Dustin Steinhoff, Staff Writer

Getting students interested in planting gardens, sustainability, recycling, and alternative modes of transportation were the topics of discussion during the Green Team Advisory Council meeting that took place in the Millennium Student Center on April 5.

Members of the University of Missouri-St. Louis Green Team Advisory Council got together in order to talk about ways for UMSL students and faculty to be able to get more involved in environmentally positive campus activities. The meeting comprised of students involved in the Green Team, students and faculty interested in the Green Team and the environment, and members of Sodexo.

The Green Team is actively seeking more students to join their organization. To do this, the organization will start having meetings more often in order to create more opportunities for students and faculty to get involved.

“We used to have meetings once or twice a semester, but we are trying to bump it up to once a month,” said Andy Nguyen, a member of the Green Team since last semester.

In the past, the Green Team has organized events such as Shred Day, Try Transit and other events geared toward creating a more sustainable campus. Nguyen is particularly interested in sustainability, recycling, and seeing more UMSL students partake in alternative modes of transportation in order to get to campus or any other destination. With a large part of UMSL students commuting to the school, the Green Team has set up multiple events in order to encourage students to commute to school in ways that do not pollute the air as much as motor vehicles do.

“We try to encourage students, organizations, faculty and staff to be more involved on campus regarding the sustainability,” Nguyen said. “We usually encourage them to try to recycle and take alternative transit like taking the metro or bike to school instead of driving.”

The Green Team also focuses on topics such as waste management, getting students to recycle more, and helping students better understand what materials are able to be recycled. For instance, plans to implement magnets that help students find the recycling bin and what items are recyclable (paper, plastic, cardboard) were discussed during the meeting.

“I feel like we are wasting a lot. About 75 percent of what we throw away today is recyclable,” Nguyen said. “I feel like we are making a difference here by recycling and not destroying the environment.”

New attendees are also given a voice during these meetings, as fresh perspectives on the Green Team and what they can do to better help the campus become more environmentally friendly are always welcome.

“We only have one Earth. I want to be able to do my part to preserve what we do have,” said Dustin Barton, a first-time attendee of a Green Team meeting. “Animals and plants are dying out at an alarming rate and we are destroying a lot. I do not know exactly what we are going to do to make up for it, but I know that we need to start making up for it sooner rather than later.”

With April being Earth Month as well as Earth Day taking place on April 22, the Green Team has plenty of environmentally friendly events on and off campus for students to take part in. On April 6, the documentary “A Plastic Ocean” was screened at the SGA Chambers, and on April 7, more trees were planted around campus. On April 20, biologist and author E.O. Wilson will be speaking at the St. Louis Zoo.