Green Chapter News
Theta Chi working towards a Green Chapter
After their first semester in the Green Chapter program, UMD’s Theta Chi Fraternity has already made impressive strides towards becoming a more sustainable chapter.
In an effort to demonstrate Theta Chi’s sustainability commitment to the fraternity’s new members, the chapter incorporated a sustainability orientation in their new member education program. The orientation included a detailed explanation of Theta Chi’s expectations regarding sustainability, their involvement in the Green Chapter program and a discussion about opportunities to improve the chapter’s sustainability.
Theta Chi’s Sustainability Chair, David Greenfield, led the new member education and was excited by the outcomes. He reflects that they, “bounced lots of ideas off each other and have a good direction heading into next semester about individual and chapter goals.” As a result the chapter has already switched their cleaning products to more environmentally friendly products.
With these actions taken, Theta Chi is well on their way to becoming a Green Chapter. David is confident that the chapter will reach their sustainability goals and is excited by the transformation he is already seeing in his chapter. “We are all working together to improve our use of resources and better our community. People are beginning to see how recycling is easy and are doing it much more frequently. I see lights turned off more frequently. Little things that contribute to energy efficiency.”
Next semester Theta Chi plans to continue their progress towards Green Chapter certification by participating in Greek Life’s annual recycling dumpster painting competition and doing environmentally focused community service. They expect to become Green Chapter certified before the end of the spring semester.
Kappa Delta Sustainable Sister
Amelia Albrecht is a junior public policy major and rhetoric minor at the University of Maryland and the Sustainability Chair for her sorority, Kappa Delta.
Amelia started this position in her sorority after taking the class, PLCY 301-Sustainability, her freshman year. During this class, she learned about the impact of our actions on the environment and wanted to make a difference.
As Sustainability Chair, Amelia informs the chapter about the importance of leading a sustainable lifestyle. At the beginning of the semester, she gave a presentation to the chapter featuring statistics about global climate change and gave tips on how students can be sustainable in college. She also constantly reminds members to take advantage of the recycling and compost bins located throughout the chapter house.
Lily Ebrahimi-Qajar, a junior in Kappa Delta said, “After seeing Amelia’s presentation on global climate change, I’ve consciously made an effort to be more sustainable. I’m always turning lights off around the chapter house.” Lily added, “Sometimes I even turn the running water off while girls are brushing their teeth.”
In order to incentivize sustainability throughout the chapter, Amelia started a program called “sustainable sister of the week.” Each week, she recognizes a member in the chapter who has made an active effort to better the environment.
“It can be something as simple as recycling or turning off the lights when they leave a room,” she said.
The member that is recognized as “sustainable sister of the week” gets a point, which is used toward housing priority. “I think the program has made members more aware of the ways in which our actions affect the environment.”
Allie Palazzolo, Communications Intern, Office of Sustainability
Meet Lee-Ellen, our Green Housing Coordinator
Believe it or not, sustainability and environmental stewardship are not concepts that I thought very much about growing up and weren’t ever ingrained into me by my parents or community. My passion for the environment is something that was sparked and fostered by my four undergraduate years at the University of Maryland.