Most of the time, an editorial is used to raise attention to an issue. It’s not often a publication uses this space to applaud an organization for it’s efforts. Although we don’t always agree with the things an organization does, we aren’t stubborn enough to overlook the good.
Northwest Missouri State University Sustainability office has done great work for it’s efforts making the campus more green. We agree that conservation of our earth’s natural resources is important and we all have a responsibility to promote sustainability.
Even before most people realized just how important sustainability is Northwest has always been a leader in being green with it’s actions and programs.
In 2011, Northwest hired John Viau to head up sustainability efforts. His office has since reduced landfill waste by 10%. In the last year, recycling efforts generated 16 thousand dollars of revenue for the university.
Of course not everything can be praise. Northwest can do better. Sustainability is out there, but student’s aren’t really being engaged and plugged into the cause. In the union, we see the composting and segmenting in the Bearcat Commons, but it’s never shown how these efforts help students. Anytime you need to convince someone to take action, you have to explain what’s in it for them.
Maybe the university should look into adding a sustainability or environmental responsibility element to their general education curriculum. Even a chapter on the effects of not being conscious and considerate of the environment would help increase understanding.
Professors regardless of their discipline can join in on the effort to go green. In our newsroom, we conduct most of our business digitally and when we must use paper, we make sure it is recycled.
Students, it is your responsibility to stand up and demand a better more rounded ‘green’ curriculum at Northwest Missouri State. If you can’t describe what the Keystone XL (not the tallboy) pipeline is, your education has failed you.