Today is Earth Day! It’s a day where we take the time to celebrate our Earth and evaluate how we can be the best stewards of our home. This past week, Phi Sigma Pi hosted an Earth Week of tips on how to live environmentally friendly on our social media accounts (check out our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram). Today we’re offering seven ways that your Chapter can celebrate Earth Day every day by operating sustainably.
1. Carpool to events
Having a Chapter event off-campus, visiting another Chapter or attending a National event? Eliminate the amount of pollution from travel by carpooling! Organize drivers and make sure the car is full before adding another car. If the event is close enough, consider walking or biking together (but be safe!).
2. Keep notes/records electronically
Do you hand out papers at Chapter? Do you use paper sign-up sheets for events? Do you keep paper records on Chapter business or use paper for Officer Binders? Sometimes it’s best to keep paper records that can be easily passed around or brought to events, however, it’s important to always ask yourself,“Do I really need to print this out?” Keep notes and records electronically and send documents through email when possible (GoogleDocs are a great way to save and share documents and information). Posters can come in handy when marketing events, but only print as many as you need.
3. Find ways to repurpose
Have a bunch of old t-shirts laying around? Make dog toys from old t-shirts that you can donate to your local animal shelter. Collect broken umbrellas and repurpose them into reusable tote bags! There are so many different blogs and articles on the internet that show you how to take something that has been used and turn it into something new. Hold a “repurposing” event! You can either donate your repurposed items or sell them as a fundraiser.
The Alpha Sigma Initiate Class of the Gamma Theta Chapter created dog toys from old t-shirts for some deserving pups
4. Start a “green” initiative on campus
What is one way that your campus could make a positive impact on the environment? Maybe it’s recycling, composting, conserving water or reducing food waste. Choose an initiative and own it! Educate students, faculty and staff on the initiative and encourage your campus to come together. If it’s recycling, you might work with student government and your administration to increase the number of recycling centers around campus and provide education on what to recycle and in which bin. You could even host scholarship events on recycling and help students recycle in your school eateries. Not only would you make an impact on our planet, but it’s also great PR for your Chapter! The National Office went “green” by installing energy efficient lights in the building.
5. Partner to “go green”
Partner with a local philanthropy or an organization on campus that has a “green” mission. Invite them to talk to your Chapter and ask how you can get involved and support their mission. We are all stronger together!
6. Start a Chapter garden
Look into obtaining a plot of land either on campus or in your surrounding community to start a Chapter garden. Not only will your Members learn how to live off the land and grow their own food, but you’re Chapter will also have snacks for Chapter events! Growing your own food means fewer chemicals, less waste on packaging and less fuel used to travel the food. You could either use the produce for Chapter events or sell them as a fundraising event!
7. Keep the Earth clean
Hold monthly campus clean-ups or adopt a piece of a highway to keep clean. Picking up trash ensures that waste does not contaminate our water or cause harm to the animals in our ecosystem. Just be sure to wear gloves and dispose of the waste in the proper manner, recycling when necessary. It’s not a glamorous event, but our Earth will thank you for it!
The Beta Delta Chapter participating in a clean-up. Don’t forget your orange vests for safety!
Now that we’ve discussed some ways that your Chapter can operate environmentally friendly, make it a goal to incorporate one of these things into your Chapter next year. You can even challenge each of your Chairs to incorporate “green” initiatives into their events. How does your Chapter operate “green?” Post pictures of your “green” events on social media and show the world that Phi Sigma Pi cares about our Earth!