Letter to the Editor: A Greener Campus

Morgan Wurst

Dear Editor,

As many know, FGCU’s campus is considered a sustainable and green school. FGCU is one of the top green schools in Florida, but how green is it compared to the rest of the country or the world universities? I believe that we can raise our ranks. First, we will discuss what makes a university “green”. According to Best Colleges “How to Choose a Green College,” a green university commits itself to the environment and sustainability. This commitment is done through efforts such as reducing campus waste, funding money to clean energy as opposed to fossil fuels, and offering a curriculum based on environmental issues. Based on this information, I can say that our school, FGCU, is on track to being fully green, but work still needs to be done. 

FGCU offers many programs focused on environmental issues, including a tremendous Environmental Studies program and the new “Water School”. The Water School is hosted in a new building at FGCU, focused on climate change, ecosystem health, natural resources, and restoration and remediation of our “water-driven world”. Adding a class or subject that teaches students how to live minimalistic lives would benefit the curriculum and students’ futures toward sustainability. Leading this way of life and how to put it into practice is a vital role for a green university to establish. For this to happen, FGCU needs to encourage the change by adopting it themselves. One way is to cut out single-use plastic.

In our dining areas on the main campus, we have a variety of tasty restaurants, but there is a massive issue with the amount of single-use plastic. I recently visited our campus dining restaurants and saw how much plastic is being used. Each restaurant had single-use wax-lined cups, plastic forks, containers, or straws. Despite having recycling stations across campus, single-use plastic and food waste will end up combined in our non-recyclable trash and added to our landfill. Many universities have pledged to ban single-use plastic. FGCU can follow this path and instead purchase either biodegradable or compostable plastic. Compost bins would need to be more readily available and provided to our Food Forest, a student-run botanical garden providing edible species of plants from tropical/subtropical regions promoting sustainable food production.

Florida Gulf Coast University should lean more toward its commitment to being a sustainable university and further appreciating the beautiful nature and ecosystems surrounding FGCU. Go greener, FGCU!

Thank you,

Morgan Wurst