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Green Council Implements Compost Project

Celine Holland helps a student weigh food waste.

Photo credit: Kela Killam

Celine Holland helps a student weigh food waste.

Kela Killam, Reporter

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Green Council is Sierra Nevada College’s community for environmental activism. Open to everyone on campus, the council aims to bring together students who are interested in learning about and living in an environmentally mindful manner.

“Green Council is my tool where I share ideas about sustainability and go to learn about events or opportunities that I wouldn’t know just by attending my classes,” said McKenna Bean, a Green Council member and sustainability major. “It’s a forum for students to learn about the local environment.”

The club organizes events and activities for students both on and off campus.

According to the Green Council’s president, senior Celine Holland, a few events are planned for this year, and there are “more to come.”

The Green Council is currently focusing on its compost project. They’ve placed green bins for for compostable materials next to the recycling containers and trashcans at various locations around campus.

Holland is carrying forward a project that was started in 2015 by alumni Marina McCoy. She collects tossed-out food from Patterson Dining Hall to deliver to Full Circle Compost in South Lake Tahoe, minimizing SNC’s food waste contribution to local landfills.

“I’m going to be in Patterson Dining Hall once a meal every day,” Holland said. “I want to add a new component each week. I’ll start collecting from the back of the kitchen, too.”

According to Holland, the compost project is meant to create a positive solution for food that is wasted on campus. It’s also designed to promote students’ awareness of what they throw out.

“I don’t want this project to be demonizing of people and food waste,” Holland said. “I can tell some people get really intimidated when they see me standing there, so I’ll try to make them feel comfortable.”

Students who are not members of Green Council recognize the value the club brings to SNC. Banyan Claussen, a senior digital arts and marketing major, said he considers Green Council “important.”

“They are trying to make the school a better place,” said Claussen. “They inspire students to be conscious of what they throw away.”

Green Council is also planning to attend two agriculture-based conferences in spring 2018. The first is EcoFarm, which takes place Jan. 24-27. Following soon after is the Sustainable Food and Farm Conference Feb. 9-11.

“I’m most excited about the possibility of a trip to EcoFarm in January,” Bean said. “Last year I went with a small group of students and learned so much about sustainable agriculture. It’s what inspired me to join that field.”

In 2015 and 2016, Green Council hosted “Walk to School Wednesdays” to encourage students to carpool, walk, bike, or find alternative transportation to school. Every Wednesday in October, students who met the criteria were awarded free food and coffee in Prim Library. Due to a different student demographic this year, Green Council decided to temporarily suspend this event.

“There are a lot of students who live on-campus compared to off-campus,” Holland said. “For this and other reasons, it’s not as effective to set up a program with prizes even though we still encourage finding ways to get to school by biking or carpooling.”

Green Council meetings are held in Prim Library to discuss upcoming events, projects and ideas. Holland encourages students interested in helping out with Green Council projects or learning more about sustainable living to “keep an eye on the Potty Press for upcoming meeting dates.” She can also be reached at her SNC email address.

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Green Council Implements Compost Project