Green initiative worth encouragement at Tech

A few weeks ago, I had the chance to speak to one of Tech’s green activists, Josh Donegan. He is the student chairperson for the TTU Green Committee, and we had a really interesting conversation about Tech and the possibility of green energy solutions on our campus.Despite more than 100 members on Facebook, the Green Committee only has about six active members who attend the meetings.

I know that recently words like “eco-friendly” and “green” have become synonyms for “trendy,” but regardless of why people are getting behind green energy, it is a good cause and more people should know about it.

The organization is trying to launch a recycling campaign on campus by providing recycling bins in every building which, by the way, many other campuses already practice. I think we are pretty behind the green curve. That’s probably because the Green Committee has such sparse membership to support the cause. We do at least have recycle bins in most residential halls.

Since 2006 Tech has included a small green fee of about $8 with tuition, which is the monetary support for environmental efficiency projects like recycling.

Even though we are a little behind on recycling, Tech would be one of the first schools in Tennessee to adopt a sustainable campus-wide power source should it adopt the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Green Power Switch program.

According to Donegan, TVA’s Green Power Switch program is Tech’s best option for eco-friendly energy.

“The reason we support TVA is because it’s local,” Donegan said. “If we buy green energy it creates jobs for people in Tennessee.”

It sounds like a win-win situation to me. Jobs for people in Tennessee and a more efficient energy source would benefit everyone.

The problem with green energy is that it is expensive initially. However, over time it actually would save Tech some money, not to mention the fact that Tech could boast on campus tours and brochures about how we’re ahead of the eco-friendly energy curve.

It’s our money that goes to these projects, and we should have a say in what projects it goes toward. I think that pushing for green energy is a great way to get involved on campus.

In the long run, using sustainable resources like solar panels or wind energy would save money and help protect our environment, yet many schools are reluctant to invest the amount of time and money involved upfront. I’d like to be able to say that I am a student at one of the first schools to adopt green energy.

Donegan encourages anyone who is interested in getting involved with the committee to come to meetings at 4 p.m. on Wednesdays in TJ Farr’s Honors Lounge.

For more information, e-mail Donegan at joshdonegan@gmail.com.