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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Green Vets works to improve sustainability on campus

The+Texas+A%26amp%3BM+Student+Chapter+of+the+Wildlife+Disease+Association+and+Green+Vets+hosted+an+oil+spill+response+workshop+to+teach+veterinary+students+about+wildlife+care.
Photo by via TAMU College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences Facebook

The Texas A&M Student Chapter of the Wildlife Disease Association and Green Vets hosted an oil spill response workshop to teach veterinary students about wildlife care.

Students in the College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) are taking the initiative to reduce Texas A&M’s carbon footprint on the environment.
Green Vets is a student organization in the CVM that works to promote sustainability within the veterinary school to improve A&M’s environmental consciousness. Throughout the past few years, Green Vets has supported the campus’s “Go Green” movement by placing recycling bins throughout the old and new vet school buildings.
Green Vets has also used biodegradable surgical gloves and reusable surgical caps for clinical practicums, said Emerald Rodriguez, co-president of Green Vets and third-year veterinary student.
“Green Vets has the goal of promoting conservation and sustainability, as well as just more green ways to live in the vet school environment,” Rodriguez said. “Sustainable practices are something people can implement in their day-to-day lives that are really impactful.”
Rodriguez said Green Vets has worked with Kim Kaps, a company that makes reusable surgical caps out of washable fabric, to promote the use of reusable caps by selling them at fundraising events for a profit that helps fund future conservation projects.
“[The company] embroiders your name into the cap, which is nice because having our names on our caps is something we all have to do in surgery classes,” Rodriguez said. “We normally use tape, which means more waste is created. A little piece of tape doesn’t seem significant, but everything adds up.”
Kristy Yu, co-president of Green Vets and third-year veterinary student, said the organization also hosts guest speakers each week who talk about sustainability practices to educate members about how they can take steps to reduce negative impacts on the environment.
“One of my goals [as co-president] was to bring in speakers that talk about topics we haven’t heard of,” Yu said. “I also wanted to start some fundraisers that really reflect us as a club. I think the surgical caps fundraiser was a really cool thing we did.”
Rodriguez said she is looking to raise awareness of the affordability of sustainability practices within her role in Green Vets.
“I think a lot of people think being sustainable is more expensive,” Rodriguez said. “One of my goals in Green Vets is to show that it actually isn’t more expensive because if you’re buying all these items that are one-time use, then you’re losing money. But if you keep using the same items and washing them … then you’re not spending more money.”
Rodriguez and Yu said Green Vets is looking to engage with the broader campus community by participating in the Students of the American Veterinary Medical Association’s “Find the Joy” wellness week during finals, which offers events each semester for students to relax from exam stress. Green Vets is also thinking of partnering with SAVMA this semester to host a Succulent Party to celebrate the 50-year anniversary of Earth Day.
“I have been looking to raise awareness among the school community,” Rodriguez said. “We have a lot of clubs that are specific towards certain aspects of medicine … which are all really important. But because a lot of us are going into clinical practice, I feel like this is something that is relatable to everyone.”

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