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  • Getting to Green

    An administrator pushes, on a shoestring budget, to move his university and the world toward a more sustainable equilibrium.

Get (down and) dirty
November 30, 2009 - 8:45pm

The Sierra Club needs our help. Especially those of use with dirt under our fingernails, stuck to our hair, ground into our skins.

See, Sierra's Student Coalition is pushing a "2 Dirty 4 College" campaign, built around the premise that our favorite solid fossil fuel is too dirty even to be allowed on (presumably already dirty) campuses. The group is sponsoring a "dirty dorm room" photo contest, and has primed the competition with a couple of self-generated entries. The deadline is December 6. To submit a picture, you need to join the community here, and then the contest group here.

There's also a set of three videos on YouTube (search "2dirty4college").

Now, I like the idea. It has that "speak truth to power while sticking your thumb in power's eye" feel to it. It reminds me of the immortal words of Chef: "There's a time and a place for everything. It's called 'college'."

But it's clear to me that the Sierrans need our help. Their "dirty" videos seem like they were made for The Family Channel ("Want to hear something dirty? Two white horses fell in the mud!!") And the first pictures of "dirty" dorm rooms look pretty clean to me. Cluttered, but clean. And cluttered with what? With stuff that was probably purchased from a big box retailer after being shipped halfway around the world!

I have confidence in us. We can do worse (which is to say, better) than that! Talk to your Residence Life staff, find out what dorm rooms nearly flunked their most recent health-and-safety inspections (or, better, which rooms the inspectors recoiled in horror from and refused to go into). Coal is a tremendously dirty fuel (too dirty, indeed, for college). But to convey that message loud and clear, we need to help the Sierrans to set the bar *W*A*Y* down low.

I know a couple of Greenback football players who are complete and utter slobs. Now I just need to convince them that winning a "dirty dorm room" contest won't get Coach mad at them. (Maybe quoting Chef will help, although I doubt it.)


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