Spring Fling goes green

templetree Spring Fling is finally here, and this year’s theme may be the most memorable yet.

With all of the environmental awareness spreading throughout campus, Main Campus Program Board decided on the theme of “Green is more than just a color, it’s a lifestyle.”

“The purpose of Temple University’s Spring Fling going green is to raise environmental awareness throughout the Temple community for the week,” said Rob Tynan, outside activities chair for MCPB. “We want to get the idea of being more environmentally friendly into the minds of people at Temple.”

To complete this mission, MCPB has several initiatives in store this week. These initiatives should make it easier, and a little more fun, for students to “go green.”

To save trees, MCPB and the Student Center used less paper while making flyers and posters to publicize the events. The paper that was used is 100 percent recycled. They also incorporated green tips in the various events taking place this week.

“Our hope is that the people who are attending the events will get it into their minds to be more environmentally friendly because of these tips,” Tynan said. “These tips are easy things that any average person can do.”

Tips include simple tasks such as shutting off the water when you brush your teeth, turning a light switch off when you leave a room and throwing your recyclable materials in to the proper receptacles.

“If people actually process this at their own leisure time, then I feel that the theme would have been successful,” Tynan said. “The point is to get that across.”

While checking out the various vendors today, make sure to also keep an eye out for the free giveaways. The Frisbees, T-shirts and backpacks are not only green in color, but in practice.

“The giveaways for Spring Fling are recyclable material,” Tynan said.

While he understands that using recycled paper is more expensive, he said that there are other ways for organizations to promote their events, such as on the Internet and by word of mouth.

MCPB and Student Center also asked that organizations with tables display something eco-friendly.

“The best example that I can think of is community service,” Tynan said. “There was Philly Cleanup two weekends ago. Any organizations that participated in that would display a poster or something to signify that they had participated and had done actions for the environment.”

MCPB is also trying to get academic departments more involved in their efforts. Tynan sent out an e-mail to all deans and asked them to set aside a time throughout the week when every classroom and office at Temple would turn off one light switch.

“I don’t want to visually disturb anyone,” he said. “But I just feel that by turning off one light switch, it won’t in any way interfere with the whole educational process.”

By participating in this conserving of energy, Tynan hopes that it will constantly remind everyone of the theme.

“They’ll walk into the classroom and notice that there’s a light off,” he said. “Well, there’s a light off because Temple’s going green this Spring Fling and in doing so it is trying to preserve energy.”

The TECH Center will also be “going green” in its own way. During this week, it is using 100 percent recyclable paper for the printers. It will also be displaying green tips on the plasma screens, as well as instructions on how to print using both sides of the paper.
“I think it would be great if they did that and people started taking advantage of it,” Tynan said.

Temple’s Facilities Management department is displaying four hybrid cars today to spread the spirit, and there are more receptacles for your recyclables. There are 50 more reusable recycle containers placed throughout the Bell Tower and Liacouras Walk. Representatives from the City of Philadelphia Recycling Office will also be here to spread the word.

MCPB was first presented with this idea last semester by junior environmental studies major Laura Stein from the sustainability task force.

“Honestly, at first, I really didn’t connect with it because I had never been exposed to stuff like this before,” Tynan said. “As time went on and I talked to her more, it really inspired me to actually get this out there.”

One of the things that MCPB is most excited about is the presence of a giant tree painted on cloth canvas, hanging in the vicinity of the Bell Tower. Painted by John Toffie for the Students for Environmental Action, the tree is comprised of many different colors, which represent different promises to the environment. Students will choose a promise to commit to, and then place their thumb in that color ink and leave their thumbprint on the canvas.

“What we’re hoping is that by the end of the day we have lots of thumbprints on there with all kinds of different colors,” Tynan said.
With all of the great environmental advances happening at Temple this week, Tynan and MCPB Marketing Director Tiffany Thompson said they are not sure if it will last.

“We’re hoping that this will continue for years to come,” Thompson said. “But it’s one step at a time here at Temple.”

“After the week is over, I can’t necessarily say that it’s going to stick,” Tynan said. “It’s pretty much up to the people to keep the awareness going.”

Even if extra recycle bins and green tips don’t remain, Tynan and Thompson said that this year’s theme will have changed the perspectives of students and teachers campus-wide.

“It’s a great thing for not only the program board to show that we as a No. 1-playing organization can go green, but we as a university should go green,” Thompson said. “We hope that people catch on and understand that this is not only a theme for Spring Fling, but it’s a movement throughout the country and also the university as well.”

On a positive note, Thompson said that President Ann Weaver Hart is trying to implement a policy that would require students to print double-sided on paper at all times.

“This is the only theme that we have ever had that makes sense and has impacted not only us, but departments, the dean and the president,” Thompson said. “I hope that this green theme not only stays for this week but for years to come.”

Melanie Menkevich can be reached at Melanie.menkevich@temple.edu.

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