SOARE asks students for new ‘green’ ideas

Dear Editor:

“Phasing out the human race by voluntarily ceasing to breed will allow Earth’s biosphere to return to good health.” So says the home page of the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement, whose answer to environmental problems lies in the prospect of a future without humans. While this would be beneficial to the planet, anyone can see that this solution is both unrealistic and unwanted. One must give them points for effort, though.

So what can a person do about the vast environmental issues our generation is facing? It is easy to get overwhelmed when one considers the realities of global warming, explosive population increase and the veritable buffet of toxic wastes we spew into the environment every day.

What can a single student, such as you, actually do? In reality, one person can do very little.

However, just as the human body is comprised of countless cells working to achieve life, so must be the movement towards a sustainable future.

It will require more than buying organic cotton shirts saying “Go Green” or investing in a Prius to pretentiously boast about higher gas mileage.

It will require a large group of individuals fully dedicated to preserving the planet. Amassing this kind of group is the long term goal of SOARE (Students Organized to Advance Renewable Energies), but in the short term, we hope to educate both campus and community about renewable energies and the benefits of a sustainable future.

As you may or may not know, you were charged $10 this semester for a “Sustainability Fee.” In fact, every student was charged this fee and the sum is to be spent on “green” projects on campus.

Some of the upgrades from this fee include water regulators and light sensors throughout campus, as well as the solar array on APSU’s farm. A wind generator is also under construction on the farm.

The amount of money available provides a lot of potential for even more drastic changes to reduce our campus’s energy consumption.

However, this fee was intended to be spent with student input, and very little has been received. SOARE hopes to act as a mediator between the student body and the Sustainability Fee Committee.

If you have any ideas for projects to request to the school, or you just want to find out more about our organization, please contact us at

If we can significantly decrease the amount of energy consumed on campus, we can greatly decrease the amount of money spent on energy. This money could improve student life in countless ways. So essentially, if you help the environment, you wind up helping yourself. Imagine that.
— Luke Holliday, SOARE President


  1. Myke Thompson says

    One thing we could do on campus is turn off the lights. Even in the bathrooms, when no one is in them. If you are the last one to leave a class room, then turn off the light’s. I mean how hard is that? You never know, if we can save enough power on this campus they might even consider lowering our tuition. Now this also means you people in the Dorms have to do your part as well.

    Also, I’m sure that countless computers are left on all night. I have noticed that the Library computers turn off at a certain time. I don’t see any reason why this can’t be a campus wide policy.

    We are working with the Sustainability Committee to see about getting paid for our recycling. That would mean a New scholarship fund for students. Students could bring in there stuff from home and we could make money off of it for the fund.

    Think about it people, the Green thing is here to stay. Please be sure to put your garbage in the proper recycling containers.

    We are also Sponsoring an Event on the 11th of Feb. in the SSC room E106A in support of the Homeffa Foundation, which means “Kindness.” They have sent people to Haiti, and have members in their group from there as well. They are going back Feb 14th if all goes well. Come check out the presentation by the founder of the Non-Profit group. He is a Disabled Veteran, and a member of the APSU community. Donations of all kinds are excepted. They also do work in the local communities as well.

    Thank You,

    Myke Thompson VP SOARE

  2. Beth Robinson says

    You may want to interview a few Prius owners. Besides ‘investing in a Prius to pretentiously boast about higher gas mileage’ (which is about 49 mpg) and having a wide variety of ‘Go Green’ t-shirts, I also:

    -support Recycle Clarksville
    -Board member of Friends of Dunbar Cave
    -member APSU sustainable fee committee
    -recycle paper, cardboard, plastic, cans, glass and others
    -compost kitchen waste
    -buy Green energy thru CDE
    -buy very energy efficient appliances (washer, dryer, hvac system) and USE my programmable thermostat
    -turn off my computer at APSU every day when I leave
    -Member Tennessee Conservation Voters and TN Environmental Council
    -Take a vacation day Annually to attend Conservation Lobby Day to talk to my senator and representative about green initiatives (Feb 23, 2010 – let me know if you’d like to go)
    -Buy recycled paper products for my home and my church, buy fair trade products like coffee
    -Don’t use pesticides and herbicides on my yard which pollute rivers and streams
    -Campaign for green politicians
    -Protest for stopping Mountain Top Removal Mining
    -Write a blog on Green issues (
    -use only CFL’s and buy them for gifts
    -use Facebook to further my green agenda
    -member of SOCM, Sierra, Audubon, TCV, and other green organizations

