Bellevue College is home to an active Sustainability Department that works to bring environmental issues to attention on campus. Outside of class, students search for an outlet to express their concerns for the environment. The Environmental Club was created to give students the opportunity to share their concerns and prevent damage inflicted by students enrolled at BC.
Only just starting her second quarter at BC, Kamalpreet Sanota assumed the leadersbip position as of club president. She wants members to apply their eco-friendly knowledge to improve the campus community.
By bringing together students who are interested in helping the environment, Sanota hopes to stimulate interactions that will help students make beneficial changes at BC. “I want to look into different environmental issues. People tend to focus on things like carbon emissions and recycling, but I don’t hear as much about overconsumption and toxins that come from waste,” said Sanota.
The Environmental Club is intended to provide a place for students to share their ideas and improve the school. Sanota has only been attending BC for a few months, but she hopes the Environmental Club will be an outlet for students like herself to reach out. “My biggest concern would be the lack of compost bins around the school. I feel like people eat in classrooms and their teachers don’t mind or care. After eating a banana or an orange, the peel will still be leftover. I’ve seen people throw these in the garbage, but they should go in compost instead,” she said.
She also wants students to learn the correct way to recycle electronics. As college students, encountering a defective computer will often result in the procurement of a new device. The issue is that students often dispose of their old machines incorrectly. Stores like Best Buy, Office Depot and Staples offer services to recycle old computers, TVs and other devices. “I want to encourage students to recycle their electronics properly so that they can be reused,” said Sanota.
Chris Toomey, a student at BC, reflected on his experience recycling technology. “There is a service fee to recycle electronics. When I had to recycle one of my old computers a couple of years ago, I had to pay $25 dollars to recycle because of the hazardous materials in the monitor,” he said.
Sanota got the idea to start an environmental club from her volunteer work at an elementary school. “They have a ‘Green Environmental Club.’ That got me thinking that there should be one at the college level. If elementary school students can work together and make changes to their school and community, so should we,” she said.
The major focus at the Environmental Club is community activism. She plans to bring the club to trash pick-up sites, hold fundraisers and host awareness events. “I want students to have a place where they can talk about environmental issues as a group and solve problems in a way that is easier and more personable,” said Sanota.
If interested in joining the Environmental Club, come to room C-211 from 9:30 a.m. to 10:20 a.m. or from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Wednesdays. For more information about the BC sustainability department, visit http://depts.bellevuecollege.edu/sustainability/