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Talkin’ Trash

Talkin’ Trash

When I came to Graceland, I was so excited to start a new chapter in my life. I came in as a Religion and Philosophy major, soon to find out that it was not the path for me. As a member of CofC, I grew up going to camps and being a counselor. I’ve had some of the best memories being involved in camps, and my home congregation. Like many college students, I was trying to figure out what my path was; what I was meant to do. I spent a lot of time thinking about some things I loved most. Although I had many ideas, I decided that most of my passions revolved around camps, nature, and outdoor activities. This is what led me to change my major to Recreation, with a minor in Environmental Studies.

Soon after declaring my major, I joined the Sustainable Lamoni club, now known as the Trash Talkers. I heard about it from one of my best friends, Erin Reynolds, and decided it would be something fun to check out. After one meeting, I loved it. It was so exciting to be in a student-led group with people that had a mutual concern for our environment. Over the years, we have accomplished so much! Our group is filled with hard working, passionate, and devoted students, and a lot of work is done behind the scenes! Ever wonder who takes care of the recycling on campus? Or how there are reusable mugs in the basement of the library? Trash Talkers do so many amazing things to ensure that Graceland is more environmentally friendly.

One of the biggest accomplishments that the Trash Talkers has brought to GU is the Hoop House. My friends Erin Reynolds and Kate Ytell have spent countless hours tending to the garden and plants. The produce grown there has even been sold at the local farmers market in Lamoni. Erin sees the Hoop House as a “Revolutionary avenue through which this institution can incorporate service and action-based learning.” Last year, Trash Talkers teamed up with the Rotary club and we helped fund the awesome bike shelter over by the Fitz. It will now be home to many bikes for years to come! One of my favorite memories is Earth Day 2015. Trash Talkers set up a whole day of fun activities. We had tye dye, book swap, clothing swap, slack line, and fun games all day for the students to enjoy. It was a great time to be outdoors with our fellow peers, celebrating our wonderful Earth!

Now that it is Senior year, Erin, Kate, and I will be moving on to the next step in our life journey. Leaving will be tough, but we have made long lasting memories, and hopefully some sustainable traditions.  I asked Erin to share with me her favorite part of being in the club. She replied, “Having the chance to participate in a group where all the members felt comfortable sharing ideas and collaborating about a subject that is relevant to everyone.”  Trash Talkers has become a very important part of my life and my Graceland experience. This year we have gained new members and some awesome faculty members as well. We’ve planned a whole week of great festivities to help celebrate Earth Day 2016! I would encourage all students, faculty, and alumni to get involved with Trash Talkers. We only have one Earth, and we must all learn how we can take care of her! I think I can speak for everyone when I say that Trash Talkers does not only help GU become more mindful of our environment, but we build friendships, and create community.

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About Jade Gomez

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