With concerns about high energy costs, climate change, waste reduction and other environmental issues on the rise, university employees and students will have several opportunities in October to take part in efforts to make UGA and Athens more sustainable.
October is National Energy Awareness Month, and two local events are scheduled on Oct. 4 as part of a nationwide “National Conversation on Climate Action.”
A new student group, the Go Green Alliance, will hold a town hall forum at 7 p.m. in Room 101 of the Student Learning Center. At noon that day, the Athens-Clarke County government will hold an open forum at the Athens-Clarke County Library.
Both programs will deal with such issues as global warming, “carbon footprints,” energy conservation and other sustainability matters, and will encourage questions and input from audience members on steps the university and local government can take to promote environmental quality.
Speakers at the Go Green Alliance forum will include representatives of the university’s Energy Conservation Executive Committee and a new Environmental Sustainability Committee created in the physical plant division, as well as members of student environmental organizations that have joined together to form the alliance.
A member of the Energy Conservation Executive Committee also will participate in the Athens-Clarke County forum, which will include Mayor Heidi Davison, who is joining with 50 mayors around the country to engage residents in discussions on climate change. As part of that event, Georgia Power will give a free fluorescent energy-saving light bulb to people who promise to use it to replace an incandescent bulb.
The Go Green Alliance will sponsor “Eight Days to Go Green,” a series of events aimed at increasing campus awareness of environmental issues, Oct. 14-21.
Activities will include a campus recycling drive, a residence hall recycling competition, a “fashion show” featuring garments made from recycled materials, an exchange of plastic water bottles for eco-friendly containers, games with environmental themes and a movie with an environmental focus.
On Oct. 16, representatives from Georgia Power will be at the Tate Student Center Plaza to give away fluorescent bulbs to those who sign a pledge to use them.
The Go Green Alliance formed this semester to bring together seven student organizations with an interest in environmental matters. The alliance will facilitate collaborative action among the organizations to promote environmental awareness and sustainability on campus. The alliance plans a newsletter and will sponsor other events including activities on America Recycles Day on Nov. 15.
The university’s new Environmental Sustainability Committee is chaired by Thomas Satterly, assistant vice president in the physical plant. The committee has created a Web site (http://gogreen.uga.edu), and the Go Green Alliance started a blog (http://ugagogreen.blogspot.com/) for discussions on sustainability issues.