Earth Day scholarship program promotes stewardship

Earth Day scholarship program promotes stewardship

By Heather Woolwine, Recycling & Environmental Compliance Manager

Copyright: auremar / 123RF Stock PhotoMany academic scholarship programs are based on written essays that express an applicant’s ideas about a certain topic. But when the Brazos Valley Earth Day committee decided to develop a scholarship program promoting environmental stewardship, we knew it called for something more substantial.

Words are nice, but a hands-on contribution to local communities is even nicer.

That’s why the scholarship program – which is in its first year – is based on actual projects that have a positive environmental impact in the Brazos Valley. The only requirements are for applicants to be residents of Brazos, Burleson, Grimes, Leon, Madison, Robertson or Washington counties, and be attending or planning to attend a technical school, college or university next fall.

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Yes, a Hybrid Garbage Truck!

The City of College Station’s Sanitation Division is always researching new methods and technologies to provide safe, efficient and cost effective solid waste services to our residents, but don’t take my word for it – read our mission statement:

To provide safe, efficient and cost effective solid waste and recycling collection services incorporating state-of-the-art methods and technology, with world-class customer service to all citizens of College Station, in conjunction with promoting waste reduction and clean community programs through public education.”

That’s why we’re excited about unveiling our first Autocar E3 Hybrid this week, making us the first city in the Brazos Valley to operate a hybrid garbage truck. 

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What is a Sustainability Coordinator?

“Howdy, I’m Erin Chastain-Harris, sustainability coordinator for the City of College Station.”

When I introduce myself these days, I am often met by a puzzled look, followed quickly by a question: “What’s a sustainability coordinator?”

Although sustainability is not a new idea, it is a hot topic in government and corporate business. Now that it’s popular to be “green,” many entities are publicizing how effectively they balance resources used and dollars spent with social responsibility. Businesses are tackling their resource usage with a complete systems view and are touting a smaller carbon footprint as a result. The City of College Station has embarked on a similar course.

Finding a Better Way
As sustainability coordinator, I find myself challenging the status quo, encouraging long-term thinking and actions that result in positive economic, social or environmental impact. In simple terms, I’m the one who walks around the office asking why things are done a certain way and if a better way is possible.

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