Loving Myself Every Day

TOES attempts to make campus greener

In the past few years, green has become more than just a color.  Going green is a movement that businesses, schools, and households are trying to accomplish.  TOES (Totally On Earth’s Side) is the student organization striving to make Morningside College a greener campus.

Already, Morningside has made two major accomplishments in going green.  The first is recycling.  Jim Stroh in the biology department applied for the $15,000 grant that made Morningside’s recycling initiative successful. 

“I recycle because it is no more difficult than throwing things in the trash,” said Emily Greenlee, a freshman.  “And it helps reduce waste.”because it is no more difficult that throwing things in the trash, and it helps reduce waste.

 Secondly, Morningside College’s kitchen uses only cage free eggs.  Not only that, but the source those eggs are bought from is recognized as being humane to their chickens by the Humane Society of America.

But there’s still a long way to go for the home of the Mustangs.

Right now, TOES is applying for grants and starting proposals to help make Morningside’s campus more green. 

For example, Morningside College’s sprinklers run even if it’s raining, and the lawn fertilizer being used is not biodegradable.  TOES has already started proposals for that.  And later this year, the college is bringing in some sustainability experts to see about making the college’s buildings more energy efficient. 

TOES is also planning on applying for a grant to build a Eco-house – a house where students live in a green and sustainable fashion in an energy efficient house.  Morningside College has already acquired land by the new student houses that could be used for this project.

Another idea that has met some resistance is trayless dining.  The only wait is for a written proposition from student government because it is hoped that it will be a student-led movement.

It seems that movement is well on its way though, because when asked what else Morningside could do to be greener, Greenlee says, “Trayless Tuesdays would help inspire more green activities.”

All of these movements, though are equally important.  “The major thing to Morningside green is to create a culture that is enthused about conservation,” says Dr. Tom Gilbert, a philosophy professor and faculty advisor for TOES.

But it’s not just TOES students who are excited about going green.  Jessica Standard, a senior, took a May Term class about how food impacts the environment.  Since the class she has become a vegetarian.

Standard says that she thinks Morningside College should reduce red meat consumption and offer more vegan options because the meat industry contributes a huge amount of methane gas to the atmosphere, which is much more harmful than carbon dioxide. 

“If we all gave up meat for one meal a day, we would greatly reduce our carbon emissions,” says Standard.

The best part about eating vegan foods, though, is that many companies that make vegan options are already making important contributions to the green movement.

If we don’t start taking environmental issues seriously it is not going to be our kids or our kids kids that have to deal with the problems that global warming is causing, it will be us. Our weather patterns are already fluctuating so dramatically and by taking small steps we all have the power to make a difference

“If we don’t start taking environmental issues seriously, it is not going to be our kids, or our kid’s kids that have to deal with the problems, it will be us,” adds Standard.

So whether you think it’s more helpful to change your diet, join TOES, or only turn off the water while you brush your teeth, the point is you’re joining the green movement.  And that’s enough.