A small Green Pig pin was handed out to all students, faculty and staff who attended Catawba College's Opening Convocation on August 27th and most wondered exactly why. But when College President Dr. Craig Turner officially introduced Green Pig, calling it "a new symbol of our commitment to the environment at Catawba College," the wondering ceased.
A few lucky individuals at the convocation, who were wearing their new Green Pig pins, also learned exactly what a piggy payback in the form of a greenback meant, when Turner handed out a $5 bill to them.
"You will be seeing signs around campus telling the Tale of the Green Pig and containing suggestions encouraging us to be good stewards of the environment: they will remind us to turn out lights as we leave empty rooms, to turn off computers when not in use, not to run the water the entire time we brush our teeth, to recycle — to do the things we all know we should do but sometimes need a reminder to practice," Turner explained during remarks preceding his convocation address..
"We are fortunate on campus to have a major recycling program already in effect; to be using some geothermal and solar resources; to having a magnificent Center for the Environment to promote 'green'; and a number of other environmental initiatives. But more is needed. While we explore other larger efforts to make our campus environmentally balanced, the Green Pig is our new initiative to promote green consciousness among all of us in the Catawba family."
Turner said that during the next several weeks of the fall semester, "empowered" faculty and staff will be giving out cash rewards on campus to students wearing their Green Pig pins in an effort to promote "the practice of good green habits."
"I encourage you to join the Order of the Green Pig — wear your pins — on your shirts, your backpacks, your caps — you never know when someone might ask if you are displaying the Green Pig!" he said. "And more importantly, practice the habits of being a good environmental steward. Help Catawba to erase our carbon footprint and to be a green campus in every sense of that word."
;The Birth of a Green Pig
Turner called on the Catawba Public Relations Department to help develop a conservation campaign which would be launched with the start of the fall semester. Members of the department, Graphic Designer and Photographer Tracy Ratliff, Web Designer and Developer Maegen Worley, Public Relations Coordinator Gwen Vanderbloemen, and Communications Officer Tonia Black-Gold brainstormed concepts.
"We started out thinking about how a piggybank symbolized savings and wondering what we could do to turn the pig green," Black-Gold recalled.
"We knew we wanted something simple – a symbol you could see and instantly recognize what it stood for," Ratliff added. 'And, we knew whatever we came up with had to be something fun for the students."
"Everyone's heard the 'reduce, reuse and recycle' line so many times that it has lost much of its meaning, so we wanted something new, and like Tracy said, something the students would embrace," Worley explained. "Really, we wanted something that could live a life all of its own and make the same old concepts fun again."
During an impromptu session in Black-Gold's office, with much laughter and ideas tossed back and forth, Green Pig was born. "It was simple and something we could make memorable," Black-Gold recalled of that birth.
Green Pig became sort of a mantra in the Public Relations office for several weeks during the summer while Ratliff finalized the symbol's design and the "Tale of the Green Pig" and the accompanying Pig Tales, tips on being green, were developed. Vanderbloemen went to work locating the best pricing on Green Pig pins. By the time classes had begun on August 20th, the concept was finalized and approved, the pins had been ordered and received, and finally, Vanderbloemen instructed the P.R. Office work study students to hang the posters introducing the "Tale of the Green Pig" around campus.
"I'd hear students ask each other: 'What's up with the pig?' and I knew there was and would be interest in this," explained student Erin Blalock of Denver, N.C., a member of E.C.O. (Environment Campus Outreach
), a student organization
on campus. Blalock, a junior environmental education
major, met with Black-Gold the week after classes had begun to see exactly how her organization could get involved with promoting Green Pig.
"Erin's interest is indicative of exactly what we had hoped for when we conceived of Green Pig," said Black-Gold. "We'll be closely working with E.C.O., the College's Office of Waste Recycling and Reduction, our Center for the Environment, and the Office of Student Affairs to keep the momentum going."
We all know how important saving money can be these days and the image of a piggy bank serves to remind us of this. But did you know that by saving the "right" stuff you can also turn the pig green? When you save energy or natural resources or when you reuse something instead of simply replacing it with something else, you're saving in a different way – a green way.
The Green Pig, therefore, is a reminder to the campus community to save in a different way. So when you see tips posted around campus bearing the Green Pig icon, you'll recognize it as just a reminder to you to live and promote a greener, more sustainable lifestyle.
P.S. – Wear those Green Pig buttons around campus because you never know when you could get a piggy payback in the form of a greenback!
Pig Tale #1
Don't leave the water running while you're brushing your teeth.
Pig Tale #2
Turn off the lights when you leave a room.
Pig Tale #3
Keep the windows closed if the heat or air conditioning is running.
Pig Tale #4
Print and copy on both sides of the paper!
Pig Tale #5
Take shorter showers.
Pig Tale #6
Recycle your paper, cans, plastic bottles, glass containers and cardboard using bins available on-campus.
Pig Tale #7
Use power strips to turn off equipment when not in use.
Pig Tale #8
Recycle and reuse gift wrap, gift boxes and bows.
Pig Tale #9
Save gas, take a walk!
Do you have questions, comments or ideas about the Green Pig? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
VIDEO: The Green Pig at Catawba
Conservation Efforts at Catawba College