Campus News Blog: Dallas Ensuring Safer Environmental Development

October 23, 2009 by · Comments Off 

Posted by Ashleigh Reuter

Are you a student who is interested in Dallas environmental progress?

Well, the city is taking steps in the right direction.

Economic and building development representatives from surrounding counties listened to Terracon Consultants Inc. give instructions for safer and proper project management at Dallas City Hall today.

During lunch, Terracon Consultants discussed regulations for disposing toxic substances such as asbestos, lead, and mercury that surface after buildings are bulldozed or reconstructed.

They mentioned that following these steps for ensuring environmental safety would also help overall building planning and prevent delay for developers.

So, if you’re concerned that architects or land developers are being careless, don’t be. The city has brought a watchdog.

Campus News Blog: Activities with SMU Environmental Society

October 1, 2009 by · Comments Off 

Posted By Ashleigh Reuter

Are you passionate about the environment? The SMU Environmental Society might be the club for you. ?

Members spread awareness about green issues throughout the university and surrounding Dallas community. They brainstorm ideas for protecting the environment and build correspondence and guidance from environmental organizations such as the Sierra Club.

The club plans to host a water campaign, promote recycling on home football games, and collect old batteries for the Home Chemical Collection Center throughout the semester.

So, start getting evolved this week with “Great Lights Out.” Every Friday members march around the school’s buildings and turn off classroom lights that were left on by mistake. They always meet at the flagpole and begin their mission at 6 p.m.

The Environmental Society meets every Monday at 5:15 p.m. in one of Hughes-Trigg Student Center’s atriums.

Contact Andrea Fernandez at for further details.

Campus News Blog: Try Cleaning Up or Surviving Nature This Weekend

September 24, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

Posted by Ashleigh Reuter

Do you need a study break? You have two options. You can clean the environment or learn camping techniques this Saturday.

If you want to be on Mother Nature’s good side, get up early and meet at the Willie B. Johnson Recreation Center located on 12225 Willowdell to make Cottonwood Park spick and span. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m., which is followed by a free breakfast. So grab your gloves, walking shoes and friends and enjoy the sunny weather that is forecast this weekend.

If you prefer meddling with the environment, then attend a class offered by the Sierra Club to study backpacking and wilderness ethics. This class prepares beginner backpackers for real hiking adventures in the areas of tent construction, food, clothing, and more. Participants also get the chance to practice with outdoor equipment. You don’t have to be a member of the Sierra Club, so take the class if you’re interested in future treks. It starts 10:30 a.m. and lasts until 5 p.m.. Check out the details on the Dallas Sierra Club Web site.

Celebrate Earth Day With Bare Feet On the Boulevard

April 24, 2009 by · Comments Off 

By Mai Lyn Ngo

Students for a Better Society will celebrate Earth Day by hosting Barefoot on the Boulevard, an event about environmental awareness. On Saturday, April 25, students can head to the boulevard at 3 p.m., with or without shoes, to enjoy this outdoor music festival and learn how to save their environment.

Chelsia Phang, president of SBS, said she hopes this event will teach students how to decrease their carbon footprint. Likewise, SBS Environmental Chair Jaimie Siegle said the point of going without shoes on the boulevard is representative of stripping down all the material things we think about everyday.

“We each need to do our part to help conserve and save the environment,” Phang said. “Plus, there will be live music, free food and prizes.”

Five local bands from the Dallas and Denton area are scheduled to perform throughout the day, one of which is comprised of several SMU students. The line-up includes:

  • Azlee Roads
  • The Bobby V. House Band
  • The Rx
  • Criminal Shift
  • Matthew and the Arrogant Sea
  • While students are rocking out to music, they can also participate in festive activities such as face painting, tie-dying t-shirts, buying and decorating re-usable shopping bags and enjoy free food and refreshments. Students have the chance to win a bicycle donated by Fleetwood’s Kit Kat Cruiser Bicycles Boutique.

    “It’s like a hippie festival with a green twist,” John Mak, treasurer of SBS, said.

