Green Keepers act 'out of the box'

Wed, 03/17/2010 - 2:30pm
Bordas and Fritscher

By Elizabeth Jouve

Awaiting the opening of Spring Hill College’s new Student Center, students have led the campus community in numerous sustainability awareness-building events and conservation activities. Students have undertaken an impressive array of projects supporting the cause.

Lynne Fritscher ’11, a biopsychology major, is secretary of the Green Keepers, a student organization devoted to environmental sustainability that was launched in fall 2009. “As a club, we’ve been really active in spreading awareness about the everyday things we can all do to help our environment,” Fritscher said.

Green Keepers activities have included: picking up trash from the campus grounds every Saturday, composting at the cafeteria, promoting student recycling, growing an organic herb garden, sponsoring an energy conservation competition at the Fairway Apartments, and organizing Market on the Hill featuring organic products by local farmers and vendors. The club has been working with the Spring Hill College Golf Course to help it earn certification as an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary.

During the spring 2010 semester, Green Keeper members will complete a service project at Palmer Pillans Middle School, a Mobile public school. The Green Keepers are working with Pillans science teachers to incorporate environmental sustainability concepts into their science curriculum, and assist the teachers in presenting the material to their students.

Dr. Lesli Bordas, faculty advisor for the Green Keepers and chair of the Department of Chemistry, Physics and Engineering, dedicated her fall 2009 sabbatical to improving the College’s green efforts. Spring Hill College’s next step is to further explore the multi-dimensional aspects of environmental sustainability in the classrooms.

“Spring Hill College must prepare our students for the future. If we’re not educating students about the problems of energy consumption, how can they solve them?” asks Bordas. “Our campus community is a living-learning laboratory for real-world problem solving, where students can seek answers to environmental challenges and develop a true understanding of the need for environmental sustainability and conservation.”

During the fall semester, Cardboard Mike, “spokesperson” for the Green Keepers, was an important vehicle for educating the campus community about the environment. Freed from a cardboard box, as his story goes, Mike encouraged others to break out of their boxes.

Cardboard Mike attracted more than 430 fans on Facebook, where he posted important issues that affect the environment and ways to help. He was also featured on the SHC homepage; and students could have their photo taken with Cardboard Mike, follow him on Twitter, or watch his YouTube videos.