The university has implemented a number of environmentally-conscientious changes around campus this year, but the average student hasn’t fully become aware of them. As a result, student involvement has been limited.
It’s like the old question: “If a tree falls in the forest when no one is around, does it really make noise?” Do the “Green U” initiatives really count if most students don’t notice them?
There are those items which are easily visible, such as the stickers on the Hurry Cane shuttles that announce their use of bio-diesel fuel and the new message at the bottom of university e-mails that requests readers to not print the correspondence unnecessarily. These initiatives, which are highly visible around campus, aren’t the only “Green U” programs that are in progress, but seem to be the only ones that students notice.
Making environmentally-sound alternatives available on campus is only half of the battle. Students and faculty need to be aware of these new initiatives, otherwise they may never be utilized to the fullest extent. As students, we’ve come to the University of Miami to learn about a variety of subjects, including responsible habits that we will continue to practice after graduation. Learning about the environment-how we are damaging it in our everyday activities and how we can change our actions-should be fostered within the academic environment. One step in this direction would be to publicize the “Green U” program and what environmentally-safe alternatives have been implemented but aren’t visible when walking around the palm tree oasis that is our campus.
While we admit that the university has in no way perfected the goal of going green (there are significantly fewer recycling bins than there are trash cans among other things), they have made the effort to change what the administration has the power to change. Now, it’s up to the students to walk instead of drive and to go out of their way to find the recycling bins that do exist and educate themselves about our environment.
Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.