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May 16, 2013

Editor's note: It actually is easy being green

May 17, 2013

Kelly, forest, moss, olive, lime, emerald, mint, chartreuse—there’s a long list of greens that exist in the world. But for me, there’s none more beautiful than the truest green of all—Spartan green.

Every good Spartan knows when a cry of “Go Green” is heard, a response of “Go White” is required. With half a million MSU alumni around the world, there’s an excellent chance of finding someone to finish the cheer in places far away from Spartan Stadium.

I’ve run into other Spartans in a Montreal garden, Times Square, the National Zoo, a Glasgow pub, and on planes and beaches. The most surprising was when I walked into a hotel lobby in the far-flung city of Lilongwe, Malawi, and literally ran into a man wearing a Spartan basketball shirt. Though he wasn’t an alumnus, he had recently been to campus to visit his cousin who is a student. And he did know the appropriate response to “Go Green.”

Now that spring has finally sprung here in East Lansing, the green is abundant. Lush canopies of leaves, fields of grass perfect for a picnic, more varieties of plants than you can imagine, and explosions of flowers are everywhere you look.

But Spartan green is much more than just a color or a cheer. It’s how we work. It’s what we study. It’s who we are.

MSU researchers are dedicated to discovering ways to keep the planet green and sustainable. They’re looking for ways to make water cleaner and air safer. They’re finding practical applications for alternative fuels and bio-based products. They’re studying animals and plants around the world. They’re discovering sustainable ways to grow crops and feed people. (Read more about MSU environmental work>>)

One of those researchers, Kay Holekamp, is a world-renowned expert on hyenas. She and her team are currently conducting a long-term behavioral field study of hyenas in Kenya. While they’re out in the field, they’ve been producing a really cool blog that let’s us experience the work they’re doing through personal accounts, photos, and videos.

A recent post by a member of her team, David Green, (seriously?), gives us his view of an interesting sighting of a hyena that seems to be exhibiting her own version of going green. (Read his account and check out the photo>>)

But, more than just our research is green. MSU’s office of Campus Sustainability manages the Be Spartan Green campaign engaging students, faculty, staff, and visitors to take action every day and find new ways to go green. Even the sea of green caps and gowns at the recent commencement ceremonies were greener than you might think—they’re created from recycled plastic bottles, something MSU has been doing since 2010.

And students in all fields of study are finding some creative ways to go green. Ryan Groendyk, who just graduated with a fine arts degree, is taking his thesis project on the road—literally. He’ll be driving his biofuel “art car” around the country to show and start conversations about renewable energy. (Read more about Ryan’s project>>)

I could go on and on. Every single day, Spartans aren’t just answering the call of “Go Green,” they’re making the world a greener place. And what’s not to love about more green in the world?

Spartans Will. Go Green!

Lisa Mulcrone
Editor, MSUToday




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