Green Greeks conducts can, bottle recycling drive

From February 20 to March 6, Green Greeks held their first annual can drive to promote recycling in the greek community at RPI. This program was incredibly successful, engaging eleven fraternities and two sororities in a friendly competition aimed at increasing awareness about the importance of recycling cans and bottles. As an incentive to participate, the club promised rewards for two categories of winners: the chapter with the most money raised, and the chapter with the most money raised per member. The total money raised was split 50/50 between these two categories, preventing larger chapters from having a clear advantage over other participants, and donated to the charity of each winner’s choice. At the conclusion of the event on March 6, the brothers of Pi Kappa Alpha led the competition with a total of $77.10 raised from recyclables, followed by Delta Tau Delta in second place with $68.50, and Theta Chi in third with $57.50. The results from the second category are not expected to be tallied until updated rosters can be submitted from each participating chapter. Overall, these hard-working greeks raised a total of $417.80 that will be donated in full to two charities.

In addition to the can drive, Green Greeks have been planning a variety of ways to increase their presence on campus over the course of the semester. In recognition of Earth Week in April, a t-shirt design competition was held to create a shirt which promoted both sustainability and the greek community. The student who designed the winning t-shirt, Kammi Shah ’14, will be receiving one free of charge, courtesy of the club, for her hard work. The club hopes to have large orders placed from every chapter on campus, allowing them to use the shirt as a way of recognizing Green Greeks throughout campus who are participating in programs and initiatives during the semester. In April, the club will be hosting a “Save the Gas” day where all greeks will be encouraged to go to and from campus without the use of gasoline for the day. This event will be a perfect opportunity for participating members to wear their new shirts and represent the environmental efforts of the community.

Another initiative currently in the works is Compost Mondays. Courtesy of RPI, the organization has access to the compost pile at the greenhouse on Sunset Terrace. As the weather warms, the club hopes to set up food waste pickups every Monday to begin composting organic waste. By the fall, participating houses will receive a portion of the composted dirt at no charge for landscaping projects prior to the school year. Additionally this initiative will help to raise food waste awareness within the greek community, hopefully leading to more efficient uses of their purchased foods. In the long term, the club hopes to make this program more frequent than once a week.

The final initiative that Green Greeks are working on is to provide fresh, seasonal produce from local farms to any fraternity or sorority interested through Field Goods, a community supported agriculture which has been providing this same service to faculty for over a year now. Recent surveys have shown that the greek community would be ecstatic to support local farms through this program and love the idea of adding some diversity to their weekly recipes. The club is expecting this program to take off in the fall 2013 when most chapters are updating their budgets and planning for the semester ahead.