13 April 2008
Power Down BG (or the more obvious "Be Green")
During my visit to the infamous THE Ohio State University (I don't know why they insist on having the "the" included; I also attend a state university in Ohio) for the Get Out Her Vote Conference, I was struck by something. After lunch, I stood up to throw away my trash and properly recycle my empty Diet Coke can. But to my dismay, there were no recycling bins to be found! None in the classroom where were were eating lunch, none in the hallway near the entrance. Not wanting to carry an empty pop can around with me for the rest of the day, I was forced to throw it away- which made me feel like a heathen (and not in a good way).
Why was this so unusual? At Bowling Green State University (my very soon to be alma mater), we recycle. There are bins for plastic, glass, and aluminum (and usually news and mixed office paper) in EVERY classroom. There are similar recycling bins near building entrances, and outside near trashcans. In the dorms, EVERY FLOOR has a recycling area. The absence of recycling facilities at OSU made me realize the success of Bowling Green's program. And for one bright and shiny moment, I was truly proud of my university. In all fairness, BG is a pretty green place to be (and not just because of our name). We have a wind farm outside of town, that supplies a large portion of our energy. We are the first (if not only) college to offer a major in Environmental Policy and Analysis. Even though I am a Women's Studies major, I've had the opportunity to take many great classes focusing on environmentalism in several different departments: Environmental Bio, Environmental Ethics, Ecofeminism, and currently, Society and the Environment (shout out to Professor Shope!)
Now that green is the new sexy, I am sure more universities will follow BGSU's lead. And when they realize the importance of a campus-wide recycling program, they can look to our program for advice. I think that the university's focus on all things Green is one of it's biggest successes. Hell, I'd much rather brag about our great environmental practices than being the birthplace of Scott Hamilton, or hosting the National Tractor Pulling Championships.