Arcadia Teach-in Aimed for Greener Tomorrrow

In Uncategorized on February 16, 2009 at 2:30 am

page3plantGlobal warming is becoming an increasing cause for concern among environmental activists. This past Thursday, Arcadia University took an active roll in educating people about this issue. On February 5, a National Teach In for Global Warming was held in the Grey Towers Castle.

The teach-in was not simply about global warming, it was also about sustainability and the environment in general. The teach-in was designed to educate the community about the hazards our world faces and the steps they can take towards sustainability. The goal was to teach others how to live their lives in an environmentally savvy fashion. There were also representatives from organizations dedicated to helping reverse the harmful effects that have already been caused to our environment.

Bridget Foreacre represented the Clean Water Action organization, a grass roots environmental organization based in Philadelphia. This organization focuses on the politics of environmental policy. During the election Clean Water Action heavily endorsed those candidates who placed a lot of emphasis in their campaign on environmental issues.
Clean Water Action is working on a project called Buffers 100 which would create mandatory buffers of at least 100 feet on each side of Pennsylvania streams. Stream buffers create a boundary in which people are not allowed to develop land. This would help reduce pollution and flood damage, enhance habitats for aquatic life and could even increase local property values. Clean Water Action is currently in the process of petitioning to Governor Rendell to enact this Buffer 100 policy.
Executive Director Sarah RobbGrieco was at the teach-in to represent the Tucony-Frankford Watershed Partnership. The main goal of her organization is to clean up the streams in Philadelphia and make strides towards keeping them clean. The Tucony-Frankford Watershed Partnership is concerned with the extremely unsanitary state of Philadelphia streams.

Because of the amount of land development, there is not enough green space to absorb rainwater and it is overflowing our drainage systems and backing up into our creeks, creating a very unhealthy water source, say RobbGreico. Tucony-Frankford Water Partnership encourages people to help create more green space for water absorption by doing things as simple as planting more trees in your yard or letting your grass grow just a little longer than usual.

More complicated actions include installing green roofs, which allow plants to be planted on the roofs of buildings, and using porous pavement on sidewalks, which allow for a much higher percentage of water drainage than the average sidewalk.

There are also many simple ways that students can “go green” by just making minor changes to their daily routine. “Easy things like turning off the water when you brush your teeth or not spending a lot of time in the shower,” says Senior Jess Grazel, one of the coordinators of the teach in. “Even that can help decrease water usage so much.”

Grazel is also involved in the Environmental Network club where they are working on creating more events like the teach-in to educate students about going green. One of the strides the club has taken is the introduction of Trayless Tuesdays in the dining hall. Not allowing students to use trays can significantly impact the environment, explains Grazel. “We’ve gotten mixed reactions but we are going to continue with it because it is saving us a lot of money. It’s supposed to cut down on water usage and food waste. We’re actually trying to get it to be Tuesdays and Thursdays. We’re trying to take little baby steps towards helping the environment.”

They may be baby steps, but it is these baby steps that make a difference towards a greener future for our planet.


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