Student-Led Efforts in Sustainability
Berea’s path toward sustainability began with student interest and various student-led efforts. In Fall 1989, a group of students formed “Project Green,” a student environmental organization and campus-wide recycling program. This grassroots effort operated as a volunteer-run program until the creation of full-time Recycling Coordinator position and a supporting labor department at Facilities Management in the early 1990’s.
Current environmentally-related student-led groups include Berea Bikes, Bereans for Appalachia, HEAL, and Oxfam.
Berea Bikes is a student-run co-op that fixes, rents, and builds bicycles for the Berea community. Students work in the bike workshop as part of the labor program and also teach other students how to repair their own bikes.
Bereans for Appalachia
Bereans for Appalachia is a student organization that focuses on social and environmental justice issues in the Appalachian region.
HEAL (Helping Earth and Learning) is a student-led environmental service group that includes renewable energy and mountaintop removal initiatives. For example, the 10X10 Campaign, which is part of HEAL, is a student-led initiative encouraging Berea College to conserve as much energy as possible and to increase the use of clean and renewable energy sources. Some students work in HEAL as part of the Labor Program, while others volunteer for projects and awareness campaigns.
Another student organization is the Berea College chapter of Oxfam, which is “committed to creating lasting solutions to global poverty, hunger, and social injustice.” Berea Oxfam has worked on several awareness-raising events focusing on hunger, Fair-Trade, and the Real Food Challenge.
“Doin’ the Green Thing”
Check out this student-produced video contest to illustrate how Berea College is addressing global warming. It was one of the winners of the 2008 the NWF’s Campus Ecology CHILL OUTcompetition!