The Green Scene

Jess Vogt

For the 85-or-so percent of Lawrentian readers who didn’t attend the September convocation, you probably have little clue what Green Roots actually is. Maybe you’ve seen the new featured link on the Lawrence homepage, or that little green bar with a “g” above it on the double-sided printing signs at the library. But what does it all mean? For those of you who went to convocation, and are wondering what this Green Roots thing has actually done so far, this article will be an update. For those of you who have no clue what I am talking about, this article will tell you what Green Roots: The Sustainable Lawrence Initiative is all about.
The official mission statement on the Green Roots Web site states that Green Roots is “a two-year long environmental initiative that will establish the framework within which we will initiate specific institutional policies and procedures to ‘green’ the Lawrence campus and cultivate the habits of mind and disposition that lead to care of the Earth.”
This means, essentially, that Lawrence is joining many other colleges and universities across the nation in an attempt to not only create an environmentally sustainable campus, but also to create environmentally aware — and hopefully environmentally acting — students, faculty and staff.
The Green Roots committee overseeing the initiative meets once a week to brainstorm and discuss issues pertaining to theme year planning. It’s made up of about 10 members of the Lawrence community, myself being one of them,
Most recently we have been using a process called the Natural Step as a method of brainstorming ways Lawrence can be more sustainable. Suggested initiatives have included many things, from turning down the thermostat in academic buildings at night, to reprogramming campus computers to automatically shut down when not in use, to going entirely to electronic record keeping on campus to drastically cut down on paper waste.
As I mentioned, you may also be seeing the Green Roots logo — the little green bar with a “g” on top — on posters on campus. This logo is used to denote events and activities that are in some way environmentally related or endorsed by the Green Roots initiative.
Okay, you’re saying, “So I look for the little green thing on posters if I want to learn more about what Lawrence is doing to be sustainable?” Well, yes, but there is more. The Green Roots committee will be hosting a forum Thursday, Nov. 13 from 4:30-5:30 p.m. in Riverview for all who are interested to come and participate in the brainstorming process — and to help get some of these ideas started!
If you’re curious about what a “green” Lawrence might look like, or have some ideas you’d like put into action, come to the forum and get your voice heard.