Doing “Our Part”

October 20, 2014 § Leave a comment

Home of the brave eagle atop trash!

USA…home of the brave eagle atop trash! Source Bald Eagle at Tomoka Landfill Author Andrea Westmoreland from DeLand, United States

IARc currently has general sustainability practices in place that encourage students and faculty to take a role in reducing our environmental impact as a department. The department has ensured placement of approximately one recycle bin for almost every trash receptacle in Gatewood. This along with the recycle rooms on every floor and the free piles throughout the building, show a concerted effort to “do our part”, but what else could be done to increase this awareness and participation?

Many community centers and small art schools hold collection fairs where members of the community, individuals and businesses, can donate reusable/repurposable items such as scrap wood/metal, wire, non-aerosol paints, fabric, and much more. This type of event, held quarterly, could really help our departmental and community initiative and provide students with some unique and otherwise wasted materials. Many businesses throw away more usable material than any of them would like to admit. Why not set up a pickup program where an IARc Sustainability group would arrange for monthly collection of wasted materials? This could benefit not only our department and the environment, but could provide companies with a donation or recycling tax write-off.

UNCG has made many efforts over the last five years to become a greener school. I would encourage everyone to visit the UNCG Office of Sustainability’s webpage to learn more about our school’s involvement and how you can be active http://facsustainability.uncg.edu/.  We also have a UNCGreen Facebook page for events and info https://www.facebook.com/UNCGreen.

UNCG provides an Environmental and Sustainability Studies BA program, but the lack of focused concentration on sustainable building and design processes leaves IARc students with the added challenge of incorporating this into our course of study unless we are to add courses for an approved independent study or a MFA in Sustainable Community Design/Build. We need this focus to be fully integrated within IARc basic undergraduate studies, so after graduation, we can go out into the world prepared to make a real impact on the future of this planet. If we commit to teaching sustainable practices with every course taken within the IARc undergraduate curriculum, we can expect to produce 100% environmentally conscious graduates. That is what I call “doing our part”!

Let us know in the field below what you think IARc can do.

Contributed by Kim Wypasek [2nd] year

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