Corban Bell

School: Grambling State University

Currently, at Grambling State University, non-recyclable waste and recyclable material are not treated differently. This statement, coupled with the fact that no university in northern Louisiana has any permanent recycling program established, highlights the status quo of the region. Not only is this unacceptable, it is also a golden opportunity. Through the TGI Campus Contest, my team will establish a permanent recycling program on the campus of Grambling State University, and work to change the culture of Northern Louisiana by acting as leaders among institutions of higher learning. While the core of our project is establishing a permanent recycling program on campus, our work will include changing the culture on campus which will birth sustainability initiatives that go outside the scope of a traditional recycling program.

We plan to achieve our goal by working together with the university administration, corporate and non-profit partners, the local, state, and federal government, the surrounding community, the university faculty and student body. The key to success will be two fold. First, we will need to find funding for this program. This is will be a joint effort between the university administration who will bear some of the expenses while applying for grants, and the student body who will pass a bill that will add a self assessed fee creating the other pool of funds which will be used to begin the program. The second key to success will be changing the culture, ensuring that the university sees environmental sustainability as a key priority. This will be an ongoing effort, however in the spring semester of 2013 my team will partner with the student government on campus and leading student organizations to host a sustainability awareness week. This will be a week where the importance of our work will be highlighted.

Once successful, we intend to encourage student leaders to take the initiative a step further with additional sustainability initiatives. These projects include, but are not limited to, renovating dilapidated greenhouses, expanding the composting program, and community awareness building. The idea here is that through our efforts, we will begin a much needed movement on campus in a region that is in desperate need of environmental leadership.

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