    SBS has also invited vendors such as Orange Cup and Green Mountain Energy to sell their products. Proceeds from SBS activities as well as a portion of vendor profits will be donated to the Texas Campaign for the Environment, a non-profit organization focused on local and state environmental issues.

    Ending the evening, students can grab their lawn chairs and view a free screening of Wall-E, a Pixar movie about a robot cleaning up a waste-covered Earth. The movie will start 8:15 p.m. in front of Dallas Hall, where free refreshments will also be available.

    Campus News Blog: Go Green with Earth hour on March 28

    March 6, 2009 by · Comments Off 

    Posted by Rachel Courie

    Giving back to the planet is easier than you think. Earth hour, coming up this month, is just the way to do it.

    Earth hour is held all around the world by 400 cities and 35 nations around the planet. Go green for an hour on March 28th from 8:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. by turning off your lights to show your care for the Earth.

    The point is to illustrate a change toward the wastefulness of our power usage and make a minute climate change.

    Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert gave his support for this movement at the City Council meeting on Wednesday.

    According to the Dallas Morning News, Leppert said, “You don’t want to have your building be the one that is shining as an energy consumer.”

    Going Green in Four Easy Steps

    October 30, 2008 by · Comments Off 

    By Brenna Rushing

    On her way to class most mornings, Allison Lloyd eats a granola bar and throws the wrapper in the trash. Even though the sophomore tries to help the environment by recycling, it’s not always the easiest thing to do.

    “Sometimes it’s easier to throw away trash in a regular trash can because it’s closer than walking down the hall to the recycling bin,” she said.

    It seems that many students, faculty and staff members on the SMU campus know the steps to take to become more green, but many follow Lloyd’s lead and haven’t taken the initiative, yet. Many people know to recycle plastics and paper or to carpool. And they also know to not use aerosol cans, which are mainly used for hairspray. But there are other ways to be environmentally friendly.

    Here are a few easy steps that you can take to reduce your carbon footprint:

    1. Don’t use Styrofoam. It doesn’t dissolve like other materials when recycled. The National Safety Council says it contains chlorofluorocarbons, which do serious damage to the ozone layer. Instead, use paper cups and plates or plastic bottles.

    2. Go out to eat less often. Most restaurants overlook recyclable supplies because they can be more expensive and less convenient. Tissue paper, cleaning supplies, take-out containers, plates and napkins are just a few of the items that could be more environmentally friendly. Many restaurants use take-out boxes made of Styrofoam, or cleaning supplies with harmful chemicals.

    The Green Restaurant Association rates restaurants all over the country on how green they are and reports the restaurants that pass. Along with restaurants, the guide lists certified-green bakeries, caterers and coffee and tea houses.

    Restaurant manager Josh Sanford practices being more resourceful every day. He works at the Jason’s Deli on Mockingbird Lane. He says the company, as a whole, does everything it can to reduce the use of plastics and to prevent waste. The company uses no Styrofoam. If the restaurant can accommodate it, they will offer recycling bins for their customers, he said.

    “We ask every customer that orders out if they need plastic ware. They know to ask if they need anything extra, because we won’t give it to them otherwise,” he said.

    3. Skip the dry cycle on your dishwasher. Instead, open the door for your dishes to air dry. This could be the easiest step on the list. It saves unnecessary energy and takes just a few more minutes to dry your dishes.

    Junior Ryan Dingwall takes some steps to be greener. He never uses Styrofoam, and he and his roommates never use the dry cycle.

    “I don’t exactly know why we don’t use the dry cycle. But I wasn’t aware that it saves a significant amount of energy,” he said.

    4. Find out if your electric company makes efforts to protect the environment. If not, find a better electric company. Austin-based Green Mountain Energy is one of the leading providers in Texas. The company uses either hydro or wind power to create energy. Other providers offer eco-friendly solutions, as well, although they may not be 100 percent naturally renewed.

    Freshman Emmanuel Ayala said he would consider practicing the steps listed above, but he lives with his family in Dallas. They do recycle and hand-wash their dishes.

    “I would definitely consider taking more steps to help the environment, but since I live with my family, I do things the way they do,” Ayala said.