Getting their hands dirty for a cleaner earth

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It’s a group of more than 20 members dedicated to educating and preserving the earth and it’s resources, both locally and nationally. Students Allied for a Green Earth began in 2007, and has steadily been growing since.

SAGE President Ashleigh Woda said it is an organization for students who like the earth.

“Every year we do green teams,” Woda said. “We just go and pick up trash around campus.”

SAGE also travels to different sites to help with clean up. This past weekend, the organization went to Milwaukee to clean up the Milwaukee River. They also assisted with a controlled burn in Milton to burn more than 100 acres of land. But Earth Week is when the group goes all-out to educate students about sustainability and making a difference on and off campus.

Every year during Earth Week, SAGE plants trees around campus. This year, the Department of Natural Resources donated 600 seedlings for the organization to plant around Whitewater.

Senior Kate Ludwig, who has been a member of SAGE since 2008, said the easiest way to reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is to plant trees.

SAGE will participate in a variety of events this week, including a Green Wheels Extravaganza and promoting the new rideshare program, Zimride.

SAGE will show the film “Tar Creek” Wednesday at 6 p.m. and again at 8 p.m. The film is about the Oklahoma Superfund site, where mining companies came in and destroyed the land and then left. The film will be shown in University Center Room 275A.

Money raised will go toward the non-profit organization Local Environment Action Demanded, which funds the Tar Creek site.
SAGE has recently teamed up with TerraCycle, a company that turns recyclables to usable items such as backpacks.

The organization is collecting juice boxes and candy wrappers to send to TerraCycle. Collection bins are in residence halls. Those living off campus who want to donate can contact SAGE at [email protected]

One of the biggest points SAGE is trying to instill in students is to be conscientious about how they use resources.

“There’s a lack of knowledge on these issues,” Woda said. “I’m worried about the future; we’re not going to have these resources forever, especially with the way everyone is using them right now.”

“We’re all residents of this planet,” Ludwig said. “I think humans really take it for granted. They’re truly just another species on this planet and to treat other aspects of this world like they don’t matter or to be wasteful is just really not sensible. It’s a lot more practical to live sustainably; you’re not as wasteful financially and in terms of resources.”