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Brennan Lowery ′11

Major: International Studies
Minor: Environmental Studies
Hometown: Covington, LA
Interesting fact: Brennan and Green Rhodes hope to demo a renewable energy project at Rhodes in the near future.

So I hear you’re one of the founders of Green Rhodes. What inspired you to push for more environmental awareness on campus?
I had a lot of energy and inspiration left over from my summer “vacation” which I spent on an organic farm in Belize. Not only was it a completely organic farm, it was green in every way. All the buildings ran on solar energy. The family that owned it was totally entrenched in environmental values. So after I left there I wanted to introduce some of those concepts at Rhodes. I found the other four founding members and we started having meetings this year in January.

What are some of your grand green plans?
Well, we will continue to work with ARAMark, the food service provider for the campus, testing various approaches such as vegetarian day. We also tried a no-tray day to see how much food waste is prevented if you stop using trays.

Apart from the Rat (Catherine Burrow Refectory) we are focusing on the community garden and we’re trying to have fun events to encourage things like riding bikes. And then we have more serious projects that are more long term. One major goal is to become more visible on campus. We’re hoping that if we model our values others will want to adopt some of those values as their own.

Can you tell me more about this community garden?
It’s located behind East Village residence hall and we started it in the early spring. It’s organic so we use no pesticides or artificial fertilizers. Instead of herbicides we use compost. For fertilizer we use manure from the horses that pull the carriages downtown that are so popular with tourists. It’s open to every person in the Rhodes Community, not just students. Faculty and people who work in offices can also get involved. We’re going to divvy up the produce and deliver it to students in their dorm. We will send all that’s left over to Souper contact, Rhodes’ student-run weekly soup kitchen.

What is the farthest you’ve ever gone to recycle?
Well, you can recycle glass at home in Covington. One time I drank a Crush up here, and I was going home in a week so I saved the bottle and took it with me.

Now that’s dedication.

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Christina Huntington March 4, 2010

Jorge:

Yes, the city of Memphis recycles glass, but Rhodes is not part of the city′s recycling program. We work with private contractors, none of whom recycle glass. We do recycle paper, plastic, aluminum, cardboard, batteries, printer cartridges and cell phones.

Jorge March 4, 2010

Do we recycle glass here in Memphis?