Letter from the Director: Sasha Gordon

Hi everyone! I am so overjoyed to be your new Director, so I’d like to let you know a little bit about me!

27157645_898028213705365_2130688793_nAs a student, I am a Freshman majoring in Business Administration, a member of Sigma Kappa, and extremely interested in Political Science, French, and Art History. Before I came to the UW, I lived in Orinda in the San Francisco East Bay. I knew that I wanted to expand my horizons, so I came here to experience a truly new and different terrain, and I am so glad that I did! I have been participating in environmental clubs since 6th grade, and have known for a long time that I wanted to bring it into my life on a much deeper level, and spread it to others at the same time. I heard about Green Greeks during Formal Fall Recruitment, and sought it out before I even knew where I’d end up. Very quickly, I became known around Sigma Kappa for sounding a lot like our previous Director, Talia Haller. Every time I brought up my interests, I was told that I needed to meet her. On the last day of Recruitment, she and I got matched together, and we slowly realized that we had both heard about the other before. Talia knew how passionate I was about the environment since she first met me, so when it came time to find a new Director, she asked me, and I leaped at the opportunity. The rest, of course, is history!

Going forward, my vision for Green Greeks is to start being more implementation-oriented and boots-on-the-ground. I plan to lead the group to develop more methods of bringing environmental options to the table. Our speakers will be more diverse in their careers, backgrounds, and lifestyles. This year, we will increase our membership and participation, and expand our influence beyond the chapters, into the larger UW and Seattle community. Finally, I plan to make the group more dynamic and social, and less cut and dry.

I look forward to this year and all the amazing things we’re going to do together!27145060_898028853705301_1040336120_o

Student Reflection: Waste Management and Pi Beta Phi by Ava Trindeva

picture1Serving in the Green Greek team, I am a part of the Waste Management Team. It had never occurred to me to consider not only the amount of trash Greek systems must produce, but more importantly, the amount of waste that is not properly disposed of. Our amount of trash can be managed by properly sorting through our waste, thus decreasing our trash with the elimination of things that can be recycled or composted. During our first meeting, I learned that Seattle provides financial incentive for communities to participate in sorting their waste. Recycling is COMPLETELY FREE and compost bin pick-ups cost around $11 per bin. In comparison, the $300 for a trash bin per week. The main problem within Greek communities lies within contamination of waste, which can also lead to several fines. Not only is that damaging to the environment, it also results in large bills each chapter needs to pay when these funds could be reallocated for something more beneficial. Greek chapters struggle with properly sorting their waste, which is truly a trivial matter with substantial consequences. Not only would there be less trash being thrown away and more matter being reused in some way – whether recycled or composted – it would also save money by spreading out the waste properly to compost and recycling bins, away from trash. Utility bills further emphasized the effect of contaminated bins, pointing to potential hundreds of dollars, per house, per month being virtually wasted.

 

As a goal for my personal chapter, Pi Beta Phi, I was shocked during our waste audit of how many our own containers were contaminated. As a preliminary step, I set up a chapter presentation during which I educated members and let them know of what I intended to do to get us closer to a resolution. Everyone can properly dispose of their trash, to promote that, I reorganized bins throughout my house so that every trash been was accompanied by a compost or recycling bin depending on the room. In the study basement, for instance, I implemented more recycling bins because people were more likely to be throwing away papers there. Bathrooms had a trash and a compost for paper towels. The kitchen, where I noticed the most waste, I set up all threebins next to each other with up signage above each to remind members what waste was appropriate for each bin. Improving waste contamination was not enough. I wanted to decrease the trash we had, overall. I spoke with our house mom, consulted our budget and organized with our delivery to switch to eco-utensils. Our previous utensils were plastic that was neither recyclable or compostable. Seeing this as excessive waste, our house has now transitioned to utensils that are compostable, lessening our trash that pollutes the world.picture2