‘Greeks Gone Green’ aims to increase sustainability

“Greeks Gone Green” and “Green is Sexy” are some of the slogans students will be seeing on merchandise sold around campus this week.

The Panhellenic Council has organized a “Greeks Gone Green” campaign, designed to make students more aware of sustainability at USC.

Cindy Lee | Daily Trojan

Noticing the lack of recycling bins in many houses on The Row led Panhellenic to realize it should become more involved with sustainability, according to Zara Abrams, vice president of scholarship for Panhellenic. Abrams said the campaign was started by a former vice president of philanthropy.

“This year, Panhellenic decided it should be a priority to rejuvenate our efforts toward sustainability, so we’re focusing on strengthening and re-launching the campaign,” Abrams said.

Beginning today, Panhellenic delegates from every house will be selling green merchandise such as reusable plastic water bottles, reusable coffee thermoses, grocery tote bags and tank tops.

Each item will feature a design with the popular “reuse, reduce, recycle” symbol or other nature- inspired art designed by Mallory Sparr, vice president of communications for Panhellenic.

“The idea is to promote sustainable habits through a campaign that also encourages Greek unity,” Abrams said. “We really want to emphasize the importance of working together as a larger community to make a difference.”

Claire Staggs, a freshman majoring in accounting and a member of Alpha Delta Pi sorority said she thinks this is a good campaign because it will show non-Greek students that the Greek community is focused on an important cause.

The profit from the sales will be used to launch a recycling program for The Row that will include placing recycling bins in each sorority and fraternity house.

Any remaining funds will be used to purchase stickers with the phrase “These Come From Trees” to place on paper towel dispensers, just as USG has already done on some dispensers around campus.

Some students are excited that student groups have begun to take charge with environmental issues.

“Judging by USC’s last sustainability report, we need major improvement,” said Steven Alhadef, a sophomore majoring in communication and a member of Kappa Sigma fraternity.

Though the university has been steadily improving, USC received a B- on its 2011 sustainability report. In 2010, the university received a C+ and in 2007, a D.

Panhellenic plans to partner with the Multicultural Greek Council, CalPIRG and the Office of Sustainability for later sustainability efforts, which might include a tree planting program.

CalPIRG also hopes to create a competition to see which house can reduce its energy footprint the most.

The sorority and fraternity to lower its energy consumption the most would have a mixer together, according to Abrams.

Panhellenic also plans to present other environmentally friendly events throughout the semester.

Currently, Panhellenic is planning a Greek service event on Earth Day, April 22, to continue raising awareness about sustainability.

Ayushi Gummadi, president of Panhellenic, said the main goal of the campaign is to create awareness.

“If we accomplish this in a smaller form, then maybe the rest of campus can follow this lead in their daily lives,” Gummadi said.

Each house will be able to order the products online at Kotisdesign.com. Panhellenic plans to continue the sale until around March 25.

4 replies
  1. recycle lisa
    recycle lisa says:

    Demand more recycling containers on your campus.

    Americans dispose of 300 billion bottles and can each year.

    Tell your campus facility director “Everywhere there is a trash can there should be a recycling container”!

  2. Concerned reader
    Concerned reader says:

    How about every frat doesn’t use a few thousand red plastic cups every Thursday night? That would make a real difference.

  3. Short Like a Fox
    Short Like a Fox says:

    It’s great to hear about college students going green! Good for the whole Greek system and the university. Going from a D to a B- in 4 years shows some major improvement.

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