Mar 3, 2009

Care for Creation group calls campus to recycle

by Caroline Harrison

The Care for Creation Association (CFCA) believes that one does not need to hug trees or don tie-dye to demonstrate care for the environment. CFCA was formed to spread awareness of student involvement in active stewardship, a mission embodied by their Facebook group, entitled, “Good stewardship of the Earth and its creatures is a biblical mandate, not a leftist sentiment.”

“We believe that it is our responsibility as Christians to care for God's creation and set a good example in our communities,” CFCA cofounder Amelia Harr said.

Harr and Lindsay Larson organized the group in conjunction with the Student Government Association in the Fall of 2007. Both women have grown up recycling in Vermont and were shocked when they learned that Liberty students did not recycle at all. Faculty and staff had been recycling for years, but there was no system in place to encourage student recycling.

CFCA decided to begin a Liberty chapter of the national competition RecycleMania last year to encourage student involvement in recycling.
After gaining approval, the group set up student representatives on every hall of every dorm, called Conservation Advocates (CA). The CAs made announcements during hall meetings and oversaw the emptying of recycling boxes from the hall to larger bins around campus.
In its first year participating in RecycleMania, Liberty recycled 64 tons of paper and cardboard alone, and saw a 300 percent increase from the previous year, according to the Liberty recycling Web site. Liberty students are excited about participating in RecycleMania.

“I am very proud to take on this role of Conservation Advocate,” sophomore Alison Cole said. “I’m so glad that Liberty has enabled us to recycle more efficiently.”

Recycling in the dorms is now managed by the Office of Student Leadership, according to the Liberty Recycling Web site.

Although RecycleMania is a competition, winning was never the goal, according to Facilities Assistant Manager Sherri Pruitt.

“Our goal is not to win, but to get in the game,” Pruitt said.
The main push of CFCA has been not only to recycle, but also to decrease waste in general.

“Recycling is not only good stewardship of the earth, (it) is also good stewardship of Liberty’s resources. Liberty University pays for everything that goes into landfills. The less we put into the landfills, the more money we save,” CFCA Faculty Advisor Dr. Karen Prior said.
There were about 30 students involved in CFCA last year, most of whom were CAs in the dorms.

This year, students can recycle cardboard, paper, plastic and aluminum. Recycling centers have been placed at strategic locations all over Liberty’s campus. These locations can be found online by typing “recycling” in the Liberty search bar.

Next year Liberty plans to expand student recycling beyond the 10 weeks of RecyleMania to a year-round emphasis.

CFCA has also been involved in a local environmentally friendly exposition called Greenspring, which was founded by local business owner Mike Cundiff in collaboration with the City of Lynchburg and Sweet Briar College.

About 12 CFCA members volunteered for the first exposition in April 2008. Liberty students were the largest group of volunteers among all of the local groups represented, according to Cundiff.

“They were very interested, very engaged and ready, willing and able to do whatever we needed,” Cundiff said.

Students are highly encouraged to attend or even volunteer at Greenspring this year.

“It (Greenspring) is a great opportunity for Liberty University to get positive exposure in the greater community,” Prior said.

CFCA plans to man its own booth at Greenspring this year. The table may feature artwork and other displays. It will be held in the Armory in downtown Lynchburg on April 18.

“This is a great opportunity for students to get involved in the community and show people that Christians take God’s creation seriously,” Harr said.

For more information, please e-mail CFCA at recycle@liberty.edu.

Contact Caroline Harrison at
ctharrison@liberty.edu.  


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