ECO club to collaborate with Lovett

Over the past few years, Westminster has become more aware of maintaining a clean campus and using resources efficiently. The Environmental Campus Organization, also known as ECO, is a student-organized club that primarily focuses on promoting environmental awareness and sustainability. By addressing issues such as composting and recycling to water and land usage, ECO is constantly trying to lessen the school’s impact on the environment. Energy-saving classroom lights have been recently introduced, and more recycling bins are appearing all over campus.

The ECO club has many exciting new plans for this year, and it is encouraging students to join and participate more than ever.

“Our main goal is to work on awareness and to increase student interest and willingness,” said junior Mary Boyd Crosier. “Hopefully this year, we’ll get the word out that we exist.”

One of the biggest projects will be the collaboration between Westminster’s ECO club and Lovett’s Green Team. Together, they will be doing monthly service projects around Atlanta and creating some green changes for the upcoming Westminster vs. Lovett football game.

“Because we also want to spread out into the community, we will also try to do more activities with organizations outside of campus, such as Trees Atlanta and Organic Farms,” said club faculty advisor Heather Bergstedt.

Some projects will be discontinued and may be replaced with new ones.

“We’ve decided that we will be focusing on specific projects rather than spreading ourselves out too thin,” said Adams. The initiative is simple: ECO wants to put itself out there and get others actively involved.

Last year, ECO organized several different projects, which were set up to encourage students and faculty to become more aware and conscious of their actions and their effects on their surroundings. One of these projects was the TerraCycling in the Campus Center. TerraCycle is a company that produces consumer products, such as pencil pouches and backpacks, through upcycling, the process of converting and repurposing pre- and post-consumer waste material into new products. Not only was the Campus Center able to collect numerous types of wrappers to send in, the student body also became a little bit more aware about preserving the environment.

Another project ECO participated in was the festive Alternative Gift Fair, which took place around Christmas time. Several nonprofit organizations in the Atlanta area came together at Westminster to sell a large assortment of gifts for the holiday season. ECO participated in this event by selling various environmentally friendly crafts.

“The Alternative Gift Fair is actually one of my favorite parts of year!” said senior Hannah Rose Adams, the president of ECO. “It’s just kind of a different way to do your holiday shopping.”

Every year, ECO also participates in Scholastic’s Lexus Challenge. This is essentially a chance for schools all over the nation to compile all the different projects they have done throughout the year and show what they have to offer as a group. Westminster has received many awards and large amounts of money from this event in the past years.

“We’re basically competing against other schools, “ said Adams, “but I still think it’s helpful to develop the valuable skill of being able to reflect on what good you did and derive some greater meaning from it.”

Using the prize money from last year, ECO renovated some water fountains by adding bottle-filling stations called Elkays to them. The main goal is to encourage students and faculty to bring their own water bottles to school rather than use disposable plastic ones. Since they have been a success so far, ECO has decided to purchase two more that will be installed soon, one in Turner Gym and the other in Robinson Hall.