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Thursday, October 5, 2023


It’s not hard being green

Environmental groups from southwest Texas gathered in front of the Cullen Performance Hall on Thursday to educate students on environmental issues and to promote clean lifestyles.

The event featured table displays from conservationists working to educate UH students on environmental issues.

Environmental science junior Paulina Guerrero and corporate communications junior Aleah Al-Sad co-founded the Student Environmental Club, which aims to raise environmental awareness among students.

The group is working on a proposal to get UH President Renu Khator involved in the action.

"We’re starting an initiative to be more aware about where we’re getting our energy, how we’re using our energy and just becoming more efficient," architecture sophomore and SEC member Jennifer Andreas said. "We are going to get our bill passed through (Student Government Association) and then it goes up to (Khator) and then it gets finalized."

If passed by SGA, the club will present Khator with the American College and University President Climate Commitment. The document commits presidents and chancellors to recognizing and improving issues dealing with global warming.

SGA Cares, a committee of the student government, has already stepped in to aid the SEC and its issues.

"(SGA Cares) is an initiative the SGA started to focus on the community at UH to bring students together to work and volunteer for different organizations on campus," Al-Sad said. "We find causes that our students seem to fully support and try to fund them or bring attention to what is going on. We’re starting to work with the environmental club to formulate and possibly build a resolution regarding recycling on campus and things that students seem to care about a lot."

The SEC will have its first meeting at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday in the University Center Spindletop Room.

Outside organizations attending the event were also concerned about the state of Houston’s ecosystem.

"Obviously there are a lot of environmental problems in Houston," said Colin McKellips, the field associate for state programs for Environment Texas. "It’s definitely an ideal place and a lot of people are concerned about it."

Environment Texas, an Austin-based advocacy organization that confronts special interest groups that develop on natural habitats, will be opening a Houston office this spring.

"We’re going to be opening an office here in May," he said. "We’ll be plugging students into internships and there’s also summer jobs so they can get paid for doing environmental work."

Other displays at the event included an eco-friendly car show and displays from UNICEF and Mothers for Clean Air.

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