Need the green to go green

There’s no set price tag to be environmentally conscious, but Pierce College will see what $12,000 can do.

The Pierce College Associated Student Organization (ASO) is working to increase environmental consciousness among staff and students by implementing the Green Grant, a $36,000 award which, if given, will be disbursed among three departments.

Since its passing on Feb. 27, the Green Grant has promised to bring a new approach to environmentalism on campus through education. With ASO’s help, the grant will extend the responsibility of conservationism to faculty and staff to educate students.

“The Green Grant, while student initiated, will be the faculty taking initiatives to educate their students on proper environmental care,” said Erin Baker, the chair of the Sustainability Committee.

The goal of the Green Grant is for Pierce students and faculty to understand the importance of sustainability and realize what needs to change on campus, Baker said.

To achieve this goal, ASO has proposed a competition wherein different departments draft a proposal for a green initiative they wish to undertake and submit them for review and judgement.

“ASO will adopt the resolution and fund some of it for an implement for the next year,” said Lara Conrady-Wong, the Student Engagement Coordinator.

ASO President Efren Lopez introduced the Green Grant during an Academic Senate meeting in February. He said the it aims to provide students with experience and industrial leadership.

“These grants will be offered to different academic departments so they can develop their own proposals, initiatives and master plans to bring in industrial leaders within a particular academic field who would help these students pursue their careers while also helping them have an eco-conscious approach to every decision they make,” Lopez said.  

Lopez said a major environmental problem on Pierce College is the lack of recycling.

“There is absolutely no recycling program,” Lopez said. “There is nothing that is going to be done about it, so it’s just making the problem worse.”

Lopez said that students buy plastic bottles on campus, but there is no effective program in place to properly recycle the plastic. He said that the lack of such a program on campus perpetuates the cycle of pollution.

Because the grant is still in the developmental stages, details are still awaiting approval by the ASO senate. However, the grant’s initial passing signifies a new era of environmental activism at Pierce College that students and faculty can partake in, Lopez said.

“ASO’s here advocating for students all the time, and they want to be sure student voice is represented not only in the Green Grant, but in anything that ASO is doing,” Conrady-Wong said.