Student’s Green Week message: ‘We can care’
By Mike Kilen
GCU News Bureau
Environmental issues such as climate change can be overwhelming.
“You’re like Chicken Little and the sky is falling. The Earth is dying, and there is little we can do,” Rachel Christy said. “But we can care. That means not only talking about it, but showing you care through actions.”
Christy, Director of Sustainability at the Associated Students of Grand Canyon University (ASGCU), is leading a caring effort via several programs during Green Week on GCU’s campus. Students heard the senior psychology major’s message during a tabling on the Promenade Monday.
She’s appealing to fellow students to care because of their faith.
“It’s not only important for Christians to take care of the earth but it’s our job,” she said. “There is this narrative that we don’t have to do anything; God just gave it to us. It’s quite the opposite.
“God gave us this gift. We are supposed to foster it and foster it well. We’ve sort of let that go.”
To that end, Tuesday’s 4 p.m. Green Week event in the Natural Sciences Building will feature Dr. Sean McGever’s talk, “God is Green,” when he will share how Christians are called to stewardship.
Christy grew up in San Diego, where an environmental science teacher alerted her to the troubles on the planet and lit a fire in her. She launched a club to save the bees.
“I’m from San Diego, so I feel like you just grow up learning how important sustainability is,” Christy said. “I care about the earth.”
At GCU, she began spreading the news about recycling and was astounded that some didn’t know plastic straws can be damaging to the environment.
“I think the student body doesn’t understand how GCU cares about the environment. They don’t know we recycle, which we totally do,” she said.
Sharing the basics of recycling will be part of Friday’s tabling on the Promenade, such as what to recycle and how.
Acts as simple as requesting no plastic bags at restaurants or grocery outlets will go a long way to helping, she said.
Christy also is concerned about the environmental impact of the fashion industry. She launched an online thrift clothing business, and she will join other students selling their goods at Wednesday’s Sustainability Market on the Quad.
She said more students have started their own online thrift businesses this year.
“My message across Green Week is really simple,” Christy continued. “It’s that God cares about the environment and so should we. I hope from Green Week, the student body sparks a change that administration can see, therefore creating ways a sustainable green campus comes to fruition for GCU.”
Grand Canyon University senior writer Mike Kilen can be reached at [email protected] or at 602-639-6764.
Green Week Schedule:
Tabling: Until 1 p.m. Monday, Promenade
Seminar: 4-6 p.m. Tuesday, Natural Sciences Building, Room 102. “God is Green,” Dr. Sean McGever
Sustainability market: Vendors on the Quad, 4-7:30 p.m. Wednesday
Tabling: 11 a.m-1 p.m. Friday, Promenade. Information on recycling.
GCU Today: How one student champions Green Week message