The Student Environmental Awareness Society, known to most as SEAS, is fighting some big problems with big solutions.
While their goal of raising awareness and getting people outside to realize they are part of the environment is universal, their focus is local. This semester, SEAS has plans to create on-campus environmental solutions that affordably integrate into people’s everyday lives.
One such solution is to supply the campus with refilling stations for water bottles, which will cut down the need for more plastic and the energy to transport newly sold water bottles from one location to another. Billions of these discarded water bottles end up in landfills annually, contributing to pollution. Mike Leggett, chair of SEAS and an environmental science major, is in charge of this project.
“We have the capability to back up any sustainable projects that [the students] want to bring,” Leggett said.
Another proposal requests the university replace incandescent light bulbs with more cost effective and cleaner LED bulbs. The parking garage, which contains many incandescent bulbs, is the first proposed site of Leggett’s bulb replacement project. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that swift LED lighting adoption in the U.S. could deliver savings of about $265 billion, avoid 40 new power plants and reduce lighting electricity demand by 33 percent in 2027, according to energystar.gov, the federal government’s energy savings website.
The idea that these types of small steps result in big changes is what drives the members of SEAS forward.
Upcoming events planned by the group include a restoration of Little Bayou Park, a local beach and campus beautification project and a nature hike at Brooker Creek Preserve Environmental Education Center in Tarpon Springs.
SEAS holds its weekly meeting Tuesdays at 5 p.m. on the first floor of the library at the Poynter Corner. Contact SEAS President Catie Wonders at email@example.com for more information.