Just as the world is constantly changing, so is the environment. However, the situation has worsened in recent years, with the Earth’s average surface temperature increasing by 2 degrees Fahrenheit and air pollution levels rising due to fossil fuel burning and a host of other issues. Humans have the power to make a difference on these issues, and Rockhurst University students took a stand. These students belong to an organization called RU Green.
RU Green, formerly known as LEAP, is a student organization dedicated to raising awareness of environmental issues and their impacts, particularly in the local area. RU Green not only educates students about the environment, but actively encourages and provides opportunities for students to be the change that is needed in the world.
“We strive to spread awareness about environmental impacts, especially those close to our community, and the need for students to be involved,” said Jordan, senior treasurer at RU Green.・Mr. Cates said.
RU Green is active on campus, giving presentations on a variety of environmental topics as a way to help foster a green community. One of the presentations given last year was about urban heating effects. This is when cities replace wildlife and trees with structures that retain heat, such as roads, buildings, and other infrastructure. Not only does this impact citizens through increased utility bills for air conditioning, but the trapped heat can cause air pollution and worsen air quality. The heating effects of cities cause a variety of other problems for the environment, which was especially important for Rockhurst students to learn about due to their close proximity to downtown Kansas City.
To combat the effects of urban heating, RU Green is taking an active role by planting trees on the Rockhurst campus and other areas of the city, particularly near the exit from Highway 71 on Emanuel Clever Boulevard. Masu. In the past three years, RU Green has been able to plant six of his trees in this area. Trees combat the heating effects of cities by providing additional shade to cities, deflecting radiation from the sun, and releasing moisture into the atmosphere.
In Rockhurst, RU Green is focused on increasing the diversity of tree species. “There are only oak trees on campus. Bill Krige (RU Green Advisor) said that if the oak trees got diseased, they would all die and there would be no trees on campus,” Cates said. said. The organization plants various types of trees on campus. This is essential so that even if something happens to a species, students still have shade and a comfortable outdoor space.
RU Green also offers service opportunities and field trips, such as trips to local sustainability shops, for students to put their mission into practice. One of RU Green’s trips was a visit to Soap Refill Station, a Kansas City shop dedicated to reducing plastic waste by offering customers the opportunity to reuse old soap bottles.
“We explained to the students where it is, what it does there and how it helps the community. Instead, we taught them how to replenish what they already had,” Cates said.
The most important time for RU Green is the week of April 22, Earth Day. They host a variety of events throughout the week ranging from tree plantings, presentations, baked goods sales, raffles to name trees, signing petitions that impact the environment, and many other activities. Masu. With students already thinking about the planet this time of year, RU Green is spending this week expanding its presence on campus and striving to make an environmental impact at Rockhurst.
A key asset of this organization is the dedication of its members to promoting its message and keeping events running. However, RU Green always welcomes newcomers and encourages all Rockhurst students to do their part to care for the environment. A shared interest in your organization’s message is just the starting point. RU Green fosters a sense of camaraderie and allows people to meet students who can have a lasting impact on their university experience.
“When people come to our club, it’s like finding a new friend,” Cates said.
If you are interested in joining RU Green, meetings are held every other Tuesday from 6-7pm in the CMC (Campus Ministry Center). The specific dates will be announced on Instagram @rugreen. For more information, please contact Organizational Advisor Bill Kriege. [email protected]