University of Richmond’s Greek women are currently competing in Greeks Going Green, a competition among sororities to see who can be the most eco-friendly.
Megan Zanella-Litke, the university’s sustainability manager, said that she had been approached by senior Kendel Ahnell, a member of Delta Delta Delta, about starting this project. Greeks Going Green is almost entirely student-run, and Zanella-Litke serves in more of a support role for the project, she said. Ahnell works from the Office of Sustainability to lead the project.
“The goal is to get Greek life more aware of sustainable practices and how to implement them in their daily lives,” Ahnell said.
“The idea is just to spread environmental awareness amongst the Greek organizations on campus through weekly activities and participation and events,” Zanella-Litke said.
Delta Gamma won the first week’s competition, which was based on reusable water bottles. “If you went all week without using a disposable plastic bottle, then you got a point for your sorority,” Ahnell said.
This week’s competition was called Meatless Monday and encouraged students to not eat meat. “Every week will be something different,” Ahnell said. Next week’s competition will involve using reusable cups at 8:15 at Boatwright, she said.
Each sorority has a representative of the Greeks Going Green project who reveals the competitions to the sororities during chapter meetings. In addition to these representatives, there is also a representative from the Panhellenic Association and GreenUR, Ahnell said.
Sophomore Madeline Smith, a representative for Kappa Alpha Theta, is an environmental studies major. “We try to encourage our sorority sisters to participate in the competition and give them facts,” Smith said.
During the Meatless Monday competition, one of the shared facts was: “The water needs of livestock are huge, far above those of vegetables or grains. An estimated 1,800 to 2,500 gallons of water go into a single pound of beef,” Ahnell said. Representatives also explained how not eating meat would help reduce the greenhouse gas emissions and fuel dependency, she said.
The competition will run for the length of the semester, and at the end, the sorority with the most points will win a trophy that can be placed in front of its cottage.
Ahnell said that each semester, the trophy would be passed on to the winning sorority. Also, the winning sorority will receive some smaller incentive for its members, such as a reusable tumbler, she said.
“All the sororities are really into it,” Ahnell said.
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