    Also, I think some people complain about why people care about green issues instead of about People and other important issues. I also
    -adopted my dog from Jack’s Place rescue shelter
    -contribute to local FUEL children’s program
    -member of Social Action Committee at UU Fellowship
    -work with youth groups
    -attend local events such as upcoming Empty Bowls benefit (Feb 23 to benefit loaves and fishes and other hunger)
    -support Underwater Warriors – a scuba program for wounded soldiers

  3. Myke Thompson says

    Hey Beth, I have an older Toyota Camry like 1992 and I got 30 MPG the last time I checked, So it’s not doing to bad. It only has 145k on it. I looking in to a BMW but it only get 22mpg. I am also considering buying a Ninja 250. It gets 70 mpg. Hmmm what to do.

    • Beth Robinson says

      My daughter is driving my hand-me-down 1996 Geo Prizm (ie toyota corolla) and it is still getting 30 mpg. It has about 180K so i’m getting concerned about it breaking down.

  4. says

    Part of the process of living an eco lifestyle includes knowing how to make the right motions to turn your college campus into a green campus, and how to sustain those efforts with future students and staff. It’s not an easy process, but there are many universities out there that are already contributing to the green college effort.

    Personal and organizational success stories occur every day on college campuses and in surrounding communities, and their eco-initiatives are changing the way that the world views the entire green movement. If you are passionate and consistent about living an eco-lifestyle, you can have a successful story to tell!

    Your lifestyle is the way that you live, and that includes everything from how you get around and interact with people to the way that you shop and consume food. It takes knowledge about the environment and how to sustain it, as well as a desire to change your old habits and attitudes, to live a happy and healthy eco-lifestyle.

  5. says

    GM’s New Electric Vehicle to Get 230 MPG

    We’ve shared with you many of General Motors’ green vehicles, including the 2009 Sierra 2-Mode Hybrid, the Saturn VUE Green Line Hybrid and the Chevy Malibu Hybrid, as well as the news that GM Made Spain a Bit Greener by opening the world’s largest solar power panel plant, but now the car company is claiming that its new electric vehicle will be the first mass-produced vehicle to achieve a triple digit mpg rating!

    The Chevrolet Volt is GM’s latest electric vehicle to amaze consumers with its 230 mpg city driving rating. No other green vehicle has been able to achieve this kind of gas mileage status, and GM hopes to keep it this way.

    The Volt

    The Chevy Volt is the answer to years of customers complaining that GM had failed to bring an electric vehicle to the market. Well, over a decade ago the company did produce the EV-1, but the electric vehicle failed and became the subject of the documentary “Who Killed the Electric Car?”

    After the backlash of the film, GM decided to produce what many consider will be the greenest vehicle on the market. Why?

    * The first 40 miles in a fully charged Volt is largely powered by the battery
    * The car can extend its range to more than 300 miles with its flex fuel-powered engine-generator
    * Almost no gasoline will be required

    A person will have to stop to recharge the car along the way, but that’s a small price to pay for such an eco-friendly vehicle.

    So, will this new electric vehicle be the hit that GM needs to pull itself out of the economic slump? We shall see.

    Source: The Washington Post

    • SAVING$$$ says

      Not only will that help the environment but that will save a buttload of money and lower the over use of natural resources!

  6. says

    Solar powered oven wins first prize in climate competition

    Forum for the Future, a charity committed to sustainable development, recently awarded a $75,000 first place prize in its global climate change competition. And the first place winner is…the Kyoto Box, a solar powered cooker that’s helping people in developing countries cook their food and practice living an eco lifestyle.

    Why make a solar powered oven?

