Staff Editorial

This Saturday marks the conclusion of Lawrence’s Earth Week, which has taken on a special importance, as Lawrence has made sustainability the theme of our university for this year and the next.
While the most popular event is always the all-day Saturday festivities put on by Greenfire in and around the garden, the signs and lectures put on by Green Roots and partner Student Action Initiative Green Team have been a welcome addition to the week.
These signs and the lectures may be the most effective activities of the week since they stimulate dialogue, awareness and thought. These efforts are key because real change begins at the individual level when people make decisions to change certain aspects of how they normally go about their daily lives.
The organizers have also done a good job of releasing information about the environmental impact of many parts of student life by posting signs about the decomposition rates of individual products common at Lawrence and the annual amount of waste made by the average college student. They also displayed the amount of garbage the university generates every day by placing actual garbage bags on Main Hall Green for students to see.
These are all great steps towards a more environmentally friendly Lawrence. One suggestion is to expand upon the previously mentioned efforts and release facts about the individual carbon footprints of as many student activities as possible.
Informing students about how much keeping their lights on in their rooms matters or the difference between using a laptop and using the computers in the library in terms of energy used would be useful. These efforts would be somewhat akin to the feature on the Web site of our new food services provider, Bon Apetit, that allows customers to see the environmental cost of what they eat in an average meal, mentioned in Jess Vogt’s April 10 Green Scene column “Bon Appétit to a low-carbon diet.”
We do not know the difficulties of a project like this, or how it would come about. However, we encourage Student Action Initiative Green Team and Green Roots to look into this option, as it would go a long way to beefing up our environmental credibility in accordance with our recent “green.”
In our mind, this would be a great way to provide students with the proper information to know the environmental cost of their everyday activities and have a better sense of what they can do to enact change.