Earth Wise to host campus cleanup

Elizabeth Stephens, Contributing Writer


Earth Wise, a registered student organization focused on raising awareness of environmental issues and advocating to keep the environment clean, will be picking up trash and hosting a “Day for Campus Cleanup” at 10 a.m. Nov. 13 behind the Life Science Building.

The group hopes for many people to volunteer and participate, including other students on campus who want a cleaner environment.

Hunter Levingston, the president of Earth Wise, encourages students to get involved with this cleanup day and join the group if interested.

“We’ve been wanting to get the word out about us for a while,” Levingston said.

Earth Wise has meetings at 4 p.m. every Wednesday in Room 2040 of the Life Science Building on campus.

At their meeting Wednesday, a member of the group led a presentation concerning the environment.

Katrina Osick, a junior double majoring in biology and physics for secondary education, led a presentation titled “Green Infastructure” and gave many details about the topic.

Osick said green infrastructure uses plants, soil and natural processes that provide habitat, food protection, cleaner air and water.

She suggested many ways we can use green infrastructure in cities or highly populated areas, including green roofs, streetscaping, bioswales, green walls, urban forests and rain gardens. With 55 percent of the world’s population living in cities and almost 10 million people living in Chicago alone, these infrastructures would be beneficial to our environment, Osick said.

Osick said the benefits of having these types of green infrastructures are to insulate buildings and streets, absorb and filter runoff, create habitats and promote air quality, noise reduction, job creation and aesthetics.

“Urban trees in the lower U.S. have been found to remove nearly 800,000 tons of air pollution from the atmosphere every year,” Osick said.

“Stress hormones go down the instant you go into nature,” she said, citing studies and other books on green infrastructure.

Planting these green infrastructures can benefit our environment and can also benefit people in their day-to-day lives, Osick said.

“Seeing the greenery outside your office can make you more productive,” she said.

Earth Wise promotes raising awareness and participation in sustainable practice such as recycling, being responsible with resources and cleaning up different areas on campus.

The group consists of different majors and people from many different backgrounds. The one thing every member has in common is the interest in promoting the mission to keep our Earth clean.

Members in the group are open to present about any topic that they feel important to discuss during the meeting times.

For those interested, Earth Wise will post on their Facebook page about future activities and meetings.


Elizabeth Stephens can be reached at 217-581-2812 or [email protected].