By Megan Wanner
The Green Team and Sierra Club at Elon University are partnering for Earth Week April 20-24 in order to raise awareness about environmental sustainability. This includes Earth Day on April 22, the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970.
In a man-on-the-street survey of Elon students, 90 percent considered themselves environmentally aware.
“I pay attention to a lot of the news that goes on about environmental things like recently the ice shelf in Antarctica split and I just find a lot of that stuff to be interesting,” said freshman Andrew Somers. “I’m convinced of global warming through that way and I think it’s important to pay attention to what goes on so that’s what I do.”
However only 64 percent of students polled believed their Elon education had made a big difference in their environmental awareness.
“I haven’t really had any of my classes really talk real specifically about environmental awareness or what to do to reduce carbon footprints or anything,” said junior John Knowles-Bagwell. “The stuff I know about that is just through gathering that stuff from newspapers or general knowledge so Elon hasn’t really been the biggest source of information for me.”
Of the students polled, 67 percent said they were concerned about global warming and taking personal action. Personal action consisted of 10 percent who said they conserved water, 61 percent who said they reduced/reused/recycled, 23 percent who said they tried to reduce their carbon footprint, 2 percent who voted “green” and 36 percent who said they walked more and took fewer trips, using less gas. There were 17 percent of the students polled who responded they did not take any personal action to help the environment.
“I definitely would recycle a lot more if given the opportunity at Elon and they do make it very easy but if they made it easier with different steps to do,” said sophomore Meg Anderson. “If had been given a recycling bag, I would have recycled more.”