Currently Georgia State is a founding partner of Atlanta Better Building Challenge. It is a federal government initiative with a goal of achieving 20 percent reduction in energy consumption by 2020 and Atlanta is competing with other major cities,” says Vakamudi”

Students also are involved with helping Georgia State become a greener school.

Khalila Clemons is a member of Alpha Kappa Phi, a business fraternity, and Infinite Appeal, a fashion organization on campus. She believes being green is important.

“My business fraternity has recycling bins in our offices,” Clemons said, a junior Accounting and Finance major, “We also have donation drives so we can collect clothes and donate them to local charities.”

Delta Phi Omega is a sorority that is socially concerned about the planet and also gives its service to the community.

“Being green means being environmentally aware, keeping conscious of what you’re doing to the environment throughout the whole day,” says Karina Deochand, a sophomore Econ major who is a Delta Phi Omega.

The Delta Phi Omegas often make being green a part of their lifestyle. They committed to a 6-hour event at Chastain Park where they cleaned up the park. They also have what they call “adopt a highway “ where they make sure a certain highway is clean and protect it from vandalism.

Georgia State does have recycling bins in the library and around the dorms but that isn’t enough for some concerned students.Due to the lack of recycle bins in the heavy populated areas, students believe that Georgia State isn’t green enough.

“I work in the student center and there are not that many {recycling} bins in the student center,” said a student who does not want to be identified.

Some students think there could be more avenues that the university can take to push awareness about being green.

“I don’t think that Georgia State is a very green campus,” Clemons says, “We can implement solar panels to help to help promote being green.”

Valeen Ramirez, a senior Sociology major, thinks that the key to Georgia State becoming a green school is awareness.

“I think the best way [for Georgia State} to become greener is to educate students on campus. Knowledge is power. Let people know the benefits of being greener and how it helps them, the campus and their overall lifestyle,” said Ramirez.

Ramirez believes more incentives for being green can also make students become more active.

Despite Ramirez and Clemons feelings on the campus not doing implementing enough, Georgia State has applied certain projects to become a greener school.

Greening Georgia State is a group of faculty and staff members who work with each other to shine light on environmental issues.

Also the library has participated in helping the school to be more active in being green.

“Here in the library, we have recyclable toners, and recycling bins inside the staff area in the back,” says Kimba Armbrust-Kohler, weekend supervisor for the library, “We print on both sides of paper and we don’t print out disclosure slips unless students request one.”

There are a few people who think the students and faculty are not the only blame for the campus not being green enough.

“Since we’re in the heart of the city, you have a lot people who do not attend Georgia State that is in the area and they are a major factor,” said Amy Patel, a junior Psychology major.

It’s common for bystanders to walk on the outskirts of Georgia State and litter on the property. This could be an opportunity to place more recycling bins outside of the school.

With Earth Day coming around the corner, Georgia State can use this platform to inform and implement reasons for becoming a green school.

“Find out how we are doing in comparison to other urban campuses,” says Vakamudi, “[Let’s] have a source of pride and bragging rights.”