Photo by Aboubacar Kante

Why is it important to go green? Of the many changes we bring about in our lives, adopting environmentally friendly habits is the most important. People, plants and animals have synchronized ecosystems. Our actions impact their existence and their absence affects our future. As a community of frantic consumers, we need to pause before we purchase and think before we throw. Like any social change that is brought about in society, this too requires collective action and consensus.

SCAD Atlanta’s Student Green Initiative is a club that encourages green habits and environmentally conscious thinking, and strives to make environment-friendly practices an important part of education we receive at SCAD.

While it is important to spread awareness and make people realize the significance or environmental friendliness, actually incorporating green practices in one’s daily routine is certainly more impactful.

When Yeliz Motro, president of the Student Green Initiative, first came to SCAD , she was new to both the city and the country. Her passion for environmentalism and social work drew her to the Student Green Initiative as she helped plan the annual Earth Day celebrations.

Motro said she enjoyed working with the Student Green Initiative for its direct access to the student community and power of influence people through programs and workshops that interest young creatives.

The Student Green Initiative believes that being aware of what one consumes and breathes is very important to enhance one’s quality of life.

“We have the responsibility of reversing the rapid effects of industrialization, since in today’s world, we are more educated and aware of how our actions can harm us and the environment,” said Motro.

So, what is the one green habit we should adopt immediately? According to Motro, opting for second-hand or upcycled goods is that habit. Consumerism is a huge problem that reinforces wasteful practices and we need to immediately switch to repairing and reusing instead of throwing away and buying new. This would save a lot of energy and resources, therefore limiting harmful waste.

Separating trash and recycling waste is also a great place to start. “reusing and trading used materials could make a big difference, especially in labour-heavy majors such as fashion,” said Motro.

The club has also discussed the use of electricity in the building which is visibly wasteful as students forget or don’t bother to switch off lights when they leave studios.

The club has its own challenges, but having a team of supportive and equally passionate members is what keeps it going. Motro spoke from experience as she confessed that it takes a lot of planning and multi-tasking to put an event together. Coordinating with the administration, faculty and participants can be difficult, however, her teammates are able to achieve their goals together.

When asked about their upcoming projects for the year, Motro shared that visiting local farms is on top of the club’s list. “We want students to learn about growing food, working with soil and plants,” said Motro.

The Student Green Initiative also hosts “Footprint,” an annual event and a reminder of our responsibility and engagement with the environment. At the event, the club members host workshops, set up stalls and organize activities that encourage and eco=friendly lifestyle. “We even had a second-hand shop this year by our lovely friend Scout, who discourages the trend of fast fashion,” said Motro.

The club also has movies nights, discussions, field trips and is actively trying to organize more volunteering opportunities for students. “We’d love to have more people in the club, to make it bigger and more impactful at SCAD Atlanta,” said Motro.

For students at SCAD, it is our responsibility as young creatives to reduce our carbon footprint and think about sustainability. Working with clubs such as the Student Green Initiative will result in an environmentally conscious student community.