Sept. 27, 2007
By Mary Reed
"Go green" means something more than Bobcat pride on campus. It also refers to making environmentally sustainable choices. Want to tour the Ecohouse? Buy organic and fair trade coffee? Plant a garden? There's a new resource to help you do these things and more. The first Athens map highlighting green organizations, businesses and community resources is now available.
The Athens Green Guide, covering both Athens city and county, is the work of Sam Pepple, a senior geography major who studies cartography and sustainable living.
"I wanted to mainly educate the public about the importance of sustainability and, specifically, do that education linking the spatial (elements) like the bike path and bus routes," Pepple said. The map includes a key that indicates elements of sustainability: organic, fair trade, environmental education, bicycling, alternative energy, local products and waste diversion through means such as reuse, recycling and composting.
The Athens Green Guide includes the Ohio University Office of Sustainability, the Ohio Ecohouse, Alden Library's Cafe Bibliotech and the plant biology research garden, among other places.
Two student organizations, the Sustainable Living Organization and the Green Network, helped Pepple identify what would be included in the Green Guide. His adviser, Assistant Professor of Geography Margaret Pearce, and Sonia Marcus, director of the Office of Sustainability, also lent their advice.
"I think it's fantastic that a student took the initiative to not only spearhead this (map project) but to follow it through to completion," Marcus said. "Though Sam did receive support from departments and other resources and other students ... he is the mastermind behind this project."
Pepple will present the map and a poster at the North American Cartographic Information Society conference in St. Louis Oct. 10-13.
Free printed copies of the map can be picked up at the Cartographic Center at Clippinger 104 or the Office of Sustainability, 1 Riverside Drive. It also will be available Saturday, Sept. 29, at the Athens Farmers Market or can be downloaded from the Office of Sustainability Web site. Businesses are invited to request copies of the Athens Green Guide for distribution at their establishments.
Pepple said he is looking forward to creating an online interactive version of the map based on feedback from the public. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.