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Liberty News

Publication recognizes LU as environmentally active campus

March 8, 2010 : Kristen Riordan

Facilities Department employee Loren Washburn tends to recycling containers at one of the six recycling center locations on campus. 


Liberty University was recently recognized by the Christian environmental action organization Renewal for efforts to protect God’s creation.

The university was highlighted along with 50 other Christian universities in the organization’s publication, “The Green Awakenings Campus Report.” The first-of-its-kind report was released in February and highlights growing environmental stewardship efforts on Christian campuses across the United States and Canada.

Liberty caught Renewal’s attention because of its Care for Creation Association (CFCA), which was started in 2007 to make a positive environmental impact on the campus and surrounding community.

English professor Dr. Karen Swallow Prior and alumni Amelia Harr (’09 English) and Lindsay Larson (’09 Nursing) were instrumental in starting CFCA.

“We found that the students at Liberty, as a whole, were either apathetic or ignorant about the importance of recycling,” Harr said. “We believed that recycling is not only the smart thing to do for our school but also for our community, environment and world.”

The students worked hard to gain widespread support at Liberty, coordinating with facility managers and residence hall staff to start the college’s first recycling program.

“We entered a country-wide college recycling competition called RecycleMania, and we got our friends to join Care for Creation,” Harr said. “We even drove around the campus in a van and put recycling boxes in every dorm!”

Loren Washburn, left, and Scott Mitchner work at the main recycling center at Campus North.

By placing recycling bins in every dorm and educational facility, Liberty saw a 300-percent increase in the recycling of paper and cardboard from 2007 to 2008, with more than 3,400 tons recycled.

Renewal was pleasantly surprised by Liberty’s involvement.

“Liberty University is often thought of as a conservative school,” the report states. “This label suggests that the university would be unsupportive of so-called ‘left-wing’ causes such as environmental awareness and even recycling. … Happily, the opposite has proven true during recent years.”

Included in the publication was a campus stewardship and sustainability survey in which Liberty was recognized for several areas, including recycling, campus housing stewardship initiatives, food service initiatives, transportation improvements, student club/organization and offering an academic major and minor concerning the environment.

The unique publication is more than just a way to recognize good environmental efforts, it is a way to communicate to the general public that those who follow the Lord should also care for His creation.

A recent press release from Renewal states, “Our generation in particular is stepping up to make a difference, but little is known about what this practically looks like across the movement. … Here is an opportunity for us to show the world what happens when Christian students and campuses come together to care for Creation.”

The CFCA is now led by junior English major Caitlin Greenlee, who has plans to coordinate more environmentally related projects on campus.

“My involvement with CFCA is a result of my desire to simply do the right thing,” she said.

  • Contact faculty supervisor Dr. Karen Swallow Prior to learn more about getting involved with CFCA.
  • Click here to learn more about Liberty’s recycling efforts.


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