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The Suburbanite
  • Lights out at KSU Stark for Zero Waste Day

  • Students and faculty are arriving on campus at Kent State University Stark campus Wednesday morning to find darkened hallways in classroom buildings. The decision to turn off non-essential lights for an entire day was part of Zero Waste Day.

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  • Geology and philosophy? Tim Leopold’s double major seems an odd pairing until you hear his enthusiastic explanation.
    “Geology — that’s our world we are living on, the world we need to know about,” said Leopold, a junior at Kent State University’s Stark campus. “Combined with philosophy — that promotes responsible thinking and sustainability.”
    Leopold, a Glen Oak graduate, shared his zeal on Wednesday, when non-essential lights were turned off in classroom buildings to focus attention on Campus Sustainability Day.
    “I heard students saying, ‘Hey, why are all the lights out?’ and I was able to talk to a few students about why we were doing this, that this is something we need to be concerned about long-term,” Leopold said.
    Facility Manager Brent Wood organized Kent Stark’s recognition of Sustainability Day, a nationwide event every October. Wood’s committee of volunteers kept their plans under wraps, surprising faculty and students alike when the lights went out in hallways and common areas at 9 a.m Wednesday.
    “We also decided to include a push for zero waste, to remind people to throw recyclables in the recycle bins instead of the trash can,” Wood said. His committee put strips of crime scene-style tape diagonally across the opening of trash cans across campus.  
    “In private offices, we even turned trash receptacles upside down and put the recycle bins on top,” Wood said.
    The Geology Club is sponsoring a giveaway to encourage students to take a sustainability pledge.
    “We bought reuseable water bottles to distribute to students who take the pledge we are developing,” said Leopold, president of the club. The link to the pledge can be found at www.stark.kent.edu/sustainability.  
    To promote less paper waste, Wood’s committee launched a sneak attack on campus bulletin boards Tuesday evening, pulling down layers of posters and flyers.
    “We left a real small note in the middle of the empty bulletin board that said “’Save Paper, Go Digital.’ Why make posters? Why not use our website, or Facebook page, our Twitter account?” Wood said.
    Committee member Cynthia Williams said they planned something dramatic to increase awareness.
    “We want to shake them out of their stupor,” Williams said. “We know a one-day event won’t cure the world’s ills, but at least it might make them think.”
    Reach Saimi at 330-580-8493 or saimi.bergmann@cantonrep.com. On Twitter: sbergmannREP