February 19, 2018 at 8:27 pm

Delta Zeta Spurs Sustainability in OHIO Greek Life

Sustainability logo, with five panels showing forests, oceans, fiels, man and atmosphere

By Kaitlin Kulich

When you think about Greek life, the word sustainability may not be the first thing that comes to your mind. However, at Ohio University, Greek life is a strong advocate for campus sustainability and is working to ensure that more sororities and fraternities at OHIO engage in programs and activities that encompass and promote sustainable living.

Delta Zeta is one of the sororities that is a leader in implementing sustainable programs, continuously learning more ways for its members to make sustainable lifestyle choices.

Rachel Martin is the commissioner chair for Delta Zeta’s “Pink Goes Green Campaign.” She says Delta Zeta plans to have recycling bins in the house, participate in meatless Mondays (when the members abstain from eating meat every Monday), and is planning sustainability workshops where members learn how to make eco-friendly cleaning supplies, makeup and gifts.

“Ohio University is already showcasing itself as a sustainable leader and our Greek Life can do the same. We have multiple governance bodies across an array of interests and leadership styles that have the power to make changes at all levels of the system,” said Martin, noting that more sororities and fraternities should incorporate sustainable living within their chapters. “Our organizations pride themselves in being dedicated to the principles of scholarship, leadership, service, philanthropy, and brotherhood/sisterhood, and being a sustainable steward in your organization and community falls under all of these ideals.”

There are more than 2,500 students involved with Greek life at OHIO. Martin says due to the large number of people involved in Greek life, sororities and fraternities have the power to model sustainable living for other students.

“It is about starting a conversation. If you have a metal straw, someone in the coffee shop notices and asks about it,” Martin said. “There is a chance for dialogue about important environmental issues about consumption and waste. You never know who you might influence or what outcomes can arise from small, simple changes.”

On top of the other sustainable programs and activities Delta Zeta has planned for this semester, the sorority also is planning to host multiple events for Earth Day before students leave for the summer.

“It is our duty as community leaders to leave our university in a better state than we left it. We want to care about those that come after us and have a legacy that makes the community proud,” Martin said. “It helps our Earth, and that is one of the most philanthropic things we can do.”

About the Sustainability Studies Theme

The Sustainability Studies theme integrates knowledge from many diverse disciplines to explore the complexity of global sustainability issues. Sustainability Studies asks students to think critically about the economic, social, political, cultural and scientific assumptions about humans’ relationships to the environment. Sustainability Studies invites critical exploration of a multitude of complex issues from the local to the global levels by engaging students in visionary conversation and collaborative, real-world problem solving. Sustainability Studies also invites students to explore their own personal values, and envision a meaningful, sustainable future. Sustainability Studies is a strong complement to a wide variety of majors, minors and certificates in Arts & Sciences as well as across Ohio University.

Climate Scientist Michael Mann Comes to Ohio University March 28

Dr. Michael E. Mann is a Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science at Penn State University and the director of the Penn State Earth System Science Center. Among his many honors, in June 2017, he received the seventh annual Stephen H. Schneider Award for Outstanding Climate Science Communications from Climate One at the Commonwealth Club. Mann was one of the authors of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. Mann will be giving a public lecture on March 28 in the Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium.


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