This blog post was written by Summer Sherrod, President of her student sustainability, majoring in Horticulture with minor in sustainability…
In October of 2014 students from 49 states and 31 countries competed in Turning Green’s Project Green Challenge (PGC). The one state that wasn’t represented? Arkansas. Students from thirty one countries and the entire 2800 miles of the United States were more ready to be involved than students in Arkansas.
Well, not any longer.
The Conscious College Road Tour was one of the best things to ever happen to the University of Arkansas. It was a monumental success! The tabling event reached hundreds of students, faculty, staff, community members and friends. Students went above and beyond to provide their time to make sure that every themed table was well represented by informed peers. The Town Hall discussion reached a crowd of Arkansans the likes of which I had never seen at sustainability consortiums in the state. We learned about what it means to live sustainably and what brands and seals we can trust. We enjoyed Chipotle together, we laughed, we cried (ok, maybe not that one), and the members of the University of Arkansas community were left all the better for it.
Perhaps most importantly, I learned that the small group of active Student Sustainability Club members is not alone. We are not the only ones at the University of Arkansas interested in sustainability and organic cotton clothes and preservative-free skin care products. We are not the only ones curious about if the foods we eat are genetically modified and if there’s a better alternative to single-use Ziplocs. The future of sustainability on this campus is in the individuals, exactly how Ms. Judi and Ms. Erin describe it, and there are more individuals interested than I ever expected.
On behalf of the University of Arkansas student body, I issue this challenge to all other student leaders at universities across the globe: do not get discouraged in your efforts. Keep fighting for your sustainable initiatives and the health and good stewardship of your planet. If Arkansas – where rock-bottom zero students participated in PGC 2014; where we create our own water crises by unsustainably irrigating for rice production; where we grow much of the countries GMO soybeans – if even here, we can find like-minded individuals and people vested in sustainability, then you can find them too. Just keep looking, keep working, and the world will keep Turning Green, one #ConsciousCollege at a time.
On behalf of the University of Arkansas student body, I issue a challenge to student leaders at universities across the globe: Don’t get discouraged. Fight for sustainable initiatives and the stewardship of your planet. #consciouscollege