Elissa Coburn

Equinox Staff


Keene State College students attended an Eco-representative conference at Babson College on Nov. 5. KSC seniors Danielle Flaherty and Gregg French were asked to present at this conference.  The conference was held so colleges could see what others were doing to get more students involved and gain knowledge about the environment.

“We talked about working with RAs of residence halls to bring awareness to [the] student body of ways to be more sustainable,” French said.

Flaherty said she wanted to talk about the bigger events that eco reps did on campus.  One of the past events she did was with Recycle Mania.  Members of Recycle Mania attended a basketball game and marched out to the Recycle song from Rocko’s Modern Life.  The goal of that event was to let people know about Recycle Mania and ways in which others can help, Flaherty said.

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As eco reps, another thing they like to focus on is individual projects.  KSC student Elise Bolster is currently working on a project that has to deal with the athletic department and the waste they go through with food for away games.  Flaherty is taking a different approach.  “I am focusing on natural resources and America’s impact on that, like cell phones, computers, and stuff like that,” Flaherty said.

French is working on a presentation that has to deal with corporations that are given the same rights as people.  In his view corporations are getting away with too much and they shouldn’t be.  “Water bottle corporations can go into local towns, take water without buying rights and being taxed.  Where is the line drawn?  And how much is enough?” French said.

Mary Jensen, coordinator of sustainability and recycling at KSC, came up with an idea to help spread the message of eco-reps around campus.  She said that the current eco reps should incorporate their majors with the program.  “You are with those people in your major all the time, so it’s a great way to get PR out and make them [other students] realize that eco reps can deal with their major too,” Flaherty said.

As with any program, a goal for them is to make people more aware.  As an eco rep program they are looking for ways to get more people involved and teach them more information about their topic.  “I want to continue to push Hoot -n- Scoot to get rid of their water bottles,” French said.

According to French, 6,000 water bottles are distributed from Hoot -n- Scoot a week.  French, along with the eco rep program met with Hoot -n- Scoot supervisors to explain to them their reasoning behind wanting to do away with the plastic water bottles, or even just limiting the number of water bottles used.  One idea they came up with instead of distributing plastic water bottles is by giving out reusable water bottles and having water available in the fountain soda machine.

“My personal goal for this year is to impact students in a way that they will take what we teach them along for their whole life,” Flaherty said.

The eco rep program is a teaching program.  Students who want to become an eco rep have to start off at the meetings by reading chapters and educating themselves before they can start educating others.  Freshmen residence halls are the target for eco reps.  They want to make sure that after the seniors graduate, there will be others who know the program well enough to carry it on, and be able to educate others who want to become a part of the program.  So another goal of eco reps is to inspire freshmen and sophomores to take part in the eco rep program.

“The biggest point we wanted to make was eco reps has changed a lot.  We aren’t just bystanders telling you what you should do; we’re actually activists,” Flaherty said.

This is evident now because when Flaherty and French started taking part in eco reps there were only 12 members.  Now, a couple years later, the group has doubled in size.

Flaherty really emphasized wanting to educate others so that they take this knowledge from the program with them and use it in their life every day.  “We need to make this a life-long commitment to help the earth, because without the earth where are we going to live,” Flaherty said.

The eco reps have a Facebook page; if you want to know what the eco reps are up to or want to get to know an eco rep “like” their page and start spreading the word about eco reps.


Ellissa Coburn can be contacted at ecoburn@ksc.mailcruiser.com

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