Who would not like to live under a crystal clear sky and surrounded by a lively green nature? We, METUans, strive for such an environment. Although contributing to making this a reality comes with its difficulties, we still can not take this for granted. With this awareness came the rise of the Green Campus Initiative at METU NCC, which was founded in the year 2011 by student unions.
What provoked the Green Campus Initiative at METU NCC to come to life?
We, METUans, believe that together we can change the world. This belief that dwells in both our hearts and minds was the driving force that encouraged students to take the initiative to turn their ideas into reality.
Being aware that energy is everywhere around us, and even the slightest leaf wiggle is impossible without it, showcases adequate evidence for us to know how necessary the presence of energy is to live. Witnessing that energy can be so easily wasted if not used efficiently, led to establishing the Green Campus Initiative.
What is the Green Campus Initiative aiming to succeed by running its projects?
There are three main activities that the Green Campus Initiative organizes: Green Office Activities, Energy Activities, Environmental Activities. First of all, let me explain, based on why the volunteers of the Green Campus Initiative chose those activities.
The Green Office Activities are not directly aiming at a goal that has an acute observable effect on the environment. Instead, they are aiming to promote and support other activities by raising awareness about environmental issues. The promotional support is succeeded by getting into contact with third parties, cooperating with the Green Campus Initiative.
Secondly, Energy Activities focus on energy-based problems and ways to overcome them. Stating that they aim to prevent energy from merely wasting would be scientifically inaccurate because that gives an impression that the energy just disappears. But we know that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. More accurately, the energy that is converted to unneeded forms is considered to be wasted energy. Hence, Energy Activities aim to reduce the amount of wasted energy, which has deadly effects on nature.
Finally, Environmental Activities work toward turning our daily activities or the utilities we use to be environmentally-friendly. These activities share common goals with Energy Activities.
What is the “Bike First Campus project” that the Green Campus Initiative is organizing through its activities?
Probably while wandering around the campus, you have seen people riding bicycles going to the academic buildings or even Kaş Market with them. Bike First Campus is one of the Green Campus projects that motivate campus residents to use bicycles instead of buses or cars whenever possible.
This project serves both the Environmental and Energy Activities’ goals. Firstly, it prevents energy waste by reducing the amount of energy used. To make this claim more convincing, according to the European Cyclists’ Federation, the amount of carbon that a cyclist produces per passenger per kilometer is 21g of Carbon emission; whereas, a car produces 271g of Carbon emission. This may not appear like a serious issue when considering a single scenario. However, imagine the number of people who rely on private cars than more environmental-friendly vehicles even when going on a short trip. In this scenario, which is our actual reality, the amount of carbon emission becomes worth considering. Else an inescapable catastrophe is ahead of the Planet Earth.
So, if you are asking whether there is any way you can support this project, my answer would be definitely yes! The campus provides bikes for every campus resident who wants to rent them. Furthermore, the money earned from bike renting is donated to the Scholarship Fund Office. Consequently, you wouldn’t only be staying physically active, which will enhance your health and give you a hand in saving planet Earth from carbon emissions and indirectly help with scholarship funding. Three birds with one stone!
What is the Solid Waste Recycling project?
Just like pretty much every initiative/organization has its motto, the Green Campus Initiative also has its own— “RECYCLE – CHANGE FUTURE.” This was not only a motto that the Green Campus Initiative adopted but also a belief that they embraced and used to organize their activities in a manner that dedicated its aims to serve this motto.
Pollution is an undeniable tragic reality of every activity, ranging from minimal scale activities, like our daily activities, to a considerable scale, e.g., factories and more. By emphasizing that factories are a source of a considerable amount of pollution, it shouldn’t be inferred that our daily activities are any less. This is because a one-time act itself may not cause a significant change. However, a collection of these actions, indeed, do have a considerable impact on pollution.
This is the point where the Solid Waste project comes into action. It motivates us to change our daily behavior that harms the environment; otherwise, we wouldn’t have realized. The Solid Waste Recycling project raises awareness on topics such as recycling and waste-prevention. To be more concrete, it has also established systems for recycling.
To wrap up…
For initiatives/organizations that serve the World, such as the Green Campus Initiative, there are no bounds to their vision. Hence, they organize projects aiming to serve their purpose regardless of their scale. Consequently, any suggestion or idea that you would have for a project holds priceless value for them. They are aware that every sapling has the potential to turn into a tree. If you would like to know more about this Initiative, you can check out https://ncc.metu.edu.tr/initiatives/green-campus.
Let us hear from you in the comment section. Any questions or ideas that you would like to share are more than appreciated.