Can’t we go a little greener?

Kent State uses electric golf carts, environmentally friendly cleaning products and an energy efficient power plant that reduces some pollutants.

Of course, the university has had other successes with its energy use. For example, earlier this year, the Environmental Protection Agency recognized Kent State for “exceptional leadership in energy use and management.”

But can’t we do more?

We’re not asking that the university sprout solar panels over night. But we’d like to see more steps in that direction.

For example, on a smaller scale, the recycling effort on our campus is half-hearted at best. In Eastway, people have to walk down stairs if they want to recycle. It’s a common sight to see students dump entire tray-loads of garbage instead of recycling their bottles. Would it be that much of a problem for the university to put the recycling container next to the trashcan?

But we just can’t blame the lack of recycling on the misplacement of a container. It’s ultimately up to the students where they put their recyclables. Just imagine what this university could do if every student recycled every Natty beer can, every water bottle and every Stater.

The goal of going green, however, shouldn’t just be a thought in the back of students’ minds but on the agenda of every administrator. Recently, 302 college and university leaders signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, which is an agreement to reduce carbon emissions to zero or offset them using alternative energy.

David Creamer, senior vice president for administration, said he hadn’t heard of the agreement, but it could be worth looking into.

We agree.

In his inauguration speech, President Lester Lefton said “Kent State will continue to be a productive and proactive partner in the public good.” We think going green fits this mission perfectly. If he wants Kent State to be a progressive institution with admirable goals and aspirations, the environment should be one of his priorities.

In the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, it says, “Campuses that address the climate challenge by reducing global warming emissions and by integrating sustainability into their curriculum will better serve their students and meet their social mandate to help create a thriving, ethical and civil society.”

Kent State has a whole heap of plans mixed in its complex bureaucracy. So why not have a dedicated plan to making this university one of those on the forefront of environmental preservation?

As college students, one of our goals should be to leave Kent State with a desire to make the world a better place. So if our university administration’s mindset is a little greener, maybe ours will be, too.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Summer Kent Stater editorial board.