When Janet Lobaina is not in class, she collects students’ old cell phones. She is part of Gang Green, an organization made up of environmentally aware students.
Gang Green has recently launched the “donate your old cell phone” project, the newest recycling program at the university.
The organization collects old cell phones from students and gives them to women victims of domestic violence. Each cell phone will be connected at no cost to a hotline and 911.
“We often switch cell phones to have the latest gadget or make a fashion statement,” Lobaina said. “With this campaign, we are actually putting them to good use by making a difference in someone’s life and the environment.”
Gang Green’s main concerns are global warming and the deterioration of the earth’s natural resources.
“As Gang Green student volunteers, we understand that global warming affects both the natural environment and human life. It is through immediate involvement and the spread of prevention measures that we can make a difference,” sophomore Alyssa Reyes said.
The group also promotes several programs at the university, such as Recycle Mania, a national competition among college dormitories to reduce the amount of waste disposal.
In February, Gang Green sponsored UM Recycles Day, where hundreds of students picked up plastics, aluminum cans and other trash around campus.
“The experience just felt right, and our campus was greener than ever,” junior Mariano Suarez said. “I enjoyed being part of it.”
Student members of Gang Green regularly participate in beach clean-ups and park restorations.
Claudia Cabanas, a biology major, joined the organization during this spring semester and has already participated in three beach clean-ups, two park restorations, collected old cell phones and batteries, and promoted recycling in the residential houses.
“Gang Green has altered my college experience,” she said. “Now I feel like I’m really doing something worth the while with my time.”
Gang Green students participate in outdoor clean-ups one Saturday per month. These students represent the university in all recycling activities sponsored by Hands on Miami, Green Peace, and other international organizations.
For anyone interested in joining Gang Green, call the Department of Student Affairs at 305-284-4922, or check their website at miami.edu/student-affairs.
Juliet Chavib may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.