OPINION: The black, the yellow, and the green – campus sustainability efforts reviewed.


Khánh Nguyễn

Madi Laughlin of Green Group waters the plants around the pod. Green Group promotes the importance of eliminating waste, efficient usage of natural resources and sustainability.

Earth Day is nearly upon us- and with that comes celebrating not only our planet, Earth, but also the campus that we all love so dearly. In my opinion the physical campus here at WSU is good at two things: looking beautiful with plenty of grass, trees, and tulips; and celebrating the Earth that we all share. WSU is joining many corporate entities across the globe in sustainability efforts so that we can all enjoy the planet for another day, and our descendants can enjoy it tomorrow. 

But what is WSU doing that sets it apart from the average college campus?

For starters, WSU supports a recycling program across campus. This is just one small way that any student, visitor, faculty, or staff member can participate in to contribute to a brighter tomorrow. But I wish there were more locations to recycle paper products and sites that were not within other buildings on campus. 

Another initiative that The City of Wichita and WSU participate in is public transpiration. Specifically, by riding on one of Wichita’s city busses, which are slowly transitioning to Battery-Electric busses. Bus Rides around campus are FREE! Yes, I said it— FREE! Although there are a few routes that require a Shocker ID Card, most do not. 

I wouldn’t sleep on this opportunity, even if you can’t be bothered to recycle or take part in any other initiative on this list. It may come down to another -10 degree day that makes a bus ride to the Innovation Campus from any one of the bus’s other stops that changes your mind. 

Next, although not directly a WSU initiative or university regulated— Kroger’s Zero Hunger Zero Waste Initiative supports both The Kansas Food Bank and the Shocker Support Locker, preventing unnecessary food waste and feeding those in need. Kroger is the parent company of Hutchinson, Kansas, founded Dillon’s Food Stores. 

Overall, I give WSU a rating of seven stocks of wheat out of 10. There is room for growth, and yet I can’t discount what WSU has already done with the campus. Generally, students walk around campus or catch the bus, rather than moving a car from one parking lot to another. I also can’t forget about WSU-ber, with their golf carts frequently seen around campus. 

While I would like to make suggestions to improve the rating I’ve given WSU, it’s hard to say what can be recommended at this point in time. COVID-19 has limited the potential for reusable options to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Because I started at WSU amid the pandemic, it’s hard to tell if the rating is swayed to reflect this. 

Here’s what I can say though, I think most Shockers are proud of what the campus they love is doing to ensure another tomorrow. And they look forward to a brighter future with more sustainable options.