Campus Community

Meet the Green Team

Written by Claire Siegel

September 24, 2013

students hanging out at Union Green park in the Spring

New student group is helping to strengthen SU’s culture of sustainability. 

If you attended last week's President's Welcome, you probably noticed a group of students in bright green t-shirts emblazoned with "Green Team." You may have wondered whether this is some sort of fan club for Kermit the Frog or the Incredible Hulk.

While many of us are, in fact, fans of the Kermit and Hulk, we, the students of the Green Team, are more concerned with campus waste than lily pads and muscles. We volunteer at campus events in order to eliminate the confusion and exasperation that sometimes accompanies throwing things away on campus. We not only mitigate the trash-that is, help you sort your waste into compost, recycle, and trash bins-but we also provide some education in the process. Our team has been trained to do this efficiently and with tact, to hopefully make it easier to dispose of your waste. We are guided by a philosophy that sustainability should be an easy, simple, and approachable concept for everyone-regardless of how many pairs of Birkenstocks you may own. 

Michael Podlin and Kent Koth can hardly contain their enthusiasm as Green Team member Claire McCallum assists them in getting their waste where it needs to go during the President's Welcome.Being raised just outside of San Francisco, the first American city to initiate a curbside pick-up of compost and yard waste, "compost" and "recycle" have been in my vocabulary since I was learning to ride a bike. I chose Seattle University because of its dedication to sustainability. Still, figuring out how to dispose of this or that item is not always clear. My goal is for ALL students, faculty and staff to share an understanding of which "plastic" cup is compostable, and which lid is actually recyclable.The Green Team needs your help. Please invite us to your campus events so that our smiling students can do their thing and help reduce the waste that's produced on our campus. Our hope is that the Green Team becomes a more regular presence at university events. We already had a wild success at the Summer in Seattle orientation sessions-thank you, Laurie Prince!-and we're looking for more opportunities to do the same.

You don't need to be wearing Birks or carry your own sticker-decorated aluminum water bottle or watch An Inconvenient Truth weekly to make a difference. All you need to do is listen to the people in the green shirts.
Please contact Claire Siegel ( for more information or to request that the Green Team be a part of your next campus event.

 Claire Siegel, '14, is a nursing major and theology minor.