    So, why did the Kyoto Box win the first place prize? One big reason is that it only costs $6.60 to make, which makes it affordable for just about anyone in any country.

    Another reason that it is a winner is that it’s easy to make. Each oven is made from:

    * A few pieces of cardboard
    * Black paint
    * Tin foil
    * An acrylic cover

    That’s it! The acrylic cover traps the sun’s green energy, and then the black paint and silver tin foil absorb the heat. This solar powered
    oven produces heat that can be used to boil unsanitary water to make it drinkable, as well as to cook food.

    The Kyoto Box also helps reduce the carbon footprint of the villagers by cutting down on pollution and lowering the cost of energy from fuel.

    This is a great way to use solar power and solar energy, and we hope that the Kyoto Box will have a positive impact on the lives of people around the world.

  7. says

    The University of Denver’s New Bike Share Program

    This past September the University of Denver started a new on-campus bike sharing program that was created by the school’s sustainability committee. This new program allows current DU students, faculty and staff to rent high-tech bikes for free from a special bike-lending library…all with the swipe of their DU identification card.

    The bike share program offered at the University of Denver is part of a citywide bike sharing program that is set to launch in April of 2010. By then, the city of Denver hopes to have 600 bikes offered at 50 solar powered kiosks around the city.

    More about the bike share program

    So far the bike sharing program has been a success for the university. Students can rent the bikes for free and must return them by 7pm that same night. There is a late charge if the bike is returned after 7pm, and if it’s still not back after 3 days the student must pay the retail cost of the bike (which costs a pretty penny at several hundred dollars).

    Here’s a video that explains more about the program:
    Denver is already a green city, so this new bike share program is only making it greener and more sustainable in the long run.

  8. says

    Climate Culture’s Green College Campus Contest

    Do you want to prove to Obama, and to the rest of the world, that your school may just be the greenest campus in America? Do you want to challenge other students to reduce their carbon footprint in order to win up to $20,000?

    Of course you do, and to prove your commitment to protecting the environment you should sign up for America’s Greenest Campus contest.

    Created by Climate Culture, a new startup that helps people save money and go green, and in partnership with Smart Power, a non-profit marketing organization that supports green energy, this contest pits college campuses around the U.S. against each other to prove their green university mentality.

    Here’s how the contest works:

    1. Sign up with your school information on the Climate Culture website here

    2. Get other students to sign up as well

    3. Do your best to reduce your carbon footprint

    After you sign up, your carbon footprint, along with everyone else from your school, will be tracked by the website carbon calculator, and on October 5, 2009 the school with the lowest carbon footprint will win!

    The leader, as of today, is George Mason University in Virginia.

    Oh, and did we mention that there’s even a YouTube video sung by the “Obama Girl” that talks about saving energy
    and joining the contest? Here it is:
    Now that you know about the contest, are you ready to prove to the world that you are a part of the greenest campus in America?

  9. says

    ‘Climate Patriots’ (VIDEO): Fighting Global Climate Change Will Help Ensure America’s Security

    Fighting climate change is not only good for the Earth, but apparently it’s also patriotic.

    National security and climate change may not be the likeliest pair, but the two are more interconnected than you would think. “Climate Patriots,” a video presentation released by the Pew Project on National Security, Energy and Climate, explores how solving global climate change can make for a safer America, drawing on science and military experts to find new strategies.

    According to The Pew Project’s Web site, “if left unchecked, global warming could lead to civil strife, economic stress, conflicts over water and other resources, mass migration, and increased terrorism.”

    It goes a little something like this: As tensions mount because of the adverse effects of climate change, so does political instability, leading to more conflict, fundamentalism, and increased terrorism.

    “It’s like taking every hornet’s nest we already have around the world and shaking it up,” James Morin, a former captain of the U.S. Army, said.

    Our lack of energy independence (dependence on foreign oil), combined with climate change, will pose an “unacceptably high threat level,” according to a recent study by retired military leaders.

    “We can be a better country, we can better support our troops by becoming more energy efficient, more sustainable, by using other forms of energy– it has to be something that all Americans feel a part of,” retired Vice Admiral Dennis McGinn said.

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