By Sidni Kirby
People all over the country are catching a fever – the “green fever,” and it seems as if TJC has not been immune. In the past few years, talk about saving the environment and “going green” has heightened. TJC has recently taken up efforts to join in the cause.
“For TJC, ‘going green’ means to pursue knowledge and processes that can lead to more environmentally friendly and ecologically responsible decisions,” Bill King, TJC physical plant director said.
“Going Green” is an objective in TJC’s 2008-2011 Strategic Plan. The objective establishes a series of policies that insure TJC is a safe and model “green” campus.
“If ‘going green’ will help our environment to be better for future generations, then that is what TJC needs to do,” TJC student Ashley Livingston said.
Some subtle changes on campus have been made since the strategic plan has
been put into action.
“In the past few months, we have implemented many green projects,” King said. “We have new boilers, which reduce natural gas, installation of new windows at the Physical Plant, Campus Services and Campus Safety, which save energy and use of low VOC paints in buildings, among other things.”
TJCs chapter of Phi Theta Kappa is taking part in “Operation Green” which is in partnership with Keep America Beautiful to help improve community and campus beautification. “Operation Green” is a nation-wide project through Phi Theta Kappa, and the chapter at TJC has chosen to be active in the program.
“As members of Keep Tyler Beautiful, the Alpha Omicron chapter has initiated a project with Adopt- A- Highway.” Sara Scarborough, TJC student and Phi Theta Kappa vice president of service, said. “Establishing our commitment to TJC and the community, we were able to adopt the area of Fifth Street extending from Beckham to the Loop.”
Other student organizations have gotten involved in “going green” by adopting highways and putting out recycling bins on campus.
According to research that was done by the Student Senate, the cost of recycling paper would end up costing the school $10,000 to $20,000 each year for pickup, delivery and storage container fees along with other environmental cost. Because of strict guidelines from Tyler Recycling, no colored paper, newspaper or shredded paper can be put into a recycling bin, restricting the ability to fully recycle on campus.
“With joint efforts from other on-campus organizations, we were able to find a recycling business that didn’t charge for the service and actually paid us for collecting recyclable items,” Scarborough said.
The Physical Plant and student organizations plan to continue making efforts to make TJC campus more economically friendly.