Planting the SEED

By By Ana Breton

By Ana Breton

U students may soon find themselves studying textbooks made entirely of recycled paper.

They may also find bins to recycle those same books in every classroom on campus.

Eco-friendly textbooks and an increase in recycling bins are just some of the ideas students and community members pitched to the Sustainable Environments and Ecological Design group during its launch on Monday.

SEED is the brainchild of one current and three former U students who wanted to create awareness about the environment outside of their biology class.

The group, which has been in the works for three years, explained its aim to turn the U into a sustainable campus during its opening forum in the Union Theatre.

Transforming the U into a sustainable campus means the current generation at the U “meets the needs of the present without compromising the needs of the future generations,” said Kevin Emerson, U alumnus and SEED cofounder.

Some of the suggestions audience members gave to the group to help future generations included placing recycling bins in classrooms not just for paper, but also for plastic, glass and aluminum.

According to a 2005 audit report, approximately 70 percent of the U’s waste is not being recycled.

SEED cofounder Alex Parvaz said other possible projects pitched by the audience include the installation of solar panels, planting organic gardens and cutting down utility costs on campus by reducing water use.

By gathering project ideas during its launch, Parvaz said she hopes to pass a resolution through the Associated Students of the University of Utah this year to turn the U into a sustainable-energy campus.

“To gain that support will help the U acknowledge our purpose so students see this as a priority,” said Parvaz, who graduated in environmental studies in 2005.

Putting their goals on paper will also help the project gain grants to kick-start their goals, said Lindsay Clark, SEED cofounder.

“We hope to someday see the idea of the U as a sustainable campus become a reality,” said Clark, a senior in French and environmental studies.

Through future resolutions and possible grants, Clark said, SEED could create a staff position representing the group and also help fund a sustainable-campus center for students.

The next SEED forum will be held in January.

Kim Peterson

Attendants of the SEED (Sustainable Environments and Ecological Design) Panel break into groups to discuss questions concerning the future of the U and the environment Monday in the Union Theater.