Thinking Green in Sherman ... and around the world on Earth Day - - Texoma news, weather and sports

Thinking Green in Sherman ... and around the world on Earth Day

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by Kris Betts

Recently, Austin College started a program called "think green," to promote sustainability. Today, as part of that program, they started the trayless lunch program.
    A tree in the hallway of the Austin College Student Center has leaves with pledges to make a difference for the environment.
"One of my pledges was to learn how to grow my own food," said Katie Masucci, AC junior.
The tree is the symbol for the "think" initiative recently started by students and faculty.
"The tree itself signifies the growth of an eco-awareness on campus," Masucci said.
For Earth Day, the college cafeteria is trying trayless dining in an effort to reduce waste, but there are other benefits as well.
"Everyone's heard of the freshman 15 or freshman 20, maybe there's a little less chance of that if you didn't have a big 'ol tray of food," said Peter Schulze, AC professor.
This is just an experiment, but the college is aiming for long term changes as well, depending on students' reaction.
"We're aware that if we do one green initiative that causes a lot of aggregation, that will cause a lot of resistance to others," Schulze said. "Not going trayless dining, we're going to tray-optional dining."
This is just one of many movements the college is making to be more environmentally conscious ... on campus. And in the community.
"One of our student's projects led to the Sherman curbside recycling, at this point it's costing Sherman less money to recycle than to dispose of the trash, so it's good for the environment and saving the city money. That's the goal for this liberal arts college, to reach beyond the walls of academia, into the surrounding area to push for a better tomorrow.
"It starts with people at a local level to make the necessary changes," Masucci said.
From turning off the water to unplugging electronics, taking shorter showers and turning off the lights, Austin College is trying to get its students, and the community, to reduce the waste on our planet.
"It's never too early to early to get started, no, I can't see why it would ever be too late to get started," Schulze added.
And this week, Earth Day is a perfect way to start.