By Heather Leiphart, Student Reporter
As students clean out a year’s accumulation of clothing, dishes and school supplies from their residence halls and apartments, several ACU organizations are going green and providing earth-friendly ways to dispose of these items.
University Park will plant a tree and have a garage sale in its clubhouse, while the Service Action Leadership Team will have a furniture and clothing drive. In addition, the Students’ Association Congress has placed recycling bins in Nelson Hall and Mabee Business Building.
UP residents are preparing to dispose of unwanted items at the annual end-of-the-year garage sale Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon. Any items not sold will be donated to the Salvation Army. UP will provide tables, chairs and price stickers, so students only need to bring their items to sell, said Tenell Zahodnik, resident director of UP. Because of soggy weather, the event will take place inside the clubhouse.
UP also plans to plant a tree Monday in honor of Earth Day. The event was scheduled for last Monday, but UP staff encountered issues obtaining the tree, Zahodnik said. UP staff had hoped to get the tree from Physical Resources’ tree farm, but instead UP may have its landscapers choose a tree that will thrive. The staff then will buy it and plant it, she said.
“It’s strange for me because I was a student here and I’m watching this campus grow and change, so the idea of giving something now that will be here for generations to come is cool,” Zahodnik said. “It’s also a way to give something back because we’re always so busy taking.”
UP also raffled tickets to see the new movie Earth as part of the Earth Day celebration.
UP staff plans to join the Arbor Foundation, which sends 10 seedlings for membership. The tiny trees will be planted during the summer.
“Our entire company has been working on going green,” Zahodnick said. “Earth Day was a big deal for us, but it’s an entire change in mentality. We’re trying to make it so that it’s not just for Earth Day that we’re giving back.”
SALT organizers also are going green with an annual Dead Day Recycling event. They are asking students to bring their unwanted household objects, furniture, clothes and school supplies to the Brown Library parking lot from noon to 3 p.m. on Dead Day. They will donate the items to Love and Care Ministries and the International Rescue Committee.
“We wanted to have a central location where students can bring the items they don’t need, and then give those to people who are in need,” said Caitlin Winegeart, junior accounting major from Abilene and one of the event organizers. “At the end of the year everyone is moving out, an often times you drive by campus and see the dumpsters piled up sky-high, and a lot of it is still really great items.”
The IRC helps refugees locate housing and integrate into the school system in Abilene. Love and Care Ministries focuses on assisting the homeless.
Students who donate will receive a free Cajun Cone and may swap clothing they contribute for other donated clothing. Winegeart said SALT organizes the event every year, but four pickup truck loads of clothing donations overwhelmed the ministry last year, which is why SALT will now allow students to swap clothing items.
“The compensation is Cajun Cones, but also the benefit of knowing that you’re helping out someone in need,” Winegeart said.
In addition, SA Congress has placed recycling receptacles in Nelson Hall and Mabee Business Building. It has been a long process, but with cooperation from the administration, Congress has organized a recycling program that can be “easily maintained and has the potential to grow into a campus-wide program,” said Daniel Burgner, former junior class representative, in an e-mail.
“The recycling program is very important to the ACU mission and community,” said Burgner, junior political science major from Yorba Linda, Calif. “If we expect to be Christian leaders throughout the world, then we must set an example for taking care of the world.”