Taking steps to ensure the preservation of the environment is a concern to many on campus, and for the past five years, the Rowan Environmental Action League has brought students together with the goal of making the general public more aware.
Formerly known as the Glassboro Environmental Organization, REAL has approximately 20 active members who have come together to volunteer their time at the Camden Community Gardens, one of their main focuses this year, club President April Gambardella said.
According to the Camden Community Gardens’ webpage, the gardens have approximately 70 members participating in the program, over 40 active gardeners and several organizations that have been volunteering their time to developing the natural resource over the last 10 years. The gardens’ mission is to provide vegetables at a discounted rate to those who have memberships with the gardens.
REAL has also been active in bringing three water refilling stations to campus facilities, such as those found in the REC Center, as part of the “Take Back the Tap” campaign, started by Food and Water Watch, an organization fighting to keep waterways clean as well as protecting natural food, according to its website.
The organization is also making its presence known in Pitman, as it is attempting to pass a resolution that would declare the community against fracking and fracking waste being legalized in New Jersey. Fracking is the process by which natural gas is released from the ground by machine, and often uses a mix of several chemicals including uranium, lead and mercury. The group helped to pass such a resolution in Glassboro last year.
“The resolution is obviously not legally binding,” Gambardella said in an email. “But it is just the town stating that they are against fracking or fracking waste of any kind.”
Gambardella thinks REAL is doing its part in the state to help prevent fracking.
“Environmentalists all around the country are doing this in their states so when the time comes that they may want to begin to frack in the state, hopefully the amount of resolutions will be so large that it will help against bringing the unsafe practice,” Gambardella said.
Meetings for REAL are at 9 p.m. in the Chamberlain Student Center, room 129, and anyone interested in joining the club can check out the Rowan Environmental Action League Facebook page.
“Anyone can be an environmentalist,” Gambardella said. “Recycling, turning the lights out when you leave a room, taking shorter showers — little steps go a long way.”
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