Kicking off a Webster Goes Green initiative, in an attempt to reduce the carbon footprint of the campus, Webster Ghana undertook various conservation practices, leading up to their first Public Lecture of the year, focused on the environment.
Feb. 1-7 was designated as Eco Week with a number of recycling, reducing and reusing activities taking place on campus, heightened by a competition element for maximum student involvement. Single-use plastic drinking cups at dispensers on campus were eliminated, and students, as well as staff, encouraged to use portable water bottles instead.
Undergraduate students were divided into two teams for a week-long recycling competition, where each side was to deposit as many empty plastic bottles in their allotted bins, for points. A formal recycling program is scheduled to commence shortly on campus. Faculty also tapped into this great effort, a few organizing class trips to Trashy Bags Africa (opens in new tab), an Accra based non-governmental organization that turns plastic waste into reusable items (i.e., shopping bags, laptop cases, etc.). Eco Week concluded with an Eco Rave, a fun eco-friendly game night where student knowledge was tested. This event was a 100% eco-friendly with no plastics, with finger food was served on large plantain leaves and drinks out of calabash.
The next week Webster Ghana hosted its first public lecture of the year, securing four panelists from academic, government and the private sector to speak on the theme, Ghana’s Environmental Crisis: Confronting Issues of Sanitation, Waste Management and Climate Change. Moderated by a graduate student pursuing a Master’s in International Relations, the event also featured the mayor of Accra, Honorable Mohammed Adjei Sowah.
The first speaker, Cindy Badoe, a director at the Environmental Protection Agency (opens in new tab) (EPA), speaking on sanitation, revealed the profound positive changes that have been made over the years in Ghana with regards to public toilet access.
Mariam Sapah, an adjunct professor at Webster Ghana teaching Global Ecologies and Sustainable Living gave a mini-lecture on waste management, encouraging everyone to initiate the 6 Rs — reducing, reusing, recycling, rethinking, refusing and repairing.
CEO of NGO Trashy Bags, Stuart Gold, presented on his passion for climate change, using a tech-savvy Google Earth presentation to take the audience across the world to show the effects of global warming.
Accra’s mayor concluded the event with an exclusive address, offering insight into his vision for sanitation in Accra and the initiatives his office has taken up to effect change, reiterating his commitment to the president of Ghana’s goal of making Accra the cleanest city in Africa.