Spreading sustainability across campus

Published: Last Updated on

Being green can commonly be described as following the three Rs: reduce, reuse and recycle. UIndy’s Green Team strives to do that while also making students aware of what they can do to help the environment, according to sophomore professional and creative writing major Jessi Tillman.

“One thing students should learn is to become conscious of what we use and throw away. A big thing is upcycling, which is what our upcoming event is about,” Tillman said. “There are a couple groups who are taking T-shirts and turning them into reusable bags, scarfs and dog toys. … We can just take these things commonly classified as a trash and turn them into something useful.”


Green Team President Gwen Debaun prepares for the upcoming RecycleMania competition on campus. (Photo by Ayla Wilder)


Besides showing students how to upcycle items, the event, entitled “Green House: Transforming Trash,” will have a four room house built by experience design students that others can view. Students also will have the opportunity to create an upcycled craft, eat environmentally themed foods and get ideas for do-it yourself projects.

Tillman originally joined the Green Team because her roommate is the president, but soon discovered that she enjoyed it and found what being green meant to her.

“Being green to me is being conscious of what I use and don’t use, how much I throw away, and reusing or recycling what I can instead of just throwing it in the trash. Teaching others what they can do is also one of the things I look for while being on the Green Team,” Tillman said.

Human biology and Spanish major Ashley Schwering, the public relations chairperson for the Green Team, said that turning the water off while brushing her teeth, washing clothes when she has enough for a full load and carpooling are just some of the things she does that show what being green means to her.

The Green Team already has goals for next semester and is looking for ways to get students across campus more involved.

“We would like to do projects once a month off-campus and also host events on campus where students can do various green stuff. We’d also like to have a Green Team table once a month in Schwitzer and have little tips or things to give to help them be green,” Tillman said.

Schwering said that getting the campus to support their green ideas is an important factor in making future goals happen.

“We have many ideas for being green on campus, such as expanding the greenhouse for our own produce that PFS could use, a student garden over by University Heights Methodist Church and cleaning the park down the street on Hanna by using durable, recycled materials,” Schwering said. “To make this happen, though, we just need a student body to support it and for them [students] to spread the word.”

Before moving on to next year’s projects, the Green Team has one event it is hosting that will get residents on campus involved, according to Tillman.

“We have another event coming up, which is RecycleMania. We’re getting all the dorms together to compete to see who can recycle the most in a certain [time] and then the winners will get a prize of some sort, like a pizza party. We currently have three residence halls on board and are hoping to have all compete by the time it starts,” Tillman said.

RecycleMania will run April 6-12 across campus while “Green House: Transforming Trash” will be held from 4 p.m.-6 p.m. on Thursday, April 3, in UIndy Hall A.

Recommended for You