The little blue house changed my life. It’s become a home away from home for a diverse group of TU students, and it’s where a plethora of socially and environmentally conscious students congregate to discuss the world’s pressing issues. And situated within the micro-community known as the little blue house is Earth Matters.
Earth Matters, TU’s environmental organization, aims to make TU a more environmentally friendly place to live. We perform trash audits to evaluate the student body’s recycling efforts, organize “Green Teams” to clean up the recycling left behind at athletic games, and host documentary screenings and panel discussions to educate the student body on a variety of environmental issues. We coordinate with the Sustainability Committee for more ambitious projects, like switching to single-stream recycling, offering battery recycling on campus, and going trayless in the cafeteria to conserve water and food waste. We also dabble in gardening – our little blue house garden has its good seasons, and we garden with the children of Junior Earth Matters (at the University School).
But it’s not always business. We like to go gallivanting in local parks and enjoy picnics. One time we hosted a game night that lasted a whopping twelve hours. And when we had the misfortune of having Oklahoma weather against us during a camping trip, we spent the evening jousting marshmallows in the little blue house microwave instead.
We just went camping again for the last time this year at Keystone Park. It was absolutely beautiful. We climbed the rocks bordering the lake and watched the sunset on the edge of the water. We made s’mores (of course) and baked potatoes over the campfire, and nothing beats food cooked over an open fire. We played charades in the firelight and experimented with the game “Psychiatrist” (look it up!). A few of us decided to “become one with nature” and sleep outside, but the rain and gusts of dirt flying at us quickly made us go inside the tent (and promptly wonder why sleeping outside was ever a good idea). All in all though, it was a good time.
I’ve met some of the most wonderful people through Earth Matters and the little blue house, and I know that I’ve made lasting friendships. The next batch of EM leaders are passionate and energetic, and I suspect they will be the catalysts for change at this university as we strive to lower our carbon footprint and become a better, more environmentally conscious school.
But don’t take my word for it! Check out our Facebook group to see what Earth Matters is like at www.facebook.com/groups/earthmatters.