You should spend at least one minute of every day upside down said freshman Emily Reeder, founder of Pepperdine’s newest club GreenTeam, which officially registered with the Inter-Club Council on Monday, Jan. 26.
According to Reeder, spending time upside down each day reverses gravity’s natural downward effect on the body and allows muscles to breath and relax.
Green living is no new concept for Reeder. Six years ago, Emily’s family started on a path to better health and higher consciousness of the environment, all of which involved eating organic food, recycling and general greening.”
“When I started at Pepperdine I really wanted to share my passion and knowledge but when I got here I was shocked to see that no green club existed Reeder said.
Reeder spent most of the fall semester researching how to start her own green club.
Her first step towards creating the GreenTeam was sketching out her ideas with the late James Brock, director of housing. Reeder said JB was one of the most instrumental people in getting the GreenTeam off the ground.
I told JB that I wanted to start a team of students that is all about going green Reeder said. We started dreaming about the initiatives we could take on at Pepperdine I saw what a difference this was going to make and I was so excited!”
Soon after Pepperdine University’s first GreenTeam was formed. The GreenTeam already boasts 115 excited and motivated members.
“I’d been trying to convince juniors and seniors to do this for the last couple of years said Christopher Doran, who teaches an environmental ethics course at Pepperdine and also serves as the faculty advisor for the new club. Emily was the first person I found passionate enough to go ahead and create the club and I’m terribly excited.”
Reeder emphasized that the GreenTeam is not just an environmental club.
“We are about embracing the people just as much as we are about embracing the health of the earth Reeder said. We’re about people the environment and the harmony that must be established between these elements.”
Initiatives for the Spring 2009 semester include greening the residence halls creating a newsletter that updates students on easy ways to a greener lifestyle an organic garden a pledge to encourage students and faculty to use paper more sparingly and working towards healthier organic food options in the cafeteria and residence hall vending machines.
“I’m passionate about organic food Reeder said. I want people to know that you don’t have to give up good food to eat healthy.”
The GreenTeam will be taking field trips to the Vital Zuman Farm in Malibu to learn about sustainable organic farming. The trip will help the team learn how to farm for their future garden although a location for the garden has not yet been determined.
Because the GreenTeam’s main goal is promoting harmony among people and the environment the team is always looking for ways to ensure that these elements are working together symbiotically.
“Eco-friendly cleaning supplies in the dorms won’t harm the environment yet they still work efficiently Reeder said. Plus things like apple-cider vinegar as cleaning products are so easy and cost effective.”
In fact most of the GreenTeam’s initiatives will save the university money which in light of the economic downturn is a huge consideration for the administration.
“Things like organic food in the cafeteria and solar panels for the dorms sound great but I think it’s important to make sure that these things are cost-effective said Eric Gray, freshman. And if they are – then let’s go for it. There is so much we can do to save energy – dual pane windows insulation it’s all going to make a difference.
Most of the issues raised are cost-effective and as such will be taken seriously by the university says Duran.
The GreenTeam is equally concerned with student health. They plan to research the effectiveness of the current water filtration system to ensure that the water people bathe in is healthy for their bodies. Reeder said that absorbing toxic chemical-laden water into the body everyday can be dangerous to one’s health. An improved filtration system could produce cleaner water that could then be put to better use around campus.
“Much of California is experiencing a drought right now and it’s possible that L.A. County could be next GreenTeam wants to be proactive about water conservation at Pepperdine” Doran said.
The GreenTeam’s other long-term goals include working with The Campus Life Project a residence hall renovation venture to ensure that improvements such as solar panels and other energy savers are utilized in the enhanced dormitories.
Although these projects are long term the GreenTeam has a busy semester ahead.